FIRST AND SECOND BEST TIMES IN THE MORNING PRACTICE SESSION, THE AFTERNOON WAS SPENT WORKING ON RACE PACE
Misano, 20 June 2014 – The Aprilia Racing Team started off strong on the first day of practice at Misano for the Italian round of World Superbike scheduled for Sunday.
The Aprilia riders held first (with Melandri) and second (with Guintoli) place in the morning practice sessions, almost as if it was a continuation of what they began in the last round at Sepang (Malaysia) where they took the top two steps of the podium in both races. In the second session held this afternoon both Marco and Sylvain undertook a long and patient effort to fine tune the best possible race pace. During the 45 minute session they were in any case protagonists, improving on their times from the morning practice and taking turns at the top of the time sheet, finishing the day with third place for Melandri and seventh for Guintoli.
The new look for the official Aprilia Racing RSV4s was quite popular, a tribute to the Italian colours that characterised the first Aprilia international championship victory. It was August 1987 when, right here in Misano, Loris Reggiani rode his 250 GP to the first ever Aprilia World Championship win. Since then there have been another 293 wins in the Motomondiale world championship, 42 in Superbike and – above all – 52 world titles to fill an extraordinary trophy case that makes Aprilia one of the most victorious brands in motorcycling history.
Marco Melandri, fresh from his double win at the last round held in Malaysia, analysed the first day of practice at Misano: “I feel good. I was fast right from the start. We started off with the solutions that worked for us at Sepang and then we gradually improved on them. We’ll be working especially on the first sector but I’m not worried. During the race it will be very easy to make mistakes so I prefer being a bit slower but more consistent. Tomorrow I expect the track to be much faster. We’ll keep working on race pace but also with an eye toward the flying lap. The characteristics of the circuit make overtaking difficult so starting as far toward the front as possible will be essential”.
Sylvain Guintoli also worked on finding the best rave set up today. The French rider believes that he has already found the right base setting and tomorrow he will be testing a few more solutions that his mechanics have suggested. Sylvain is confident and particularly impressed by his bike’s new look: “Today was business as usual – a lot of work on race pace. We lapped a lot on used tyres so I think tomorrow we will be able to increase our speed quite a bit. The base set up we found today is good but we still need to try out a few more settings. Besides that the new colours of my RSV4 are gorgeous. It doesn’t help us shave any time off but it’s always nice to ride a good looking bike!”.
FRIDAY – COMBINED STANDINGS
1. Giugliano (Ducati) 1’36.370
2. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’36.497
3. Melandri (Aprilia) 1’36.500
4. Davies (Ducati) 1’36.636
5. Baz (Kawasaki) 1’36.661
6. Lowes (Suzuki) 1’36.698
7. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1’36.860
8. Rea (Honda) 1’37.024
9. Laverty (Suzuki) 1’37.149
10. Elias (Aprilia) 1’37.234