Photography by Gold & Goose
Jonathan Rea turned in a brilliant ride in treacherous conditions at Silverstone in the first World Superbike leg Sunday. Rea took a resounding victory, his first of the season, over Eugene Laverty and Leon Camier making it an all UK podium. The race was delayed and shortened due to a persistent light drizzle.
It was a tough day for second-ranked Tom Sykes. He led early in the race, but dropped to 11th as the conditions worsened.
At the start of the race Laverty took the early lead from Rea and Loris Baz. Davide Giugliano pitted early with problems on his Althea Aprilia. He would later reenter the race laps down.
Sykes was on the move taking third on the second lap and then second on the next and then into the lead by lap four past Laverty at Stowe. The pack stayed well together in the early going.
The drizzle, which had been on and off, began to come down at a steadier rate on lap six as white warning flags flew at the corner stations. The light rain changed the face of the race. Baz came to the front and then Rea. Sykes was going backwards, not wanting to take too many risks considering the championship.
In the drizzle Rea began to pull away from the field. Baz held second and birthday boy Camier began slicing his way through to third.
The rain was light enough that none of the top runners decided to pit for rain tires. The drizzle decrease to nil by the closing laps, making the event a roller coaster ride with several riders moving up and down the field as the drizzle came and went.
Rea built up a safe lead he would hold to the finish. The big battle for second heated up on the final two laps with Camier and Laverty trading back and forth. Sylvain Guintoli, Baz and Jules Cluzel were all in that battle as well. In the end Laverty got the better of the former British Superbike champ.
It was a great day for Rea and for Honda, earning its first World Superbike win of the year.
Guintoli increased his series lead on Sykes from four points to 12 going into race two.
Silverstone - FIM Superbike World Championship - Race 1
1. Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 37'16.058
2. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 37'19.131
3. Leon Camier (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 37'19.538
4. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 37'19.666
5. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 37'20.198
6. Jules Cluzel (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 37'21.717
7. Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 37'22.501
8. Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 37'26.602
9. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 37'30.075
10. Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 37'30.225
11. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 37'30.238
12. Max Neukirchner (MR-Racing) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 37'42.594
13. Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 37'59.619
14. Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 38'02.431
15. Mark Aitchison (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 38'49.682
16. Federico Sandi (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 39'26.033
17. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Grillini Dentalmatic SBK) BMW S1000 RR 38'38.584
RT. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 26'04.504