GUINTOLI TAKES A SPOT ON THE FRONT ROW WITH THE SECOND BEST TIME
IT’S THE SECOND ROW FOR MELANDRI AND THE FIFTH BEST TIME
Imola, 10 May 2014 – Starting from the front was essential in the races tomorrow at Imola, the fourth round of World Superbike which promises to be heated down to thousandths of a second, and Aprilia Racing Team hit a bullseye, placing both riders on the first and second row.
Qualifying easily among the top 10 who are automatically admitted to the second decisive session and key players during all the timed practice sessions – as well as in the last free practice sessions prior to Superpole – Melandri and Guintoli never stopped working on race pace, searching for the best setup for tomorrow’s races which, with the standings up for grabs, promise to be extremely heated with numerous contenders for the final victory, a fact which is clearly demonstrated by the narrow gaps that separate the top riders.
Concrete and efficient as always, Sylvain Guintoli seemed to be in his team mate’s shadows during the sessions prior to the decisive fifteen minutes which would establish the starting grid. In all actuality, however, the Frenchman had focused his work on the races, not falling short when he attacked in Superpole, on the track until just a few moments from the end. The second place he took in the end left the Frenchman completely satisfied: “Another Superpole for us and the starting position here is important since it is quite a twisty track where it is difficult to overtake, so you need to set your pace straight way from the first laps. As always we worked a lot on our race pace, but many of the other riders did the same, so tomorrow should be quite interesting. I want to do my best for Aprilia and for my team. We are in Italy so that pumps me up even more.”
Marco Melandri had two positive days of testing which led him to finding a good feeling on his RSV4. These are good sensations that Marco had all the way through to the decisive Superpole session where he battled with his usual quality, putting the second best time on the boards at one point and then finishing with the fifth best time which places him a the centre of the second row on the grid. The narrow gap of just 45 hundredths behind the first place finisher is an indicator of the balance between the top contenders and Marco’s competitiveness.
“The second row is OK. I am gaining confidence in Superpole as well. Even if I made a few mistakes in my good lap which cost me a couple tenths of a second I am still very pleased with the result. It is a good period for us. Starting from the front tomorrow will be important because there are several riders here with a good pace. The races won’t be easy for anyone. The true difference will be made after the tenth round. As for our race pace, we have done some good work so after all our efforts we are ready to give it our all down to the end.”
IMOLA – SUPERPOLE
1. Rea (Honda) 1’46.289
2. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1’46.554
3. Giugliano (Ducati) 1’46.555
4. Davies (Ducati) 1’46.678
5. Melandri (Aprilia) 1’46.740
6. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’46.767
7. Baz (Kawasaki) 1’47.014
8. Laverty (Suzuki) 1’35.646
9. Canepa (Ducati) 1’48.240
10. Haslam (Honda) 1’48.242