Assen, 25 April 2014 – First practice sessions at Assen, third round of the 2014 World Superbike season. Favoured by the good weather conditions, the factory derivative riders engaged in a close battle on the track that is confirmed by the rather similar times all the top riders in the class put on the boards.
For Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli it was a day marked by hard work on tyre longevity and finding the best setup solutions. The areas they need to focus on are primarily going into turns and consistency, essential characteristics on a flowing track like the Dutch one.
Eighth in the combined standings of the two sessions today, Sylvain Guintoli is focused first and foremost on working in view of the races, concentrating on tyre wear and understanding how they perform as conditions vary. The characteristics of the Dutch track, basically divided into two completely different sections, require fine tuning of both the electronics package and the chassis setup.
Sylvain Guintoli: “We did quite a bit of work today. Assen is not an easy track to interpret. You have to get a clear understanding of where you need to control power and where you can push it to the limit. This is a process that takes time in order to fully understand how the tyres work and to act accordingly. It looks like the conditions for the first session tomorrow will be similar to those for Race 1. We’ll have to take advantage of that so we can be ready on Sunday”.
The expected variable weather doesn’t particularly worry Marco Melandri (in ninth place), confident that he has identified the points he needs to work on with his mechanics.
Marco Melandri: “We have a lot of work left to do tomorrow but we have a clear idea of which areas we need to improve. Especially going into turns and braking the bike is very twitchy and we need to work on that. I would like to be able to get some more laps in to work toward finding a solution”.
FRIDAY – COMBINED STANDINGS
1. Giugliano (Ducati) 1’35.396
2. Rea (Honda) 1’35.880
3. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’36.146
4. Lowes (Suzuki) 1’36.219
5. Davies (Ducati) 1’36.417
6. Baz (Kawasaki) 1’36.449
7. Laverty (Suzuki) 1’36.467
8. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1’36.670
9. Melandri (Aprilia) 1’36.697
10. Haslam (Honda) 1’36.709