MNC Analysis of World Superbike Malaysia
Beyond the points distributed, each race weekend brings its share of remarkable feats and poor performances, good and bad surprises. In its analysis, Site reviews the highlights of the WSBK in Sepang.
Memorable firsts in the second round
The World Superbike event in Sepang was scheduled earlier this year, in May instead of August in 2015. But it would probably have had to be brought forward a little further because the risk of being disturbed by the monsoon d summer is still high during this period … And it did not fail: Sunday in particular, the Supersport race had to be postponed !
The Superbike race was able to start on time: the water eventually evacuated and the visibility, although poor at the very start of the race, improved as the laps progressed. . Under these conditions, the second knives were naturally out.
As in Supersport where the favorites remained on the defensive (read it), the Superbike "challengers" gave it their all. And before congratulating Nicky Hayden and Davide Giugliano as it should be, let’s salute the performance of Anthony West, replacing Sylvain Barrier on this uneasy event….
The Australian rider has traveled quite a bit in sixteen years of international competition and has known both glory (winner of the Assen Moto2 Grand Prix in 2014 and the same GP in the 250 cc class eleven years earlier!) As well as dishonor. ().
After a promising start in "two-and-a-half" (6th in the championship in 2000, 7th in 2003), West’s career never really took off. In 2007, however, three fabulous freelancing in World Supersport to replace Kevin Curtain, opened the doors of the Kawasaki team in MotoGP to him….
Coming third, behind the cadors Sofuoglu and Foret, during his second race in WSSP (), "Ant" had chained two memorable victories (33 seconds ahead of the second in the rain, hey, hey!) Then to .
This weekend, West replaced at short notice our dear "Syl’20" (out of the race since the Aragon event) and participated for the very first time in a World Superbike event. Qualified for SP2 and then a remarkable 11th place on the grid, Anthony managed to make the Top 10 a few hours later in the first round.
But it was on Sunday’s soggy track that Mister We (s) t really stood out. Nicknamed "Rain Man" because of his ability to master water – and not because he knows how to count cards at the casino … -, the n ° 13 seized his chance in the second round.
The performance is all the more striking given that all of the test sessions took place in the dry. Even more than his new little comrades, Anthony plunged Sunday noon into the unknown … and came out with a brilliant 5th place (best result of the Kawasaki Pedercini team, by the way).
Other drivers sank during the second Malay race: like Tom Sykes, Alex Lowes was bright on Saturday during his first race at Sepang, much less glossy on Sunday. The n ° 22 qualified in second position on the grid and recorded his best result in the first round (5th).
Sunday in "Wet" conditions, the 2013 English champion was stopped short while reproducing his formidable comeback from the day before on the "Dry". Victim of a nasty fall, Alex left Malaysia with a disappointing DNF (Did Not Finish) and a contagious broken left collarbone…
The curse of the "Blues" – whether they come from France or whether they ride for Yamaha – therefore fell again this weekend: Alex Lowes, who was driving this weekend without his teammate Sylvain Guintoli, is not sure to take part in his national event scheduled in two weeks…
For his part, Markus Reiterberger left physically unscathed from his first visit to the Sepang international circuit. But the 2015 German Superbike champion was mentally touched: how could his S1000RR let him down as he fought for fourth place on the dry Saturday (place reclaimed by his teammate Jordi Torres) ?
Cowardly abandoned by the electronics of his BMW – with a Magneti Marelli power plant, like everyone else – "Reiti" was forced to give up just four laps from the end … The next day in the wet, n ° 21 of the BMW Althea team has not managed to keep pace with the best, nor even that of the "less good".
We have to admit that unless their name is West, the rookies didn’t have much of a chance to shine on Sunday given their lack of wet driving, and their lack of “straight” driving. Conversely, the – three – drivers still in contention for the title had an interest in limiting risk taking in order to maximize the number of points scored (16 for Rea, 13 for Davies and 8 for Sykes).
Finally, the "outsiders" were certainly the best placed to play for the win! Among them were naturally Michael van den Mark, Leon Camier, Alex Lowes and Xavi Fores. But these are two other numbers that stood out…
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