Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes closed within 14.5 points of championship leader Max Biaggi after taking third position in damp, tricky conditions at Magny Cours.
Factory Aprilia rider Biaggi crashed at the end of the long back straight, uninjured on lap two. BMW’s Marco Melandri finished second in the dramatic wet race and is still very much in the title fight, only 18.5 points behind arch rival Biaggi and only four points behind the British Kawasaki rider, Sykes.
Sylvan Guintoli took the victory in front of his home crowd, his second win of the year on the PATA Racing Ducati and his third in total.
He said: “I was really steady at the start of the race, but lap by lap I picked up my rhythm. I got into the lead and no one could follow. I’m delighted to win this race for me, for my Pata team and for all the crowd here in France.”
Jonathan Rea dramatically crashed out whilst leading but managed to limp back to the pits, and re- join after missing five laps, still scoring valuable points finishing 13th. Rea said “The team produced an amazing bike, but the rear just came round, I just wasn’t expecting it; it broke away so quickly.”
BMW’s Leon Haslam battled to fifth position, while Eugene Laverty struggled with a lack of rear grip in seventh. Eugene said “I was just trying to stop it spinning, having to stand it up and take strange lines looking for grip”.
Leon Camier had a monumental high-side in turn one, crashing out of sixth position, luckily he managed to walk away with help from the marshals. Chaz Davis unfortunate weekend continued when he crashed his ParkinGO Aprilia on lap two.
Magny-Cours - FIM Superbike World Championship - Race 1
1. Sylvain Guintoli (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 44'06.299
2. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 44'12.426
3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 44'22.894
4. Maxime Berger (Red Devils Roma) Ducati 1098R 44'28.156
5. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 44'31.448
6. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 44'39.077
7. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 44'40.610
8. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 44'53.568
9. Claudio Corti (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 44'56.019
10. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 44'56.491
11. Norino Brignola (Grillini Progea Superbike Team) BMW S1000 RR 44'07.829
12. Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 44'30.357
13. Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 45'54.249
RT. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 17'30.576
RT. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 13'28.550
RT. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 24'38.833
RT. Lorenzo Zanetti (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 9'56.432
RT. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 3'53.814
RT. Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 2'00.448