Tom Sykes Wins Red Flagged WSBK in Germany

Larry Lawrence | September 1, 2013

Photography by Gold & Goose

NURBURG, Germany (Sept. 1, 2013) — In World Superbike race one at the Nurburgring, Marco Melandri was leading at the end, but a red flag reverted scoring back a lap and that gave Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes his sixth victory of the season and moved him to within a single point of the series leader Sylvain Guintoli. Melandri was credited with second and BMW teammate Chaz Davies third.

The race was stopped with two laps to go after massive crashes by Jonathan Rea and Leon Camier in oil left by the blown motor of Federico Sandi’s machine.

The race started with Melandri putting his factory BMW first into turn one. Davies’ BMW hit the rear end of Sykes’ Kawasaki in the tight turn one right hander, but both made it through the turn. In fact it was Sykes recovering quickly and taking the lead ahead of the BMW riders with Rea coming up in fourth.

Germany’s own Max Neukirchner was the first out of the race with mechanical ills on his Ducati.

Series contender Eugene Laverty was rapidly moving up through the field on his factory Aprilia before crashing on lap four.

Sykes pushed his lead to over six-tenths of a second by lap eight, but at about mid-way the BMW pair of Melandri and Davies, along with Rea, began chipping away at the leader. That set up what might have been an amazing final five laps, but for the red flag.

Melandri and Davies began swapping second as they closed on Sykes. With two to go Melandri out-braked Sykes going into turn one to take the lead for the first time since the very start. Davies moved up to challenge Sykes as well, but just then Rea, who was a close fourth, went sliding off the track at a high rate of speed, smashing into a barrier at tracks edge. Quickly following him on the tarmac and into the barriers was Leon Camier, who hit the oil in the same spot where Sandi’s motor had blown.

Corner Marshals were nearly hit by the cartwheeling bikes and the red flag was quickly thrown. That moved the scoring back a lap when Sykes was leading.

No word yet on the condition of Rea and Camier.

“It’s a good day so far,” Sykes said after the win. “OK, the red flag came out at a good time maybe. It would have been a fantastic last couple of laps I’m sure, but it is what it is. Finally a decision goes in our favor. The two BMW boys are certainly top-level riders and kept me very honest. It was shaping up to be a good couple laps to finish it, but I’m happy to take the 25 points. I struggled with the bike in one area. I think we know what it is and I’m sure we can put that to bed to rest too. We need to improve otherwise we’re going to have a big fight on our hands again.”

Nurburgring – FIM Superbike World Championship – Race 1
1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 32’38.184
2. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 32’38.453
3. Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 32’38.898
4. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 32’44.611
5. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 32’46.710
6. Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 32’51.418
7. Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 32’52.002
8. Jules Cluzel (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 32’56.910
9. Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale 32’59.233
10. Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale 33’00.958
11. Mark Aitchison (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 33’11.468
12. Matej Smrz (Yamaha Motor Deutschland) Yamaha YZF R1 33’26.513
13. Markus Reiterberger (Vanzon-Remeha-BMW) BMW S1000 RR 33’26.811
14. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Grillini Dentalmatic SBK) BMW S1000 RR 34’10.714
15. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 32’59.271
RT. Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 32’39.160
RT. Leon Camier (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 32’44.861
RT. Federico Sandi (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 33’18.214
RT. Max Neukirchner (MR-Racing) Ducati 1199 Panigale 25’41.089

Larry Lawrence | Archives Editor

In addition to writing our Archives section on a weekly basis, Lawrence is another who is capable of covering any event we throw his way.