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WSBK Press Office
Laverty and Sofuoglu winners of the Turkish Round
Istanbul (Turkey), Sunday 15 September 2013 - The eleventh round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship reached its highest point today, as teams and riders geared up for what was an outstanding day of racing. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) made a clean sweep of the competition by winning both WSBK races and narrow the gap from Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) - third and second at the flag in the two races - to 26 points. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) and Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) got one podium finish each, but lost some ground in the title chase, which sees them now sitting 8 and 33 points short of the leader
The star of the day, though, was Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki), who sent the 51,652 spectators into raptures by edging Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) at the finish line, to win his WSS home race. Lowes, on the other hand, is just two points away - even considering the number of race wins - to win his first World Supersport title.
The eni FIM Superbike World Championship will resume at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in two-weeks time, while Supersport will be back on track - along with the two STK classes and EJC - early next month at Magny-Cours.
Laverty does it again in Race 2
Sunday, 15 September 2013 14:06
Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) stole the show today with an outstanding performance in Race 2 at the Intercity Istanbul Park, that led to his second double win of the career - after the one achieved in 2011 at Monza. The Irishman started his charge on early leader Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) and, after spending half of the race chasing the rival, he eventually closed the gap and overtook the factory Kawasaki Rider on Lap 12, at Turn 14. Laverty then proved he had the pace to stay in the lead and maintained a one-second gap up to the finish line, while Sykes had to settle for second place.
Factory Aprilia rider Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) crossed the line a lonely third, as the Frenchman never managed to get in contention for the win. Fourth place Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) had a challenging first part of the race, in which he had to make his way through a pack of hungry opponents: Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia), team mate Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia), who finished 5th, 6th and 9th respectively.
Giugliano, former STK1000 Champion, managed to get a good start, but he lost ground as the race progressed to end up behind Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) and Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike). Ayrton Badovini's (Team Ducati Alstare) absence from the grid resulted in the first-ever World Superbike race with no Ducati machines on track, the second one in history with no points for the Italian manufacturer.
Aprilia victory and brace for Eugene laverty in the first ever turkish superbike round
Sylvain Guintoli is also on the podium in race2 after a fourth place finish in race1
Sylvain holds on to second place in thr rider standings followed by team mate Laverty. Aprilia dominates the manufacturer standings
Istanbul, 15 September 2013 - Eugene Laverty and Aprilia leace their mark on the first ever Turkish world Superbike round with an extraordinary double win. After taking a strong win in Race1 , the Northern Irish rider repeated the performance in the second race. The 50 points he took home today move him into third place in the rider standings, just 26 points from the leader.
Sylvain Guintoli rode to the third step of the podium after finishing fourth in Race1, partially conditioned by pain from his recovering injured right shoulder. The Turkish round strengthens Aprilia's hold on the manufacturer championship lead with 419 points. The Italian bike now leads Kawasaki (377), Bmw ( 354), Honda (216), Suzuki (193), Ducati (144) and Yamaha (4).
Off to an excellent start from the fourth spot on the grid in Race1, Laverty immediately cought up with Tom Sykes who had started from pole position. The right time to overtake came in the 11th lap, when tyre wear rewarded the Northern Irish rider's strategy. Aided by the hight performance of his RSV4, Laverty continued to push hard, widening the gap lap after lap. By the end of the race he was more than two seconds ahead of Sykes, his closest pursuer. The script was very similar in race two with Eugene starting well but not pushing too hard until the 12th lap. His rivals didn't stand a chance, forced to a gap of one and a half seconds behind the leader.
Eugene Laverty: "My last double win was at Monza in 2011. This two wins today feel particularly good because I wasn't really expecting them. I'm really pleased, in both races our bike was set up perfectly, especially toward the end of the race when the tyres were starting to deteriorate and that is what let me win with such a big gap. My team was even able to improve after Race1, so despite a similar pace I was able to ride much more easily. I'm back in the running for the championship, but above all I've regained confidence and that makes me hopeful for the coming rounds".
The third place he took in Race 2 doesn't entirely satisfy Sylvain Guintoli, who did extremely well in the qualifiers and had an extraordinary Superpole. In Race1, after an aggressive start, Sylvain tried to take charge of the race, but he had to give in to Melandri's attacks for third place toward the end. In the second race Guintoli adopted a different strategy, saving his energy for a final assault. Unfortunately, despite his good lap times, the gap that Laverty and Sykes had created kept him from going any further than the third step of the podium. Sylvain's biggest problem was pain from his injured shoulder, especially bothering him in Race2.
Sylvain Guintoli: "Two strong races , but I'm still missing something. I'm not sure if it's speed or my physical condition. To be honest, I expected more from this weekend after the good practice sessions and the front row start. It wasn't a complete disaster thought since we're still close to Sykes and I got back onto the podium. Unforunately my shoulder injury isn't a simple thing to overcome. On a track like this one with fast turns and cross wind , it hurt quite a bit. The next round will be at Laguna Seca which is a track I like and where I hope to make another step forward".
PATA Honda WSBK
Haslam and Fabrizio battle in Turkey
Pata Honda riders Leon Haslam and Michel Fabrizio each took two top ten finishes in today's 11th-round World Superbike championship races at Istanbul Park in Turkey, where Irishman Eugene Laverty grabbed both race wins.
After a positive warm-up this morning, Halsam was surprised to find little grip from the rear of his CBR machine from the very first lap of race one and struggled to get within two seconds of his warm-up times. Attention was focused on his rear tyre in the post-race analysis and the 30-year-old was certainly able to improve his lap times in race two as he battled for eighth place at the flag.
His team-mate Michel Fabrizio continued his familiarisation with the Honda CBR1000RR and took two tenth place finishes, just missing out in a close finish (0.032s) with his team-mate in race one and continuing the improvement in his lap times in race two.
Leon Haslam - 9th and 8th
I just got a bad tyre in race one - simple as that - and there was nothing I could do. The boys tried to get me to box for a few laps and, with hindsight, I should probably have come in and changed the tyre to go and do some faster lap times. But the racer's instinct kept me out and I got a ninth out of it, just beating Michel [Fabrizio]. I'm happy with my lap times in race two, even though I had a little less grip than we expected. That was down to some chassis changes that didn't really work because we didn't get the data from race one. My consistency was good though and my pace at the end was matching the top five, we just lacked a little bit of pace at the beginning.
Michel Fabrizio - 10th and 10th
It has not been an easy weekend but it was very important for me to finish both the races to find out as much as possible about the bike and how it works. For me, that was a positive and I really enjoyed riding the bike for the first time here. It has been a great experience to work with the team and I think we have made some progress but maybe not as much as we wanted. I look forward to riding again at Laguna Seca where I hope we can be closer to the front.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
We hoped to see a little more from Michel in both races, but he is still new to the bike and learning how to get the best out of it. Hopefully, we can find some things to make this easier for him at the next race. Leon had a bad rear tyre from the start of race one, without any grip or any chance for a result. There's not much more to say about that. He lost a little bit too much time at the start of race two but, from the middle of the race, Leon was doing some decent lap times, which was promising. We also found out some more interesting things which we will take to the next race.
Highs and lows for team Althea in Istanbul
The eleventh round of the World Superbike championship took place today at Intercity Istanbul Park in Turkey. Thanks to his solid performance yesterday in the Superpole, Davide Giugliano started today's races from the front row, in third position. The races took place in sunny conditions and on a dry track. In race one Davide made a very fast start and the Althea Racing rider was in fifth place through the initial laps. Towards mid-race Giugliano was fighting in the second group of riders, finally closing the race in fifth position, having battled it out with Elias right to the line. A great performance for Davide who once again finished right on the heels of the factory riders.
In the second race he again made a rapid start and was up in third position through the first corners. Unfortunately as the race progressed, the Althea rider was unable to maintain a strong rhythm due to grip and setting issues that caused him to lose several positions, finally crossing the line ninth.
The next World Superbike round will take place on 28 and 29 September at the Laguna Seca circuit in the USA.
Davide Giugliano: "The first race went well and the feeling I had with the bike allowed me to score fifth place which I was happy with. I made contact with Elias at the final corner, but not on purpose of course. We just both took different lines and this resulted in contact as happens in many races. In the second race I unfortunately suffered from grip problems and was unable to keep the kind of rhythm that had allowed me stay with the leaders in race one. We'll now investigate the reason for this lack of grip, which didn't allow me to race as I'd hoped to. I thank my team that has, as always, worked very hard all weekend."
Genesio Bevilacqua: "In race one we defended ourselves well and Davide put in a very good performance. A very positive race. Unfortunately the second one didn't go so well. We still have to analyse the data to see what caused our rider to slow down; he was unable to express himself as he wanted to. We return hom with results that could have been better, but overall the weekend was positive."
A day without results for Badovini and Team SBK Ducati Alstare today at Istanbul Park
Istanbul (Turkey), Sunday 15 September 2013: despite physical problems resulting from Friday's crash, Ayrton Badovini (Team SBK Ducati Alstare) attempted to participate in today's Superbike races at Intercity Istanbul Park in Turkey. Unfortunately a technical stop in race 1 put paid to his chances of scoring points and, due to the pain he was suffering in the first half of that first race, he decided not to compete in the day's second race.
Badovini suffered strained ligaments and swelling in his left ankle after a crash at turn 12 in Friday morning's practice. Having not completed the qualifying sessions yesterday, the Ducati Alstare rider managed to get his boot on this morning despite the injury. He was therefore able to make a few laps during warm-up to assess whether he would be able to race later in the day.
Race 1 - Badovini lined up at the back of the grid, in sixteenth position, due to the fact that he did not participate in either of the qualifying sessions as a result of the injury. Making a good start, he was already up in thirteenth position by the end of the first lap. He held this position for the first eight laps but unfortunately, during the course of lap nine, he was forced to return to the garage due to a technical problem and was unable to rejoin the race.
Ayrton Badovini: "It's a pity about the stop, today was a chance to make some laps and get to grips with this track. It would have been difficult to finish the race anyway due to my physical condition but I wanted to try at least. I was also having some grip issues because, having completed only one practice session, we didn't have time to identify the best set-up for our bike on this new track. Unfortunately a weekend to forget..."
Carlos Checa was unfortunately absent from today's races, having crashed on Friday and suffering a contusion to the thorax and suspected fracture of the scaphoid as a result. He flew to Barcelona this morning where he will receive further treatment.