WSBK 2013: Jerez Race Report

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Eugene Laverty did everything he could, scoring a pair of race wins but it was not enough as Tom Sykes rode smartly and conservatively at the season finale in Spain, securing his first ever World Superbike Championship.

Sykes landed in Jerez with a 37-point lead over Laverty and a 38-point lead over Sylvain Guintoli. While Laverty battled Marco Melandri to win Race One, Sykes coasted comfortably in third for most of the race to score 16 points, enough to clinch the title.

That also gave Kawasaki its first WSBK championship since Scott Russell did the trick in 1993. Sykes finished the year with nine wins and 18 podiums, and set a new record with eight pole positions.

Laverty’s two wins also gave him nine on the year, but he failed to score points in five races compared to just three for Sykes. Nevertheless, Laverty’s efforts, along with those of teammate Guintoli, helped contribute to Aprilia capturing the manufacturer’s title.

Race One Highlights

Laverty took the holeshot from pole position to grab the early lead in Race One with Sykes, starting in the two-spot, behind him and BMW‘s Melandri next in third. Sykes soon after wisely allowed Melandri through, knowing he only needed to finish fourth or higher to claim the title.

Melandri tracked Laverty for most of the 21-lap race before finally passing through on the second-last lap. Laverty was able to regain the lead on the final lap, holding on to win by 0.218 seconds.

Sykes coasted comfortably to finish third and capture the title, 2.7 seconds ahead of Guintoli.

2013 WSBK: Jerez Race One Top Five Results

1Eugene LavertyAprilia RSV4 Factory
2Marco MelandriBMW S1000RR+0.218
3Tom SykesKawasaki ZX-10R+6.681
4Sylvain GuintoliAprilia RSV4 Factory+9.327
5Toni EliasAprilia RSV4 Factory+20.446

Race Two Highlights

After securing the title in Race One, few would have blamed Sykes for resting on his laurels. Instead, the newly-crowned 2014 WSBK Champion jumped out in front in Race Two, leading the first 13 laps before Guintoli moved into the lead.

Only then did Sykes ease up, finishing second behnd Guintoli by 2.711 seconds. Guintoli, who led the championship race for much of the first half of the season, finished third to complete the podium.

In other notable news, Melandri sat out the second race to rest an injured ankle. That left his teammate Chaz Davies and Sylvain Barrier on the S1000RR for BMW’s last race before exiting the WSBK series. Davies finished a credible fifth place and Barrier, who was being rewarded with a WSBK ride at Jerez for winning the 2013 Superstock Championship, finished 13th.

2013 WSBK: Jerez Race Two Top Five Results

1Eugene LavertyAprilia RSV4 Factory
2Tom SykesKawasaki ZX-10R+2.711
3Sylvain GuintoliAprilia RSV4 Factory+5.710
4Toni EliasAprilia RSV4 Factory+15.509
5Chaz DaviesBMW S1000RR+21.830

“Words cannot describe how I feel. I am very level headed but since Magny-Cours there are moments where my mind started dreaming,” Sykes said after Race Two. “When I was dreaming I had goose bumps and it was magical to even dream I could be world champion. But that was maybe 2% of what I am feeling now after winning the title. It was good for the championship that it got decided at the final round again, especially here with these great fans. My team is mostly Spanish so it is a home round for them. The championship win has not fully sunk in yet but it will do soon, I’m sure.”

2013 WSBK Championship Final Top Five Standings

1Tom SykesKawasaki Racing447
2Eugene LavertyAprilia Racing424
3Sylvain GuintoliAprilia Racing402
4Marco MelandriBMW Motorrad Goldbet359
5Chaz DaviesBMW Motorrad Goldbet290
6Davide GiuglianoAlthea Aprilia211
7Michel FabrizioRed Devils Roma Aprilia188
8Loris BazKawasaki Racing180
9Jonathan ReaPata Honda176
10Jules CluzelFIXI Crescent Suzuki175

[Source: WSBK]

Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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