Final eni Superbike World Championship podium of 2013 features new Champ Tom Sykes, double victor Eugene Laverty and third place finisher Sylvain Guintoli Final eni Superbike World Championship podium of 2013 features new Champ Tom Sykes, double victor Eugene Laverty and third place finisher Sylvain Guintoli Colin Fraser for Inside Motorcycles

Laverty Completes SBK Double over Champ Sykes in Spain

Written by  on Sunday, 20 October 2013 11:51

Eugene Laverty finished his career with Aprilia racing in style, earning victory in the second race of the 14th and final round of the 2013 eni Superbike World Championship at Jerez, Spain.

Earlier in the day, Laverty scored a wild win in the opener, but couldn’t do enough to prevent England’s Tom Sykes from taking the 2013 World Championship for Kawasaki.  In the second race, Sykes and Laverty pulled away from the pack, setting the pace as they have done during the second half of the SBK season. 

Laverty’s success helped propel Aprilia to the World Manufacturer’s Crown, their 52nd World title.

Laverty lead from the start, but Sykes was soon in front, setting the pace for the first 13 laps.  But Laverty was close behind and made a pass on the 14th lap, eventually pulling away to win by 2.7 seconds from runner-up Sykes.  Fastest lap for the race went to Sykes.

“Well, that’s something,” said Laverty when the announcer told him at the podium presentations that the Irishman was the most successful racer of the 2013 season with nine wins from a possible 28.

“These last nine races of the year, I’ve been on the podium every time,” continued Laverty. “We just had that bad run mid-season.  It’s nice to bounce back here and win two very different races; we had a little more grip than Tom by the time we got to about two thirds distance, so off I went.”

Laverty will not ride for Aprilia in 2014, and has yet to confirm his plans for the upcoming racing season.

Sykes showed he would not take it easy after clinching the Championship in race one, setting a solid pace in the early going of race two with the works ZX-10R Ninja.  However once Laverty worked past, he didn’t put up much opposition.

“Eugene and his bike had some advantage over us at full lean angle as the race progressed,” confirmed Sykes.  “We made a couple of changes between races, and we improved our package.  It was a great way to end the season, put a little cherry on top of the World Championship.”

“I’m still over the moon for Kawasaki and our whole team,” continued the new SBK World Champ.  “We did all the hard work at the last round in France, so that helped with things during the weekend here. Now I’m happy and motivated going into the off season and our preparation for the 2014 Championship.”

As promised, Sykes shaved off his bushy beard following the second race, to celebrate his first World Championship. As far as the future, Sykes explained that “we’ll take tomorrow off, and then we start testing for 2014!  I’m also looking forward to the birth of our first child in November; there's lots to look forward to.”

Second works Aprilia RSV4 Factory rider Sylvain Guintoli was third overall, five seconds behind Sykes and struggling with a minor technical issue.  Next up was Toni Elias on the Red Devils Roma Aprilia, riding to a lonely race to fourth place, fifteen seconds back of “Guinters.”

Chaz Davies worked his way up to a strong fifth from the back of the grid on the BMW Motorrad GoldBet S1000RR, in the final outing for the works German squad now that they are withdrawing full factory support. 

Davies’ team-mate Marco Melandri, a near winner in the opening race, had an undisclosed medical issue involving an existing problem with his foot and did not start race two.  Melandri will move to Aprilia in place of Laverty in 2014, a move that has confused many in the SBK paddock.

Fixi Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier netted sixth, clear of a good fight for seventh.  Part-time series racer Lorenzo Lanzi, on a generation old privateer Mesaroli Transports Ducati 1098 Desmo, wound up seventh ahead of the second works Suzuki of Jules Cluzel in eighth.

Team Pedercini Kawasaki’s Mark Aitchison continued his strong outing in the return of the SBK series to Jerez, working his way up to ninth overall.  Front row started Davide Giugliano, a pace setter for much of the weekend with the Althea Aprilia, faded back to place an eventual tenth overall.   

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Last modified on Sunday, 20 October 2013 12:05
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Colin Fraser

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