SYLVAIN GUINTOLI AND MARCO MELANDRI TAKE THE TOP TWO SPOTS IN THE COMBINED STANDINGS AND TONI ELIAS IS IN THIRD WITH THE OTHER “SATELLITE” RSV4.
Sepang (Malaysia), 6 June 2014 – It was an excellent Friday for the Aprilia Racing Team at Sepang, a new circuit on the 2014 Superbike calendar. Aprilia dominated the first day with three RSV4s in the top three spots of the combined standings, promising to be a sure protagonist throughout the Malaysian weekend. In fact, behind the two official RSV4s ridden by Guintoli and Melandri, Toni Elias was third on his “satellite” Aprilia.
The weather was as predicted with tropical temperatures and humidity, but all entirely normal for these latitudes.
In afternoon practice Sylvain Guintoli confirmed the great pace he had demonstrated in the first session, extended by 75 minutes in order to give the riders a chance to familiarise themselves with the new track. Finishing the morning session in third place, the Frenchman put the top time on the boards in the afternoon, shaving off almost two tenths of a second. Sylvain was also able to gather comforting data in terms of race pace, despite the fact that a lot of work still needs to be done to find the best setup.
Sylvain Guintoli: “The results are clear today, the RSV4 works really well here. In the last few rounds we haven’t able to use the bike’s full potential, but here we have the conditions to be able to do it and I obviously like that a lot. Not only is our flying lap fast, but our pace is too and it has been since the first session. I am also feeling good on runs over several laps. In short this has been a decidedly positive day from all points of view”.
Second in the combined times after making the best time during morning practice, Marco Melandri is also pleased with the two sessions. Fast and focused, Marco is concentrating on working with used tyres, trying to take the best possible advantage of his RSV4s full potential. In the two sessions before Superpole tomorrow there will be time to try for pure speed, taking advantage of the improved grip conditions as well.
Marco Melandri: “I felt very comfortable straight away on this track. It is a particular track. There isn’t much grip, but we have been working constantly, changing details throughout the last few races, and I’m starting to have a better feeling now. In the afternoon we preferred not to use new tyres because it was very slippery and I’m sure that tomorrow the times will drop quite a bit. We are off to a really positive start for this Malaysian round”.
FRIDAY – COMBINED RESULTS
1. Guintoli (Aprilia) 2’05.096
2. Melandri (Aprilia) 2’05.167
3. Elias (Aprilia) 2’05.222
4. Giugliano (Ducati) 2’05.278
5. Sykes (Kawasaki) 2’05.283
6. Laverty (Suzuki) 2’05.356
7. Davies (Ducati) 2’05.448
8. Rea (Honda) 2’05.752
9. Baz (Kawasaki) 2’05.950
10. Lowes (Suzuki) 2’06.089