MotorcycleDaily.com – Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Aprilia Racing WSBK – Qatar Friday

ApriliaRacing_Melandri

GUINTOLI IS FAST AND CONSISTENT STRAIGHT AWAY AT LOSAIL, READY TO MAKE HIS PLAY FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP

APRILIA DEFENDS A 23 POINT LEAD IN THE MANUFACTURER WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 

Losail (Qatar), 31 October 2014 – The longest night is approaching, Sunday night, when Sylvain Guintoli and Aprilia will make the final play for the Rider World Championship and the Manufacturer World Championship in the Qatar night races.

Guintoli will need to keep up his resounding comeback which, on the eve of the last two races, has taken him to just 12 points behind the lead in the Rider Championship, while Aprilia must defend a 23 point advantage over Kawasaki to be crowned Manufacturer World Champion.

On the Losail circuit, lit up like broad daylight, the first day of practice showed Guintoli in excellent form. The Frenchman appeared to be highly motivated and consistently focused during the three Friday practice sessions. From a technical point of view as well, the first day was encouraging and his feeling with the RSV4 seemed to be excellent from the start. As usual Sylvain worked quite a bit on race strategy without using tyres to try for a fast time, but in any case staying at the top or among the top positions in each session. Guintoli finished consistently ahead of Sykes, the provisional championship leader and his adversary in the battle for the title. Of course, this is nothing new. In the last 4 races Aprilia’s Frenchman has finished ahead of the English rider, making up a solid 32 points in the standings.

Sylvain Guintoli: “This was a very good day for us, but also rather tiring given the weather and the three sessions. We always do it, but this time in particular we focused a lot on race pace and tyre life which is a critical factor on this track. The results have been very positive but obviously we still have a few aces up our sleeve that we want to test tomorrow. We will need to manage the RSV4’s power well, unleashing it where it is needed and reining it in where we risk abusing the tyres too much. Skids and drifting are great for the show and for thrills, but not for race pace!”

Marco Melandri, on the other hand, dominator throughout the final phase of the season (4 wins out of 6 races), had to deal with grip issues from the very first lap. In any case, the rider from Ravenna has expressed optimism for tomorrow since he and his mechanics have identified the cause of his difficulties which he will attempt to remedy tomorrow. Marco finished with the eleventh best time which will force him to compete in the first Superpole session as well.

Marco Melandri: “Definitely an off day. I struggled with grip the whole day without being able to completely solve my problems. In any case I’m quite optimistic about tomorrow because in the last session we identified a few solutions that may help us to recover. Tomorrow we’ll see we are able to close back in on the front runners and participating in Superpole 1 may even help me, since I always seem to have a hard time taking full advantage of the qualifying tyre.”