Aprilia Tuono 1000 R


Laverty took the lead on lap 17.

Pre-race talk was all about Alex Lowes. New to WSB as well as the Suzuki, the BSB champion was on fire in practice and pre-season testing before popping his ankle in a crash. That said, fifth spot on the grid was still impressive for the youngster. Pole was set by semi-Brit Sylvain Guintoli (he’s fast, can we claim the Frenchman?) and the Aprilia once again looked the bike to beat.

The Kawasaki looked fast too, although a crash in qualifying saw champion Sykes unusually down the grid. And while we are on the grid, wasn’t it nice to see a Buell out there? What a shame the Bimota didn’t also make the grid, the Italian firm has a bit of form when it comes to racing in Australia.

Race one and with Guintoli setting the pace, the real action was down the field as Davies on the Ducati and Laverty on the Suzuki were busy demonstrating that despite what last year suggested, both machines could be competitive with a fired up Brit on board. Unfortunately, one Brit was too fired up and Lowes hit the deck on lap four, shortly followed by Haslam a few laps later.

and held on for victory

At the front it was a three horse race with Aprilia mounted Guintoli and Melandri and Italian mentalist Giugliano on the Ducati while the remaining Brits fought for fourth a distance behind. Not that it stayed that way long.

By mid race, Laverty had caught the leaders and was looking fast in third spot and even more impressive when he went around the outside of Giugliano to take second. Was a long overdue win for Suzuki on the cards? It may not be as fast as the rocketship Aprilia, but the GSX-R 1000 was looking good in the bends and on lap 17 Laverty took the lead and quickly gapped the chasing pack.

Could he hold on for the win? Yes he could. An amazing result saw Laverty take the win from Melandri and Guintoli. When was the last time Suzuki took a WSB win?

Race two and after a bit of elbow bashing, Guintoli and Baz built up a small lead but this time the chasing pack was a lot closer. With Laverty taking the lead on lap eight, could the Suzuki rider do another disappearing act? Not with Baz and Guintoli for company or the Suzuki’s motor.

Aprilia Tuono 1000 R

Six laps to go and Laverty’s Suzuki gave out in a big way, much to the dismay of the men in blue and white.

Cluzel took a win for MV in the WSS race

Bad news for Laverty (who has now lost one of his eight engines for the season) but good news for Guintoli who took the red flagged race win with Baz behind and Sykes third.

The Brits in Supersport are Kev Coghlan, Graeme Gowland, Jack Kennedy and Frazer Rogers. Having been beaten by Lowes last year, Kenan Sofuoglu must be devastated to see another fast Brit willing to stick it to him. After a red flag due to Kennedy’s bike going bang, the WSS race was reduced to a five lap dash.

With Sofuoglu and Van der Mark crashing out on lap one, there was a suspicion of oil on the track, not that it slowed the rest of the riders down.

A mad dash saw Cluzel win on the MV (the company’s first win in 38 years) and an amazing second spot for Coghlan. Great result. Gowland was seventh and Rogers 15th.

Aprilia Tuono 1000 R
Aprilia Tuono 1000 R
Aprilia Tuono 1000 R
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