IN THE COMBINED RESULTS OF THE THREE SESSIONS TODAY SYLVAIN GUINTOLI IS SECOND, FOLLOWED BY TEAM MATE MARCO MELANDRI.
Laguna Seca, 12 July 2014 – The first day of practice at Laguna Seca shows that Aprilia is ready to play a key role in the American round of World SBK. On the Californian track which was the setting for three timed sessions on Friday, both Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri demonstrated a strong pace straight away, ending the day in second and third place respectively in the combined results of the three sessions.
Guintoli’s feeling on the twisty American track is well known and the French rider confirmed it. Supported well by his RSV4, Sylvain finished all the sessions toward the top of the sheets, ending the day with the second best time. In the free practice session tomorrow which precedes Superpole Guintoli and his team will be testing some new solutions on the track to try and make further improvements, an essential task given the extremely small gaps in the final standings which show the top 10 riders all within just over a second of one another.
Sylvain Guintoli: “Today was a demanding day, but definitely a good one. My feeling with the bike is already promising and so are the lap times. We really worked hard on race pace and where that is concerned I think I’ve reached a good level. There are still a couple of configurations we need to test in the next free practice to try and shave off a few more tenths. The standings are tight but I’m pleased to be in the top positions. I’m ready to give it my all tomorrow.”
Excellent performance in the number 33 garage as well. At the end of the day Marco Melandri expressed his satisfaction with the work done on the track where he focused mainly on looking for the best race configuration. The rider from Ravenna put in a lot of laps on used tyres without looking for the top time, clearly not an essential goal on Friday, but ending the day with a fantastic third best time anyway.
Now, with Superpole in mind, Marco will need to look for speed on his flying lap, a situation he’ll be working on in the final free practice session in order to be in the best possible shape for the session that will decide the starting order on the grid.
Marco Melandri: “It was a long day and full of work. Three sessions are quite demanding. We’ve drawn some lessons from a few mistakes we made in recent races as well in terms of false sensations. We worked well on race pace and where that is concerned I think the settings are good. Now I want to find margins for improvement in the new tyre situation and we have the last free practice before Superpole to work on improving that aspect.”