PHOTOGRAPHY BY GOLD & GOOSE
PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA, FEB. 23 – Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli repeated last year’s efforts with a race win at the World Superbike season opener at Phillip Island, only this year in a shortened race two. And with that win, Guintoli took the championship lead as well.
Although he missed the perfect weekend with the double win, Guintoli was happy with his results after such a difficult off season.
“All in all after the nightmare this winter with the double surgery on the shoulder, it feels really good to be back on the podium and to win the race,” Guintoli said.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki rider Eugene Laverty also repeated last year’s results with a win at Phillip Island. But unfortunately for Laverty, misfortune struck in race two in the form of a blown engine that ended the race at lap 15 with a red flag and put him sixth in the championship.
And while it was a bad way to end a great start of the day it didn’t dampen Laverty’s good spirits.
“We didn’t really expect that we could win the first race,” Laverty said. “So it’s been… 94 races since Suzuki won. And I did tell the guys that I wouldn’t let that record get to 100, but I didn’t expect to stop it just as soon.
“I still got a smile on my face, even though the day went up in a pool of smoke at the end. But I still got to keep smiling because winning the first race… if you told me that at the start of the weekend, than I would’ve taken that.”
Rounding out the podium was a pair of Kawasakis – Loris Baz and Tom Sykes – who had the front row view of Laverty’s engine blowing up in spectacular fashion finished second and third respectively.
Davide Giugliano once again brought his Ducati home in fourth. And behind Giugliano was Pata Honda’s Rea and Leon Haslam.
Giugliano’s teammate Chaz Davies improved his results in the second race to finish seventh. And Melandri came back from off-track excursion that put him 14th to finish eighth.
In ninth, was Toni Elias on the Red Devils Roma Aprilia. And once again, David Salom was the top finishing EVO bike in tenth place.
The lone Team Hero EBR rider Aaron Yates finished the race in 20th.
2014 World Superbike Phillip Island Race Two Results
1. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia)
2. Loris Baz (Kawasaki)
3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
4. Davide Giugliano (Ducati)
5. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
6. Leon Haslam (Honda)
7. Chaz Davies (Ducati)
8. Marco Melandri (Aprilia)
9. Toni Elias (Aprilia)
10. David Salom (Kawasaki)