Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli has led an Aprilia clean sweep of the top three places in the opening Superbike World Championship race of the season at Phillip Island.
Guintoli, 30, passed factory team-mate and long-time leader Eugene Laverty on lap 15 of the 22-lap race, and then eased away to a 1.352-second victory – his fourth in WSBK competition and his first at Phillip Island.
After being passed by Guintoli, Laverty then fell into the clutches of the hard-charging Michel Fabrizio over the last few laps, but he managed to hold off his opponent in a thrilling battle all the way to the finish line.
The four-way arm wrestle for fourth position was just as intense, with BMW’s Chaz Davies eventually working his way to the front of the pack after 22 hard-fought laps, with Tom Sykes (Kawasaki), Loris Baz (Kawasaki) and Leon Haslam (Honda) filling positions five to seven.
Jonathan Rea (Honda) was eighth, while Australians Glenn Allerton (BMW) and Jamie Stauffer (Honda) scored world championship points in 14th and 15th positions respectively.
Spaniard Carlos Checa (Ducati) and world No. 3 Marco Melandri (BMW) both failed to finish after a nasty collision at turn four on lap 13 while involved in the fierce scrap for fourth position.
Checa briefly lost consciousness and was airlifted from the circuit with concussion.
Race two is at 3:30pm this afternoon.
RACE #1 – RESULTS
|1||Sylvain Guintoli||Aprilia Racing Team||Aprilia RSV4 Factory|
|2||Eugene Laverty||Aprilia Racing Team||Aprilia RSV4 Factory|
|3||Michel Fabrizio||Red Devils Roma) Aprilia||Aprilia RSV4 Factory|
|4||Chaz Davies||BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK||BMW S1000 RR|
|5||Tom Sykes||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10R|
|6||Loris Baz||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10R|
|7||Leon Haslam||Pata Honda World Superbike||Honda CBR BR1000RR|
|8||Jonathan Rea||Pata Honda World Superbike||Honda CBR1000RR|
|9||Leon Camier||Fixi Crescent Suzuki||Suzuki GSX-R1000|
|10||Max Neukirchner||MR-Racing||Ducati Panigale1199|
|11||Jules Cluzel||Fixi Crescent Suzuki||Suzuki GSX-R1000|
|12||Ivan Clementi||HTM Racing||BMW S1000 RR|
|13||Alexander Lundh||Team Pedercini||Kawasaki ZX-10R|
|14||Glen Allerton||Next Gen Motorsports||BMW S1000 RR|
|15||Jamie Stauffer||Team Honda Racing||Honda CBR1000RR|
|16||Federico Sandi||Team Pedercini||Kawasaki ZX-10R|
|17||Vittorio Iannuzzo||Grillini Dentalmatic SBK||BMW S1000 RR|
|DNF||Carlos Checa||Team Ducati Alstare||Ducati Panigale 1199|
|DNF||Marco Melandri||BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK||BMW S1000 RR|
|DNF||Davide Giugliano||Althea Racing||Aprilia RSV4 Factory|