Phillip Island (Australia), Saturday 22 February 2014 - The first Tissot-Superpole of 2014 was contested today under cloudy skies, with Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) securing the first slot on the grid for the two debut races of the season, scheduled for tomorrow at Phillip Island. The 31 year old Frenchman set a new outright best lap of the Australian venue in 1’30.038during the final Superpole session, despite a small moment he had during his flying lap. The first race winner of last year got the better of Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) by only a hundredth of a second, with the Italian rider continuing to impress on his first ever race weekend aboard his Ducati 1199 Panigale R.
Sylvain Guintoli: “My Aprilia worked very well and it is no secret that this is one of our favourite tracks. I really had a lot of fun today. It’s a shame I couldn’t get my time down to 1’29 – that would have been fantastic. The important thing is that we improved a lot throughout the weekend. My shoulder isn’t giving me any problem so tomorrow I’ll be able to push hard since, also considering our excellent race pace. I expect two good races. There are a lot of riders with good pace, but I hope to be able to use the RSV4 power to take the win.”
Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) won the battle for the last spot of the first row by finishing third ahead of Voltcom Crescent Suzuki duo Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes, whilst Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) claimed sixth place, followed by KRT paring of Loris Baz and Tom Sykes. The reigning Superbike World Champion missed the chance…(read more)
Eugene Laverty: “Second row! It’s not quite the front, but we did our lap-time on a race tyre so to be right there at the head of the second row without a qualifier is definitely confidence inspiring. The qualifier just didn’t work very well for us; we had some vibration causing us to lose the ability to flow. Race setting was good so the aim now is to try for a good start, stay with the Aprilias and fight for a podium in the first race of the season.”
Tissot-Superpole 2 times: 1. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1’30.038 average 177.725 kph; 2. Giugliano (Ducati) 1’30.135; 3. Melandri (Aprilia) 1’30.332; 4. Laverty (Suzuki) 1’30.385; 5. Lowes (Suzuki) 1’30.421; 6. Rea (Honda) 1’30.660; 7. Baz (Kawasaki) 1’30.796; 8. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’30.835; 9. Haslam (Honda) 1’31.138; 10. Canepa (Ducati) 1’31.274; 11. Davies (Ducati) 1’31.281; 12. Salom (Kawasaki) 1’31.950.
Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) claimed his career’s 18th pole position today at Phillip Island as he lapped the 4.445 km Australian track in 1’32.769s during the World Supersport qualifying session. The three time World Champion was the only rider to break the 1’33s barrier, although not improving the best lap of the circuit set by Sam Lowes last year. Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport) played catch up with the leader throughout the entire session, eventually… (read more)
Times: 1. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 1’32.769 average 172.493 kph; 2. Vd Mark (Honda) 1’33.021; 3. Tamburini (Kawasaki) 1’33.290; 4. Coghlan (Yamaha) 1’33.300; 5. Jacobsen (Kawasaki) 1’33.346; 6. Leonov (MV Agusta) 1’33.379; 7. De Rosa (Honda) 1’33.542; 8. Wilairot (Honda) 1’33.755; 9. Zanetti (Honda) 1’34.100; 10. Staring (Honda) 1’34.273; 11. Marino (Kawasaki) 1’34.276; 12. McConnell (Triumph) 1’34.392; etc.