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Sylvain Guintoli took his Pata Yamaha Official #worldsbk YZF-R1 to sixth position in the first MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship battle at Circuito de Jerez this afternoon. #alexlowes also looked to be on for a strong race after an impressive Superpole performance saw him starting from fourth but a fall at turn five cut the potential short.
Starting from the midst of the hunting pack, in ninth, Guintoli maintained his grid position as the opening laps unfolded before advancing to seventh on lap three. With temperatures matching Friday's highs, the surface grip remained tenuous but the Frenchman continued to hold a consistent pace despite the tricky track conditions. Pushing forward and increasing his stride as the race progressed, he took a further position on lap 12 to cross the line sixth, for 10 championship points.
An inspiring morning saw Lowes narrowly miss out on a front-row start in the final Superpole qualifier, missing the mark by just 0.003 seconds to head row two with an impressive lap of 1'39.980 as the top 11 all set times below the circuit's previous best record. Confidence high, the British rider stormed from the lights to take third into the opening corner, battling for the position for the ensuing laps. Having lost and regained the place on a number of occasions he unfortunately found the limit of the tyres at turn five of lap three, retiring his YZF-R1 from the race early.
Pata Yamaha Official #worldsbk Team returns to Circuit de Jerez at 13:00 local time tomorrow as Guintoli and Lowes prepare for 2016's final #worldsbk race on European soil.
Sylvain Guintoli Profile Sylvain Guintoli
Race: 6th / +17.834 / 20 laps. Championship: 12th / 101 points
"A solid race and a solid pace, especially in the second part today, catching up with the guys in front. At the start of the race I felt I was struggling quite a lot with front grip but in the second half I managed to keep my lap times quite consistent. We are still working on the geometry of the YZF-R1 to help improve the initial race performance, but it was a solid result for us and we will try to improve the feeling for tomorrow."
Alex Lowes Profile Alex Lowes
Race: DNF. Championship: 11th / 107 points
"We've actually worked well all weekend, were strong in qualifying with a good lap and got a great start to today's race. I tried to stay with the front group and enjoyed the battle with Chaz at the beginning before the crash on lap three. We know the work we have to do tonight so we will just try to do better for tomorrow!"
Paul Denning Profile Paul Denning Team Principal
"Despite Alex's misfortune it's still been a positive Saturday here in Jerez. Qualifying, as expected, was extremely close between second and 12th place and for Alex to make a 39.9 on the YZF-R1, only three thousandths off the front row, was a confidence boosting lap time. Alex's crash early in the race is obviously very disappointing, and he feels that disappointment more than any of us, but there were still some positives to take from the day and from the weekend so far, and with his crew he'll regroup to try to achieve the best results possible tomorrow.
"Sylvain also rode a good qualifying but was just at the wrong end of the queue and this compromised the final result a little. Sixth position and catching the two competitors in front throughout the second half of the race is again a positive sign which we will look to build on for tomorrow."
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