Aprilia Racing was the star player at Monza in the fourth World SBK round and finished the Italian weekend with its two standard bearers, Guintoli and Eugene Laverty, respectively in first and second place for the championship standings. Aprilia strengthens its hold on the Manufacturer World Championship lead (172 points) in front of BMW (144), Kawasaki (127), Honda (78), Suzuki (68) and Ducati (52).
In both races the four riders – Laverty, Guintoli, Melandri and Sykes – left the others behind, leap frogging in and out of the lead several times, battling down to the last turn for victory. In the first race, after a spectacular flying finish and after having led the race for a large portion of the time, the two Aprilia riders finished in third (Laverty) and fourth place (Guintoli) behind Melandri and Sykes.
The second, extremely fast race, which ended with an average speed of more than 201 kph, followed the same script with the quartet running away at the front. The Aprilia riders stayed in the lead: first Laverty for seven laps and then Guintoli in the next eight and then Laverty again, taking the lead in the last two laps to then defend down to the wire and win in front of Melandri, Sykes and Guintoli. This is a result that is enriched by the presence of all four RSV4s in the top six places (Fabrizio fifth, Giugliano sixth).
With this victory, the third of the season after the one in Phillip Island and the last round at Assen, Laverty is now lying in second place in the championship which is led by his team mate, Sylvain Guintoli. The French Aprilia Racing rider was a protagonist today, leading in both races. The double fourth place finishes are not a complete satisfaction for him, but they are important results for championship points.
Eugene Laverty: “This was a great day for me. After the podium in Race 1 it was nice to end the weekend with a victory. Especially since I was a bit disappointed because I had a shot at the top step of the podium in the first race as well if I had managed the end differently. We showed that we can be fast and consistent on two very different tracks like Assen and Monza. My RSV4 did extremely well for me. On this track the speed and balance of the bike in braking are essential. The points situation is excellent if you consider the double dnf in Aragon, but I’ve already left those difficulties behind and I count on doing well at the next round in Donington as well. Even though it will be an ‘almost’ home round, it has never been a particularly favourable track for me, but I think this year I’ve got everything in order to bridge this gap as well”.
Overall – WSBK round Monza/I
1. Marco Melandri BMW 45 points
2. Eugene Laverty Aprilia 41 points
3. Tom Sykes Kawasaki 36 points
4. Sylvain Guintoli Aprilia 26 points
5. Michel Fabrizio Aprilia 21 points
Standings WSBK Championship 2013 after 4 from 15 rounds
1. Sylvain Guintoli Aprilia 137 points
2. Eugene Laverty Aprilia 124 points
3. Tom Sykes Kawasaki 119 points
4. Marco Melandri BMW 96 points
5. Chaz Davies BMW 94 points
Text/Photo: PR Aprilia Racing