2014 Magny-Cours World Superbike Results
Spoiler Alert: 2014 World Superbike results from Magny-Cours in France listed below.
Heading into the penultimate round of the 2014 World Superbike Championship at Magny-Cours in France, only 31 points separated Kawasaki Racing’s Tom Sykes from Aprilia Racing’s Sylvain Guintoli.
Both riders were favorites ahead of Magny-Cours, Sykes due to his stellar performance at the 2.74-mile circuit containing 20 corners, the 29-year-old Brit doubling there last season.
Guintoli was also a favorite, considering this was a home race for the 32-year-old Aprilia RSV4 pilot, and he finished on the podium there in the last four races of the last two years, including a wet race-two in 2012 while with Ducati.
And when Sunday’s double-header finished under soaking-wet conditions, Sykes lead diminished from 31 points over Guintoli to just 12 with one round remaining.
Why? Guintoli displayed nothing but dominance on the RSV4, taking second behind his teammate Marco Melandri in race one, and taking the win in race two ahead of Melandri. This gave Aprilia 1-2 finishes in France.
Sykes, who earned his fifth Superpole of 2014 SBK, couldn’t make the podium, but finished fourth in both races. Taking the final podium positions were Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea in race one, and Rea’s teammate Leon Haslam in race two.
Regardless of finishing just off the podium, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R pilot Sykes garnered a total of 26 points to remain the points leader. He now has 378 points, 12 ahead of Guintoli and 66 ahead of Melandri.
With a total of 50 points available at the final round at Qatar November 2, Guintoli is the only rider that can possibly take the title from Sykes.
Following are the official race recaps from World SBK:
2014 Magny-Cours World Superbike Race 1 Recap:
Because of the weather the race distance was reduced to 19 laps and after a number of riders fell in the warm up session the opening laps were very tentative for several riders.
In the early laps it was Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) who led the way with the spray making it extremely difficult for the mid-field riders. Behind him Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) gave chase after passing Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) at the end of lap 1.
Guintoli was soon ahead of Rea and the Frenchman began to ease away, much to the delighted French crowd who were also braving the conditions.
By one third distance the Aprilia at the front was Guintoli was ahead of the chasing pack with now Marco Melandri playing shotgun to his team mate ahead of Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) who had also overhauled Sykes and Rea who began to lose touch with the leaders.
With 5 laps to go Melandri had closed to within a second and the Aprilia duo were left to fight it out for the win with the victory eventually going the way of Guintoli after it appeared that Aprilia team orders intervened.
Melandri was 2nd as Rea completed the podium with Sykes, Baz and Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) completing the top 6.
In the EVO category Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia) claimed a solid 10th position to close the gap on EVO points leader David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) who elected not to ride.
Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team), Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia), Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team), Xavi Fores (3C Racing Team), Alessandro Andreozzi (Team Pedercini) all crashed without injury with Giugliano and Laverty re-joining to finish 7th and 19th respectively.
2014 Magny-Cours World Superbike Race 2 Recap:
In similar conditions to the opening race of the day, Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) has won Race 2 at Magny-Cours.
Long time leader Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) crashed spectacularly on lap 11, before remounting only to retire to the pits.
That left the Aprilia pairing of Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri to dual it out for the victory with the Frenchman getting the better once again of his Italian team mate.
Leon Haslam rode superbly aboard his Honda overhauling reigning champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) in the closing stages to take his first podium since Misano 2012 and his first since joining the Pata Honda World Superbike team.
Behind the top four, Lorenzo Lanzi (3C Racing Ducati), and his team mate Max Neukirchner completed the top six.
In the EVO fight, top honours went to Niccolo Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati). Best classified EVO rider in race one Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia) crashed twice, the second signalling the end of his race. He was uninjured.
For Team Toth BMW it was a race for real celebration as both of their riders scored points in the same race for the first time in their short WSBK career.