2013 Phillip island World SBK ReportSpoiler Alert: 2013 World Superbike Championship results from Phillip Island, Australia, listed belowThe 2013 World Superbike Championship began this weekend with the first of 15 rounds at the scenic Phillip Island circuit in Australia.And though the retired Max Biaggi wasn’t at the controls of the factory Aprilia Racing RSV4, the V4 took the top podium spots in both races.In race one, the newly-signed Sylvain Guinotli took the win, and was joined on the podium by teammate Eugene Laverty and Red Devils Roma Aprilia’s Michel Fabrizio.In race two, Laverty took the win, the Northern Irishman joined on the podium by Guintoli and BMW GoldBet’s Marco Melandri.Phillip Island World Superbike Race 1 Report:Aprilia gets 1-2-3 at Phillip Island World Superbike Race 1. It’s the second time that the manufacturer from Noale monopolies the podium (first one was at Nurburgring last year) with works rider Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team RSV4) taking his 4th win of the career in his first race onboard the RSV4, ahead of team mate Eugene Laverty.The race started with Eugene Laverty moving off well from second position, trying to run away from his opponents. The Irishman was able to keep the gap between himself and the rest of the field until he was caught up by Guintoli, who overtook Laverty on lap 15 and led the race until the checkered flag.Later in the race Laverty had to deal with a confident Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma Aprilia RSV4), who closed the gap and had a shot at 2nd place. Laverty waited until the last lap to make the perfect move on the Italian at “Lukey Heights.”Right outside of top-3 is Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team S1000RR) who battled hard with fellow Englishman Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing TeamZX-10R) up to the finish line, to end up ahead of his rival for just 0.051 seconds, with teammate Loris Baz to follow.After a competitive first part of the race, Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike CBR1000RR) struggled a bit to keep the pace and eventually finished seventh ahead of team mate Jonathan Rea. Two potential contenders for the podium positions got out of the race during lap 13, as pole-man Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare 1199 Panigale R), accidentally hit Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team S1000RR) from behind after out braking himself, while entering Turn 4.Phillip Island World Superbike Race 2 Report:A formidable last part of the race allowed Laverty to get the better of teammate Guintoli and Melandri to win race 2 at Phillip Island. Thanks to this successful effort in the first Round, Laverty is now the eni FIM Superbike World Championship leader, tied up in points with Race 1 winner Guintoli.The 26-year old from Toomebridge, Northern Ireland, started his final charge on the lead on lap 20 by overtaking Melandri at Turn 4 and setting an incredible 1’31.168 (new lap record). Laverty then got past Guintoli on the straight and held onto 1st place up to the checkered flag.Melandri was part of the battle for top-3 positions but couldn’t counter attack his former team mate’s move on lap 20. After bad luck in Race 1, the Ravenna-born rider ended up the first round on a positive note. Fabrizio, after a long catch up with the front runners, made a small mistake and ran wide during the last lap, in a desperate attempt to overtake fellow Italian Melandri for 3rd position.Sykes, far from the ideal fitness condition, finished 5th ahead of Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia), Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) and Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike).Following riders Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) and Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) lost a lot of ground on lap 1 after running out wide at MG Corner, following a collision between Welshman Davies and Baz). Davies was able to get the bike upright and to make it to the pits for a tyre change, but was later penalized with a ride-through by Race Direction for not observing the 2013 pit-stop regulation.Checa did not take part to Race 2 to undergo some medical checks at Melbourne, following the nasty-looking crash of the previous race.2013 Phillip Island World Superbike Results:Race 1: 1. Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) Aprilia 2. Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aprilia 3. Michel Fabrizio (ITA) Aprilia 4. Chaz Davies (GBR) BMW 5. Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki 6. Loris Baz (FRA) Kawasaki 7. Leon Haslam (GBR) Honda 8. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Honda 9. Leon Camier (GBR) Suzuki 10. Max Neukirchner (GER) DucatiRace 2: 1. Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aprilia 2. Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) Aprilia 3. Marco Melandri (ITA) BMW 4. Michel Fabrizio (ITA) Aprilia 5. Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki 6. Davide Guigliano (ITA) Aprilia 7. Jules Cluzel (FRA) Suzuki 8. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Pata Honda 9. Leon Camier (GBR) Suzuki 10. Leon Haslam (GBR) Pata Honda2013 World Superbike Point Standings (after one of 15 rounds): 1. Laverty, 45 2. Guintoli, 45. 3. Fabrizio, 29 4. Sykes, 22 5. Melandri, 16 6. Rea, 16 7. Haslam, 15 8. Jules Cluzel, 14 9. Leon Camier, 14 10. Chaz Davies, 13
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.