Marco Melandri, Sylvain Guintoli and Aprilia have to be over the moon after this weekend’s results at Jerez.
Melandri managed to take first in both races for the Aprilia factory team, and teammate Sylvain Guintoli managed second in both races. Third went to a Brit in both battles, with Chaz Davies (Ducati) filling out the podium in the first race, and reigning champ Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) nabbing third in the second competition.
In the first race, fourth went to Jonathan Rea (PATA Honda), Sykes ended up in fifth, Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) was sixth, Leon Haslam (PATA Honda) was seventh, Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) was eighth, David Salom (Kawasaki) was ninth and Sylvain Barrier (BMW Italia) was tenth.
Melandri said the race made up for his letdown at the last showdown in California.
““After the crash in Race 2 at Laguna Seca I was very disappointed because we could have taken a double win there,” he said. “This weekend my team and I started off well straight away, changing very little on the bike and my RSV4 performed very well today.
“The second race was a bit more difficult because with the higher temperatures the track has less grip. I tried to be consistent even though I wasn’t really fast at the beginning of the race, but I managed to maintain my pace steadily, making up places over my rivals.”
Teammate Guintoli said that with 100 points left to gain, anything can happen.
“Our goal here was to make up points on Tom and that’s what we did,” he said. “Last year I didn’t do too well here so I wasn’t expecting to be able to battle for the win in both races. I gave it my all, working hard to solve the problems we had during practice and pushing to the limit today.”
DNFs for the first race included Loris Baz (Kawasaki) and Davide Giugliano (Ducati), who had both been running at the front of the pack. Giugliano crashed on the 11th lap. Baz led for a while, but was back in third when he contacted the back of Melandri’s bike in Lap 14. The resulting crash meant the end of his competition in Race 1.
In the second race, Sykes made up for his disappointing performance in the first contest, pressing Melandri and Guintoli hard for the duration of the race. His teammate Baz led for the first couple laps, but then Sykes and the Aprilias worked past him, and the Frenchman finished the race in seventh, behind the Aprilias, his teammate, then Davies, Rea and Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki).
Haslam was eighth in Race 2, Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) was ninth (he crashed out in Lap 14 in the first race) and Elias rounded out the top 10.
As a result of his two podiums, Guintoli has closed some of the distance between him and Sykes. He now has 321 points to Sykes’s 352 – a margin he could well overcome in the remaining four races.
In World Supersport, Michael Van Der Mark (PATA Honda) took first, PJ Jacobson (Intermoto Ponyxpres Kawasaki) finished second and teammate Florian Marino was third. That clinches the WSS title for Van Der Mark in his second season.
Next race: Magny-Cours, Oct. 5.
World Superbike Standings after Round 10 (two rounds left):
1). Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 352
2). Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) 321
3). Jonathan Rea (Honda) 285
4). Marco Melandri (Aprilia) 267
5). Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 262
6). Chaz Davies (Ducati) 188
7). Eugene Laverty (Suzuki) 154
8). Davide Giugliano (Ducati) 153
9). Toni Elias (Aprilia) 151
10). Leon Haslam (Honda) 150
World Supersport standings after Round 10:
1). Michael Van Der Mark (Honda) 185 (Clinched first)
2). Florian Marino (Kawasaki) 109
3). Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta) 107
4). Lorenzo Zanetti (Honda) 90
5). Kev Coghlan (Yamaha) 88
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