Sylvain Guintoli wins race 2 to become WSBK Championship leader after first round 

Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) has won the second race of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island, his career's fifth in the series. 
The Frenchman, now Championship leader after the opening round, was in first place on lap 15 when the race was red flagged, following the technical problem suffered by race 1 winner Eugene Laverty. The Irishman's GSX-R 1000 engine blew as he was running second ahead of Kawasaki Racing Team pairing of Loriz Baz and reigning Champion Tom Sykes, who claimed the remaining podium positions.

Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) was 4th followed by Pata Honda duo Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam, whilst Giugliano's team mate Chaz Davies claimed seventh place ahead of Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) and Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia). Works Aprilia rider Melandri was part of a thrilling ten way battle up front in the early stages, before going wide at Turn 4 during the eighth lap. 
Two laps later Brit Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) made the same mistake whilst trying to catch the leaders, eventually ending up thirteenth behind EVO riders David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team), tenth, NiccolòCanepa (Althea Racing Ducati), eleventh, and Fabien Foret (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki), twelfth.  

At the Supersport Championship, Jules Cluzel took the MV Agusta F3 (!) on the top step after unpredictable race

Historic WSBK win for Eugene Laverty and Voltcom Crescent Suzuki at the first WSBK race 

The eni FIM Superbike World Championship had its first exciting race of the year today at Phillip Island, with Irishman Eugene Laverty scoring a sensational win aboard his GSX-R 1000, making it three in a row with the double he scored at Jerez last year in the last round. In his debut race with Voltcom Crescent Suzuki, Laverty achieved an historical maiden win for the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki Team. Laverty is also the first Suzuki rider to climb on the top step of the podium since the second race at Kyalami in 2010. 
After a poor start of the race, which saw him crossing the line in seventh place at the end of lap 1, and an early battle first with Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team) and then with Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike), Laverty started his charge to the leaders thanks to an incredible race pace. Once reached the front runners, the Irishman passed Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team), Marco Melandri and leader Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) to take first position on lap 17. With Laverty pulling away in the late stages, Melandri got the better of team mate Sylvain Guintoli for second, whilst Giugliano settled for fourth after losing ground in the final laps. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) edged Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) to take fifth place as reigning Champion and Baz's team mate Tom Sykes had a difficult time, eventually ending up seventh ahead of Chaz Davies. 
EVO riders David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team), Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Team) and substitute rider for injured Sylvain Barrier Glenn Allerton (BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team) put up an exciting battle, with Spaniard David Salom to come out on top to claim 9th. Voltcom Crescent Suzuki's Alex Lowes, Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) and Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) all crashed unhurt early on in the race.



Guintoli claims first WSBK Superpole of 2014. The races are tomorrow!

The first Tissot-Superpole of 2014 was contested today under cloudy skies, with Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) securing the first slot on the grid for the two debut races of the season, scheduled for tomorrow at Phillip Island. The 31 year old Frenchman set a new outright best lap of the Australian venue in 1'30.038during the final Superpole session, despite a small moment he had during his flying lap. The first race winner of last year got the better of Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) by only a hundredth of a second, with the Italian rider continuing to impress on his first ever race weekend aboard his Ducati 1199 Panigale R. 

Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) won the battle for the last spot of the first row by finishing third ahead of Voltcom Crescent Suzuki duo Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes, whilst Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) claimed sixth place, followed by KRT paring of Loris Baz and Tom Sykes. The reigning Superbike World Champion missed the chance to snatch the pole position as he crashed unhurt at turn 9 with two minutes to go. 

Leon Haslam, following an encouraging lap set in Superpole 1, did not manage to significantly improve his performance in the following session and was 9th at the chequered flag, two places in front of fellow British Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team). 

Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) finished 10th. The first round of WSBK will be conducted at 01:00 and 03:40 GMT tomorrow!


Alex Lowes ends Day 1 on top at the Island

Only 37 thousands of a second separated Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) and Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) at the end of second free practice for the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island. Following a wet morning session that saw only few riders taking to the track, the whole field made the most of the near perfect conditions to continue their preparation for the debut races of the year. Rookie sensation Lowes started off well by moving on top of the classification and kept the lead as the session progressed, followed by team mate Eugene Laverty. 

As the on track action moved into the final stages, Melandri elevated himself to second ahead of fellow Italian Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), who also climbed up the timings in the late stages. The reigning Champion had an off track moment before regrouping to put in his session best, whilst on the other hand team mate Loris Baz suffered his third crash of the week, fortunately unhurt. The young Frenchman finished eighth behind Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike), who was seventh, Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), who dropped to sixth and Haslam's team mate Jonathan Rea, who eventually climbed to fifth in the final minutes. 

Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team) suffered a spectacular high side at turn 9 and was taken to the medical centre for precautionary checks. Race 1 winner last year Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) rounded out the top 10. World Superbike action will resume tomorrow morning for the third free practice session and the last chance for all riders to make it into the first Tissot-Superpole of the year.


Sykes on record pace as final WSBK test comes to an end

The official World Superbike test at Phillip Island concluded this afternoon with Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) fastest in the fourth and final session. The Irishman was not however the fastest overall as not of the top 15 riders did not improve during the last two hours on track. 

After combining all four sessions it was reigning Champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) who came out on top thanks to his super-fast lap set this morning (1'30.239, just 5 thousands shy of Checa's current outright circuit best lap). His test was not without incident as his ZX-10R suffered a technical problem at the very end of the final session approaching Turn 1. 

Laverty was classified second fractionally ahead of team mate and rookie sensation Alex Lowes. The 23 year old Lincolnshire born rider, who rode for the first time at Phillip Island only yesterday, dropped 1.1 seconds off his session 1 best, which was an already impressive lap time. Italians Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) and Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) were fourth and fifth respectively, just ahead of Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team), who suffered two crashes during the test. The Frenchman was uninjured in both occasions. 

WSBK combined test times: 

1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'30.239 average 177.329 kph; 
2. Laverty (Suzuki) 1'30.513; 
3. Lowes (Suzuki) 1'30.528; 
4. Melandri (Aprilia) 1'30.579; 
5. Giugliano (Ducati) 1'30.644; 
6. Baz (Kawasaki) 1'30.757; 
7. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'30.766; 
8. Haslam (Honda) 1'30.798; 
9. Rea (Honda) 1'30.813; 
10. Davies (Ducati) 1'31.087; 


ิhe Phillip Island tests conclude, while the WSBK Championship starts in five days time! 

Sunny conditions were the order of the day as the World Superbike riders back onto the Phillip Island Circuit for the second session of the day. After the morning's close results the times were even closer as eight of the top ten riders narrowed the gap to pacesetter Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) who, along with Kawasaki Racing Team's Loris Baz, failed to improve their lap times. 

The biggest step forward was made by Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team), reigning champ Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), who dropped 0.8s from his morning time to end the session 5th. Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Team) remained the fastest of the EVO competitors, also improving his time, whilst fellow EVO riders Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team) and Michel Fabrizio (Iron Brain Kawasaki SBK) both crashed.
The first round of the Championship is this weekend at Phillip Island