Loris Baz continues to impress, earning the first Superbike win of his career in Race 1 at Silverstone.
Silverstone is often the site of unpredictable, down-to-the-wire racing and Sunday’s World Superbike event at the British Circuit proved to be no exception. Due to Britain’s wet, fluctuating weather, riders were greeted with a track in-between wet and dry for Race 1 and then saw the clouds open up as the day progressed. Kawasaki Racing’s Loris Baz posted an astonishing Race 1 finish, earning the first Superbike win of his career and then taking second behind PATA Racing’s Sylvain Guintoli
in a shortened Race 2. Nine riders went down during the second contest, which was called by officials after eight laps.
World Superbike Race 1 at Silverstone was one of the most dramatic races all year. In the end, a Kawasaki rider made it to the top step of the podium, but it wasn’t Tom Sykes
. Instead, Sykes’ teammate Loris Baz came across the finish in first. BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet’s Michel Fabrizio
trailed Baz by just 0.383 seconds and his teammate Ayrton Badovini rounded out the podium.
"Incredible, I thought last race in Brno was the best of my life, but maybe now is this one!" said Baz. "I am super happy and
astonished, I think it is incredible what has happened today. The team has given me an amazing bike, I have tried to not make mistakes and the climate has given me a hand. We just got the 100% of what we could get. I want to dedicate this victory to Joan Lascorz. Also I want to thank all the team, Kawasaki and Motocard for giving me this opportunity. I hope to keep learning in Moscow, I know it will be almost impossible to repeat the Silverstone’s results."
Fluctuating weather conditions caused the race to be delayed after the first attempt at a start following two separate crashes. The race was declared wet at the restart and as the 18 lap contest progressed light rains came and went, causing a large number of position changes out front. Early on it was BMW Motorrad’s Leon Haslam
, Sykes and Althea Racing’s Carlos Checa
duking it out for the front with Checa logging eight laps in the lead. Baz was ever present though, sitting in third through the first lap after starting from ninth on the grid and keeping within the top six through the entire race.
In the final laps, rains got much heavier and made the race even more hectic. Haslam dropped off the lead with two laps to go down to sixth place, at which time Fabrizio rocketed from fifth to first. The BMW rider held the lead though the penultimate lap, but Baz found a line to the front before the checkers, getting past Fabrizio and Honda’s Jonathan Rea
. Baz and Fabrizio came across the finish with no issues, but as soon as Badovini crossed in third, he hit the edge of the track and went down. Rea was following close behind and hit Badovini’s machine and also went down. Checa kept upright and finished fifth.
Haslam remained in sixth to the finish and was followed by his teammate Marco Melandri in seventh. Sykes took eighth with Checa’s teammate Davide Giugliano and Aprilia Racing’s Eugene Laverty
earning ninth and tenth respectively.
The weather claimed a number of riders, most notably was championship points leader Max Biaggi
of Aprilia, who went down in the final laps and was forced to retire. The Roman made it as high as fourth place early on, but languished mid-pack for most of the contest before his fall. FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier
also went down late in the race, as did his teammate John Hopkins
World Superbike Silverstone Race 1 Results:
1. Loris Baz (Kawasaki)
2. Michel Fabrizio (BMW)
3. Ayrton Badovini (BMW)
4. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
5. Carlos Checa (Ducati)
6. Leon Haslam (BMW)
7. Marco Melandri (BMW)
8. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
9. Davide Giugliano (Ducati)
10. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia)
11. Maxime Berger (Ducati)
12. Lorenzo Zanetti (Ducati)
13. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda)
14. Chaz Davies (Aprilia)
15. David Salom (Kawasaki)
16. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati)
17. Jakub Smrz (Ducati)
Race 2 proved to be even more chaotic as rain continued to fall on the track, making conditions so treacherous that Race Direction was forced to call the contest after eight laps and nine crashes. When the race was finally called, new PATA Racing Team rider Sylvain Guintoli was in the lead. The win marks Guintoli’s second of the season. Baz returned in Race 2 with the same confidence he showed in Race 1 and had cut a gap of over six seconds behind Guintoli to under one on the eighth and final lap. He pushed a bit too hard though and went down just before the red flag was flown, but was awarded second-place after finishing order reverted back to the previous lap standing. Smrz rounded out the podium in third.
Guintoli led every lap of the short contest in what was a close battle between the three riders out front. Laverty took fourth, trailing behind Smrz by over 19 seconds. Smrz’s teammate Maxime Berger took fifth and Checa followed behind in sixth. ParkinGo’s Chaz Davies earned seventh and Melandri took eighth with Rea and Hopkins finishing ninth and tenth respectively. As in the cancelled Monza race earlier in the season, riders were awarded just half the points for Race 2 at Silverstone. Biaggi lagged outside the top ten in 11th and was followed by Sykes in 12th.
Before the red flag was shown, Giugliano went down and retired from the race. Haslam followed suit but was able to re-join the action. Badovini crashed after that and retired, as did Camier. Rea, Smrz, Checa, Berger, Baz and Sykes all went down as well during the flagged lap so were awarded the finishing positions they held through the previous lap.
Biaggi remains the overall points leader, despite earning just 2.5 points through both races at the British circuit. Melandri remains second, now just 10.5 behind Biaggi. Sykes holds steady in third with 222.5 and Checa sits a mere two points back in fourth. Rea rounds out the overall top five at 203.5.
World Superbike Silverstone Race 2 Results:
1. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati)
2. Loris Baz (Kawasaki)
3. Jakub Smrz (Ducati)
4. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia)
5. Maxime Berger (Ducati)
6. Carlos Checa (Ducati)
7. Chaz Davies (Aprilia)
8. Marco Melandri (BMW)
9. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
10. John Hopkins (Suzuki)
11. Max Biaggi (Aprilia)
12. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
13. Michel Fabrizio (BMW)
14. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda)
15. Niccolo Canepa (Ducati)
16. Lorenzo Zanetti (Ducati)
17. Leon Haslam (BMW)
World Superbike Championship Points:
1. Max Biaggi, 274
2. Marco Melandri, 263.5
3. Tom Sykes, 222.5
4. Carlos Checa, 220.5
5. Jonathan Rea, 203.5
6. Leon Haslam, 170
7. Eugene Laverty, 160.5
8. Sylvain Guintoli, 122.5
9. Michel Fabrizio, 108.5
10. Davide Giugliano, 106