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.
Analysis of the World Superbike in Sepang
Since his arrival in the official Aprilia team this winter (read), Marco Melandri has repeatedly said that he did not feel his new mount, that he needed again – and again! – adapt your driving style to the RSV4 … and vice versa !
Saturday, despite the fact that he knows the Sepang track on the tip of his gloves for having completed an inestimable number of laps on the handlebars of MotoGP prototypes – during the Grand Prix but also many winter tests -, the famous n ° 33 only qualified in the middle of the second row of the starting grid, behind Toni Elias and his private Aprilia…
The next day, however, Melandri recovered sharply and was second on the timesheet in the morning warm-up, two tenths behind Ninja Tom Sykes. However, the gradual rise in temperature (over 40 ° C in the air and up to 60 ° C on the track!) Has in no way hampered the beautiful Italian mechanics..
Marco was the only driver to drop below 2 ’05 in both races on Sunday. Having started carefully each time, he gradually gained strength – as he knows so well, when he is confident! – and signed his first two victories on Noale’s Superbike.
The Italian champion – of the Grand Prix 250 in 2002, on Aprilia already – therefore pockets 50 points which allow him to start, belatedly it is true, in the race for the 2014 title. But the Ravenna Hedgehog, king of the Malay jungle , will he have the constancy necessary to accede to the world throne? Nothing is less sure.
At the end of this first round of the Superbike World Championship in Sepang – not the first in Malaysia, the WSBK stopped in 1990 and 1991 in Shah Alam! -, Melandri totals 147 points and reaches fifth place, 54 points behind leader Sykes … A chasm, while the mid-season milestone will be crossed from the next race !
In two weeks, "Mister On-Off" will confirm his phenomenal performance yesterday. For this, Marco will be able to count on the support of his darling Manu who is brooding their first baby and on his many fans, since the next World Superbike event will be held at his home, on the Misano circuit which reappears on the WSBK calendar after a year. absence.
Aprilia at the top
While waiting for this important meeting, the Aprilia Racing Team was delighted to see its new recruit making the most of his machine. The team was all the more overwhelmed as it was not satisfied this weekend with a "single" double, but recorded a "quadruple" thanks to the two second places of our compatriot Sylvain Guintoli.
Author of the Superpole Saturday afternoon (Saturday morning for us in France), Sylvain took advantage of one of his main assets (his "smooth" side, read our) to make the most of his Aprilia on the track as hot as slippery of Sepang. On Sunday, the French rider was still the best out of a corner, but that was not enough…
Unable to attack Marco at the end of the first run, Sylvain still played for the win in the second run until the last turn. His detractors are forced to admit that he then fought like a Lion … a real one, from Noale !
The performance of our compatriot is all the more remarkable as he faced his teammate – therefore same equipment, and prohibition to damage it – who happens to be one of the most tenacious pilots of the field … Ask Elias instead that Melandri almost got out at the start of the race !
The last lap of the second WSBK race in Sepang had nothing to envy in terms of intensity and beauty in the end that Lorenzo and Marquez offered last week at Mugello, not more than the superb fight between Van den Mark and Cluzel a few hours earlier in the Supersport category !
"No Marseillaise but a good operation in the championship"Sylvain observed last night on his official Twitter account. An observation that our" Coq Supersportif "Jules can share, once again second behind leader Michael VDM and second in the WSSP ranking !
Unlike Aprilia, Kawasaki had a disappointing Sunday, the fault of a stupid loss in front of Loris Baz at the very start of the first race. No doubt frustrated that he hasn’t won a race yet this season when he has the capacity – the bike, the talent, etc. -, Bazooka drew too quickly at Sepang.
Kawasaki in the heap
Already on Saturday in the Superpole, Loris had asked too much of his Pirelli: while he had the Superpole within reach of gloves, the young shoot Kawa ‘(21 years old only as a reminder!) Stuck in the gravel pit of the ‘final pin, and ended up in seventh position on the Malaysian grid.
To get the right wagon in the race, the "Green Giant" had no other choice than to elbows in the "snitch" of the first chicane, which he set out to do as a good professional driver. ‘he is … And this unfortunately led him to a dead end. And "paf" the Sykes !
"Sea weekend ***", Baz chirped last night,"fall at the second corner trying to avoid my teammate who ended up falling anyway !"The report of his first race is as cruelly short as it is true to reality…
Lucky for him – and for the Akashi firm, which Aprilia joined together in the constructors’ championship! – the rest went better and less badly: "Second round with lack of grip and I lost 4th place in the home stretch !", summarizes the Ninja n ° 76, already ready to deliver his next fight.
While the two Aprilia officials keep congratulating each other on their two successful races – this Monday again via Twitter! -, the two Green men seem irreconcilable. "Last thing about yesterday’s incident", Baz reported,"my first reaction upon entering Tom’s cubicle was to apologize! But we hear nothing when we scream"
According to Site, the only viable solution: to settle their difference on the track … Strongly Misano! For his part, Tom declared, coming down from the third step of the podium climbed in the second round: "I’m not going to talk too much about the first race. Loris unfortunately agreed with many people, at my expense…"
The "Number One" of the discipline has indeed lost precious points this Sunday, but he remains at the head of the championship with 201 points on the clock, against 188 for Sylvain Guintoli, 179 for Jonathan Rea, 170 for Loris Baz, 147 for Marco Melandri and 130 for Chaz Davies.
"Congratulations to my friend Jeremy Guarnoni who is doing two huge races in difficult conditions from all points of view !Loris Baz concluded on a more positive note via Facebook. The No. 11 of the MRS team has indeed achieved his best results of the season, finishing 3rd in the Evo category..
At the first place of this "other" WSBK ranking took turns the leader David Salom (official Kawasaki too) then Leon Camier, who replaces Sylvain Barrier within the BMW Italy team since the second round of the season…
Sylvain Barrier back to Misano ?
"Sylvain has obtained from the FFM his validation to be able to resume competition", the entourage of the two-time Superstock 1000 champion is delighted."We take this opportunity to thank them warmly for their responsiveness.".
"The Team doctor as well as the various professionals who followed Sylvain in his convalescence also validated his return to the track.", we learn on the official website of Syl’20."We hope to see him soon on the circuits on the handlebars of his motorcycle to make us dream and forget this bad moment…"
"In addition, he performed tests with his entire team last week in Italy and these are very positive! Sylvain had a lot of fun rediscovering the joy of the circuits, he can not wait to make his return"… in Misano? Site is investigating, stay tuned !
"We are very happy not only with Leon’s first position in the second round, but above all because we were able to resolve the issues that were hampering our driver.", analyzed for his part the director of the BMW Italy team, Gerardo Acocella..
"There was one significant issue, but several minor issues that prevented our pilot from fully speaking. It’s a shame because in the first race, he could have finished first Evo driver without this contact in the second turn which made him lose many places.".
"It’s still a very positive weekend, which bodes well for the next race in Misano". Are we to understand that thanks to his good results, Leon Camier has secured a handlebars for the rest of the season with the Italians, alongside Sylv’1? Here again, mystery and gumballs…
The Ducatis, Honda and Suzuki in tears
The Pirelli tires, in fact, seem to have posed a problem this weekend for Ducati riders, whose best representative is again Chaz Davies. In the first round, the official n ° 7 would run to a third podium – in the dry! – this season when he was forced to slow down.
While one would have thought the Ducatis handicapped by the two straights of Sepang and the lack of extension of their twin – but what lack of extension in the end ?! -, it was the large curves and the poor grip on the angle that slowed the Bologna Superbikes.
"The rear grip, especially in the second round when the temperatures were the highest, was our main problem this weekend.", humbly acknowledges Ernesto Marinelli, director of the Superbike project at Ducati..
Although the number of laps was limited to 10 due to the engine failure of the MV Agusta de Corti (red flag therefore), the second part of the second round was too long: the 1199 Panigale devoured their tires and their tires. pilots could not defend their chances…
"It’s a shame for Davide", adds the Big Boss of the Reds,"the fever and feverishness from the flu certainly did not help him cope with conditions that were already extreme. But thanks to his determination and the support of the Mobile Clinic, he was able to complete both races".
But the feat is no small feat: n ° 34 had completed only one race out of two during the three previous events! By finishing 8th and 10th in Sepang, Giugliano recorded his biggest score (14 points) since his third place obtained in Assen. "Chi va sofferenza va sano" ?!
Forced to leave the track at the very start of the first round to avoid Sykes and Lowes, Jonathan Rea made a courageous climb back to 6th place, using an engine brake that he felt was too sensitive to his environment: circuit, weather, condition of the pneumatic, etc.
Sixth in the second race also, the Northern Irishman says his team managed to straighten things out between the two races … The gap that separated him from the – same – winner having fallen from more than 31 seconds to just 7, and his best time having fallen by more than a second, we are tempted to believe "JR".
Like Melandri, however, and to fight for the world title, “Johnny” must progress – or improve his Fireblade visibly – in terms of consistency. Author of an imperial double at Imola, the n ° 65 collects from sixth places and has continued to lose ground in the championship. HRC should react !
Finally, we must salute the courage of the Suzuki riders who obtained rather unexpected results in view of their physical conditions. "For Alex, this first visit to Sepang proved to be trying when he could have walked very hard today.", regrets Paul Denning, Grand Chef of the Suzuki Voltcom Crescent team.
"He only passed one turn in the first run before being violently caught in the accident triggered by the reckless action ("rash in English in the text, Editor’s note) Loris Baz and caused Alex a few small injuries and a very severe blow to the head".
On the podium in Donington, the English Superbike champion (2013) was however relayed by his teammate Eugene Laverty, who was not in great shape either! Last week, "Youdjine" had a schedule – too – filled with a test of the XRH-1 prototype in Japan, followed by another in Australia….
The No. 58 rode very little at Phillip Island due to bad weather but still managed to hurt himself in the "Doohan" turn, named after the five-time GP500 world champion who was also present this week. -end to Sepang !
"Eugene is not at his best with a broken bone in his right foot", notes Mister Denning,"and he’s a bit weakened overall by his accident last week, but he made sure it didn’t affect him and attacked so hard he got on the podium in the first run".
For his part, Laverty is ironic by posting a photo of his – naughty – feet on Twitter: "I’m putting my career as a top model on the back burner for the moment". Two short weeks of rest should allow him to recover…
Two weeks, and a return flight to his home in Monaco outclassed by his friend Max Biaggi … High class for the double Italian Superbike world champion, and the full panard for the 2013 Irish vice-world champion !
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