Istanbul (Turkey), Sunday 15 September 2013 – The eleventh round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship reached its highest point today, as teams and riders geared up for what was an outstanding day of racing. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) made a clean sweep of the competition by winning both WSBK races and narrow the gap from Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) – third and second at the flag in the two races – to 26 points. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) and Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) got one podium finish each, but lost some ground in the title chase, which sees them now sitting 8 and 33 points short of the leader
The star of the day, though, was Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki), who sent the 51,652 spectators into raptures by edging Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) at the finish line, to win his WSS home race. Lowes, on the other hand, is just two points away – even considering the number of race wins – to win his first World Supersport title.
The eni FIM Superbike World Championship will resume at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in two-weeks time, while Supersport will be back on track – along with the two STK classes and EJC – early next month at Magny-Cours.
Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) stole the show today with an outstanding performance in Race 2 at the Intercity Istanbul Park, that led to his second double win of the career – after the one achieved in 2011 at Monza. The Irishman started his charge on early leader Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) and, after spending half of the race chasing the rival, he eventually closed the gap and overtook the factory Kawasaki Rider on Lap 12, at Turn 14. Laverty then proved he had the pace to stay in the lead… (read more)
Eugene Laverty: “My previous double-win was at Monza in 2011, but this one has a special meaning because it was totally unexpected. I am very happy as my bike was perfect, even better in the second race – despite the similar pace- as I could make the difference in the final stages. I'm back into contention for the title, but most of all I regained confidence and that gives me great hope for the next rounds."
Tom Sykes: “Two podiums today even though it was the first time for me here. We made two or three changes to the bike between races and I think everybody saw that our bike was working a bit better in the second one. We started that race quite strongly and I was able to lead again but some of our competitors were using the tyres a little bit better. Unfortunately I did not have the package at the end of the second race to fight back and try to win it. I believe that we can learn and improve from this weekend."
Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India) and Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) put up a superb fight today in the World Supersport race at the Intercity Istanbul Park. The two riders, who had been battling heat-to-head for the win in almost every round contested so far, managed to give the vocal and ecstatic Turkish crowd something to remember. In the end, after swapping positions for countless times, the home hero managed to score an historical win: Lowes tried everything he could to snatch victory over the finish line, eventually finishing behind his rival for just fourth hundreds of a second.
Based on today's results, Lowes is now ever-closer to his first World Supersport title, as he is leading the standings with 49 points over Sofuoglu, with just two races left in the season. Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport), who was up front in the early stages of the race, could not keep the pace of the front runners and finished third ahead of team mate Lorenzo Zanetti.
Roberto Rolfo (ParkinGO MV Agusta Corse) did an outstanding recovery from 14th place on the grid, eventually ending up fifth, followed by Roberto Tamburini (Team Lorini Honda), Kev Coghlan (DMC-Lorenzini Kawasaki) and David Salom (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki). Rolfo's team mate Christian Iddon had to pull out the final stages due to a technical problem, after spending most of the race in the top-5.