WSBK: Laverty wins Race 2 as Sykes crashes on sighting lap

Race two at Portimao started in dramatic fashion as Tom Sykes crashed his Kawasaki ZX10R on the way to the grid which left a large gap in pole position. Eugene Laverty took the holeshot from fellow countryman Jonathan Rea and race one winner, Marco Melandri.

Laverty takes a deserved victory in race 2 at Portimao

Photo: WSBK

After a pitlane start, Sykes entered the pits twice to fix various issues with his Kawasaki, meaning that he fell seven laps behind the pack. However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Yorkshireman as while he did not score points, he went on to beat Max Biaggi’s 2010 lap record of 1m 42.774s with a stunning 1m 42.475s lap.

Leon Camier failed to get away quick enough from the line, falling back into the pack and later on retiring from the race on lap twelve due to a gear linkage failure on his Fixi Crescent Suzuki. While fellow Brit, Leon Haslam failed to start the race after aggravating his leg injury following a hefty knock on a kerb.

The race leader, Eugene Laverty was unable to breakaway from Pata Honda rider Jonathan Rea for the first third of the race, although a mistake by Rea on lap nine allowed the Aprilia rider to form a slight gap between the pair. Rea, whose bike was at one point 9.1 kph slower than Laverty’s, put up a great fight with the Irishman before being reeled in by the current championship leader, Sylvain Guintoli and was eventually passed by the Frenchman on lap 18.

Behind the leading three were Loris Baz, Carlos Checa and Chaz Davies battling for positions. Davies’ team mate Marco Melandri seemed to be struggling throughout the race, at one point dropping into the 1m 47s bracket, it became apparent soon after that the Italian was suffering from rear tyre issues. Melandri managed to increase his pace again in the final third of the race, but the ex-250 world champion came under fire from compatriot Michel Fabrizio, along with MR-Racing’s Max Neukirchner and was eventually passed by the duo by the end of the final lap.

Although he wasn’t able to give the fans a true battle, when Guintoli overtook Rea on lap 18, Tom Sykes, although seven laps down, was lapping at the same pace as leader Eugene Laverty hinting at what could have been.
Portimao – FIM Superbike World Championship – Race 2

1. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 38’02.051
2. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 38’06.158
3. Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 38’07.904
4. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 38’17.357
5. Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 38’19.603
6. Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 38’20.417
7. Jules Cluzel (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 38’31.443
8. Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 38’40.410
9. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 38’41.372
10. Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 38’46.654
11. Max Neukirchner (MR-Racing) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 38’47.390
12. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 38’47.480
13. Federico Sandi (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 39’18.361
14. Alexander Lundh (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 39’18.426
15. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Grillini Dentalmatic SBK) BMW S1000 RR 39’20.354
16. Ivan Clementi (HTM Racing) BMW S1000 RR 39’26.310
NC. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 38’22.688
RT. Leon Camier (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 19’11.662

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