Sepang Superbike Statements and Analysis
The sixth round of the World SBK 2014 took place yesterday in Sepang, Malaysia. To complete our live reports, here are the statements of the Superbike riders as well as the Site analysis of the two Malaysian races.
Statements from Superbike riders in Malaysia
Site readers – who, as everyone knows, are a little more fortunate than the others – were already able to experience yesterday, almost live, the unfolding of the Mondial Superbike and Supersport races on the Sepang circuit (for latecomers, read, then).
Here are the statements of the pilots who distinguished themselves on Sunday … Honors to the double winner !
Marco Melandri, 1st (x 2):
"A double win was exactly what we needed! Despite the difficulties, we never gave up. We continued to work and fight. From the start here I had a good feeling with my RSV4. The conditions in the first run were difficult but I managed to catch up with Sylvain. After doubling it, I printed my own pace. I knew I could defend myself well on the brakes and I was able to manage the race until the end"
"The second race was even more difficult because I had to fight with the Kawasaki before joining Sylvain. I had planned to try my luck on the last lap. I had to give 100% to the checkered flag. Anyway, all the drivers deserve admiration today because driving in these conditions is not easy at all. I want to dedicate this victory to Manu, his belly and all the guys on the team. We meet in Misano !"
Sylvain Guintoli, 2nd (x 2):
"I thought I had my strategy right in the first run, but unfortunately towards the end Marco managed to ride really hard and made me make some mistakes. I think I did better in the second run, trying to unpin right away, but at the end of the race Marco was just faster. I tried to fight and I think we gave those watching us some fun on the last lap! We have gained some important points in the championship and shown that Aprilia is back at the forefront thanks to this great day. We can rest now after this really tiring weekend".
Eugene Laverty, 3rd then 7th:
"It was fantastic to get back on the podium in the first race. It’s a great reward for the guys who already deserved it at Donington but missed it on my fault in the first heat. So we’re back where we need to be in my opinion. The second race, with its shortened distance, was not suitable for my Suzuki because we were better on worn tires. It’s been a positive weekend overall and it’s nice to finally be back in the Top 3 for the first time since Phillip Island".
Tom Sykes, fall then 3rd:
"We got a podium and we are still leading the championship, which is very important. We made a modification on the machine after the Superpole and during the warm-up I was very satisfied with the Ninja ZX-10R. I did some very good lap times before the race. I felt very confident. We had a gap to fill on the Aprilias all weekend but during the warm-up I felt we could challenge them".
"I was a little handicapped during the second race which created a bit of instability for the bike as I was not able to use my right hand to its full potential. It was hard to see the two front guys disappear because if I had been in good shape I think we could have tried to annoy them. My team manager had a good conversation with me before the second race, and he told me that we had to try to do the best we could. Third place was just the best we could do in this race.".
Chaz Davies, 4th then 8th:
"The races today were as difficult as expected in fact. The main problem was a lack of grip on the angle, but that resulted in other small things, like the electronics for example which is not as smooth when the level of grip is so low. It felt pretty similar in both races, maybe a little better in the second run after making a few changes, but first we need to sort out our side grip issue to be able to get out of the corners better. I was quite happy with the result of the first race. In the end, I feel like I did my best here. We will continue to work".
Toni Elias, 5th then 4th:
Loris Baz, fall then 5th:
"I got off to a good start in the first run and Alex Lowes came inside in the first corner, we were riding side by side. I just wanted to pass him into the second corner. Tom braked really hard to make sure I didn’t hit anyone in front of him and I had to brake really hard too. That’s how I lost the front end and my bike won, him and Alex. It’s a shame for the team, but there was nothing I could do. For me I fell alone, then my motorbike pulled someone out and unfortunately it was Tom".
"In the second heat, I did my best to follow the top three riders but we lacked grip coming out of the corners, especially in the slow. But here it is worse than on most of the other tracks, because the straights after these turns are really long. I lost time in all the straights but I was picking up on the other sections. I made a small change after the red flags, but there was nothing more I could do. Maybe I could have finished fourth, but I lost the back on the last lap and Toni Elias passed me on the straight, and it was over. It wasn’t the best weekend, but everything will be fine in Misano".
Jonathan Rea, 6th (x 2):
"This weekend has been very difficult and we are not where we want to be. But we made some progress at the right times, especially for the second race in the furnace, where I managed to turn at a much better pace than I had done all weekend. It seems, however, that our engine brake management system is too sensitive to different conditions and different circuits, which is frustrating because when I had grip at the start I had no problem getting into corners, so that at the end of the race with less grip, I had a lot of jolts from the rear. But I really enjoyed riding this circuit, even though we didn’t use the full potential of CBR this weekend. I can’t wait to go to Misano because it’s a circuit that I love".
David Salom, 9th then 13th:
"It was great to win in the first race (in Evo category, Editor’s note), but it was also very hard. The weather conditions were very difficult, but we got the victory we were aiming for thanks to our hard work this weekend and throughout the season. We are increasing our points capital in the championship. Even though I got beaten in the second race because of my really bad start, we are starting from here with a good lead in the championship. It was impossible to stay with Leon Camier, but I fought with the other Evo riders and beat them under the flag".
Leon Camier, 10th then 12th:
"We decided to make big changes for the second race on the bike and it was transformed. My technicians deserve a big thank you. In the second heat, I was able to keep the drivers in front visually, even though they were obviously faster. I tried to keep a high pace and was able to outrun the other drivers in the EVO category. I’m very happy because in all honesty I didn’t expect to win the second race, or even get the second place in the first race. So I am very satisfied with what we did today and how well my bike works.".
Jeremy Guarnoni, 11th then 14th:
"Great first round at the gates of the Top 10, 11th and 3rd Evo despite a problem with a boot that opened under my foot in the third round! Second round even more successful than the first: 14th overall and once again 3rd Evo. I was 2nd the whole race and I couldn’t resist Salom on the penultimate lap … But on the second start, following the red flag, I stayed on worn tires because the team did not had time to change them during the short break. I remain super happy despite the bitterness to see that with new tires I could have fought for the first place Evo…"
And now for our MNC analysis of the World Superbike in Sepang !
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