Sylvain Guintoli took fifth and sixth place finishes in the two second-round World Superbike championship races at Buriram in Thailand after a dramatic day for the Pata Honda team.
The 32-year-old French rider had a lonely ride to his second successive fifth place after making a number of changes to his Pata Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP after this morning’s warm-up.
However, a technical issue on the sighting lap for race two at the 4.554km Chang International Circuit forced Guintoli to miss the formation lap and he had to start the race from the back of the grid. After a good start he was able to move through the field, eventually enjoying a thrilling battle with his team-mate Michael van der Mark.
Van der Mark, 22, had his own technical issues which forced his retirement from the first of today’s two 20-lap outings, but the Dutch rider enjoyed more success in race two.
The battle between him and Guintoli for sixth place came down to the final corner with van der Mark attempting a bold manoeuvre around the outside of his team-mate, which forced him outside the track boundaries. Race direction deducted one position dropping him back to seventh.
After the opening two flyaway rounds of the series, the Pata Honda team will now re-group at its Dutch workshop before heading for Spain and round three at Aragon Motorland on 10-12 April.
Sylvain Guintoli - 5th and 6thIn race one I did my best, of course, but we were just too far away from the pace of the front group. I did everything I could, but it turned out to be a bit of a lonely race for fifth. But race two was much more fun, even though we had a small technical problem which meant I had to start last. I had a great start and a great first two corners but then I got a bit over-excited and braked too late in turn five and lost three places. Finally I had a great battle with my team-mate which was more entertaining. Towards the end of the race I did my best lap time which was probably faster than my qualifying time, and that felt perfect, but it was difficult to be consistent. It’s only my second race on the bike and I’m still suffering from the neck injury in these dehydrating conditions. But we’ve now been to t wo different tracks with different characteristics and we can see that our pace is not as good as our rivals. So that gives us a base to work from and try to improve in key areas. Even though we’re not fighting for wins at the moment we’re still working to find solutions in the team and that will get the results we want.
Michael van der Mark - DNF and 7thIn race one we had a little technical problem which ended the race for us but unfortunately these things can happen. It was a shame though because at that point in the race I was going faster and faster. In race two I felt really good but the start was not so good. I also made some mistakes in the first couple of laps and ran wide at one point so I had to fight back again. At the end I had a good fight with Sylvain and felt I was faster than him but not fast enough to get away. So I decided to stay behind and try to pass him on the final lap. We had a nice and fair fight and even though I crossed the finish line first, they put me one place back because I went outside the track in trying to get past at the final corner. But I enjoyed raced two and I think we have a lot of positives to go back to Europe with for the next round.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinatorIt has not been an easy weekend for the team. We managed to improve Sylvain’s bike a lot after warm-up and he was able to get a lonely fifth which, considering the problems that we have had here in Thailand, was a respectable result. In race two he had to start from last position but he had a great start and fought up to sixth in the end. Michael had a DNF in race one but in race two he spent a long time behind Sylvain. They had a great battle to the finish which saw Michael running off the track a little bit and he was put back one position. But the guys had fun having that battle together. Although the weekend has been quite tough we have managed to close the gap to the competition and Sylvain is still fourth in the championship which we’ll take to Aragon and hopefully do a bit better there.
Race 1 Results
1 Jonathan Rea 31m33.852s GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team2 Leon Haslam +6.329s GBR APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils3 Tom Sykes +8.183s GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team4 Jordi Torres +8.513s ESP APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils5 Sylvain Guintoli +20.502s FRA HONDA Pata Honda World Superbike Team6 Matteo Baiocco +26.118s ITA DUCATI Althea Racing7 Alex Lowes +26.149s GBR SUZUKI Voltcom Crescent Suzuki8 David Salom +27.925s ESP KAWASAKI Team Pedercini9 Troy Bayliss +28.174s AUS DUCATI Aruba.it Racing-Ducati Superbike Team10 Leandro Mercado +32.610s ARG DUCATI BARNI Racing TeamRace 2 Results
1 Jonathan Rea 31m31.173s GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team2 Leon Haslam +4.946s GBR APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils3 Alex Lowes +8.701s GBR SUZUKI Voltcom Crescent Suzuki4 Jordi Torres +10.628s ESP APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils5 Tom Sykes +14.326s GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team6 Sylvain Guintoli +21.060s FRA HONDA Pata Honda World Superbike Team7 Michael van der Mark +21.246s NED HONDA Pata Honda World Superbike Team8 Matteo Baiocco +23.868s ITA DUCATI Althea Racing9 David Salom +25.744s ESP KAWASAKI Team Pedercini10 Leandro Mercado +29.692s ARG DUCATI BARNI Racing TeamChampionship Standings
1 Jonathan Rea 95 pts GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team2 Leon Haslam 85 pts GBR APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils3 Tom Sykes 50 pts GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team4 Sylvain Guintoli 41 pts FRA HONDA Pata Honda World Superbike Team5 Jordi Torres 39 pts ESP APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils6 Chaz Davies 38 pts GBR DUCATI Aruba.it Racing-Ducati Superbike Team7 Alex Lowes 32 pts GBR SUZUKI Voltcom Crescent Suzuki8 Matteo Baiocco 30 pts ITA DUCATI Althea Racing9 Nicolas Terol 26 pts ESP DUCATI Althea Racing10 Leandro Mercado 21 pts ARG DUCATI BARNI Racing Team11 Michael van der Mark 20 pts NED HONDA Pata Honda World Superbike Team