Photography By: Gold & Goose
Team Effenbert - Liberty Ducati's Sylvain Guintoli won his first ever World Superbike race with a measured ride in a shortened wet first race at the Circuit van Drenthe in Assen, Holland.
The first attempt to run the race began in the dry, but was stopped when a number of riders crashed in the rain. The second race was gridded from the first leg finishing order with the nine-lap shortened second segment determining the official results.
Second at the stoppage, Guintoli fell to eighth by the end of first lap of the re-start before mounting a comeback. With two laps to go, he inherited the lead when Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia) crashed his motorcycle. Guintoli then raced to his first WSB win by 2.633 secs. over Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati). Giugliano passed teammate and reigning world champion Carlos Checa in the final chicane to take second, Checa was third.
Checa increased his championship lead over Aprilia's Max Biaggi to seven, 91 to 84. Biaggi finished fourth with teammate Eugene Laverty fifth.
Crescent Fixi Suzuki's John Hopkins was among a number of riders who didn't make the end of the race. Hopkins crashed on the second lap of the restart after finishing the first 13-lap leg in ninth. Teammate Leon Camier high-sided on the warm-up lap of the restart. Honda's Jonathan Rea crashed out of second place on the first lap of the restart and, a lap later, BMW Motorrad's Leon Haslam also crashed. A lap later the conditions claimed ParkinGO MTC Racing Aprilia's Chaz Davies. In the earlier 13-lap leg, pole-sitter Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) was leading when a water hose broke on lap 11, forcing his retirement. BMW Motorrad's Marco Melandri, Jakub Smrz, and a number of other riders fell in the same spot, which brought out the red flag on the 14th lap.
World Superbike Race One Results:
1. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati)
2. Davide Giugliano (Ducati)
3. Carlos Checa (Ducati)
4. Max Biaggi (Aprilia)
5. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia)
6. Michel Fabrizio (BMW)
7. Jakub Smrz (Ducati)
8. Niccolò Canepa (Ducati)
9. Marco Melandri (BMW)
10. Leandro Mercado (Kawasaki)
DNF John Hopkins