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Encouraging Performance for Pata Yamaha in Thai WorldSBK

Pata Yamaha_031316
A strong second race at the Chang International Circuit saw Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team’s Sylvain Guintoli take a sixth place finish as the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship completed its weekend in Thailand, while his teammate Alex Lowes experienced an unfortunate retirement.

The majority of the weekend’s healthy 81,346 attendance witnessed the hottest day felt so far at the Chang International Circuit as air temperatures of 36°C heated the asphalt to the mid-40’s as the final WorldSBK race began. Sixth off the lights, the initial laps saw Guintoli fighting for position with his teammate as they both pushed towards the front group, the 34-year-old advancing a place on the younger Yamaha rider on lap three. Maintaining his rhythm despite an attack from Nicky Hayden, the Frenchman’s pace kept his YZF-R1 in the fight for fifth – holding Torres behind while retaining his focus on Hayden in front. Keeping his cool, Guintoli concluded his second Thai WorldSBK race in sixth position, bringing his rider total to 40 points and retaining fifth in the standings.

Another great start saw Lowes jump two positions from his seventh place grid spot as Sunday’s contest got underway. His determination pushing him towards the front, he diced with Chaz Davies for fourth as they crossed the line for the second time, before the subsequent battle for fifth in the following lap lost him ground and position to his teammate. Continuing to race consistently in the hunt for the front group, lap 10 witnessed an early exit for the British rider, retiring his YZF-R1 at turn five with an untimely technical issue.

The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team now returns to Europe in preparation for the championship’s first race in Spain, at Motorland Aragon, on Saturday 2nd April.

Sylvain Guintoli
Race: 6th / +13.068 / 20 Laps. Championship: 5th / 40 points

“We’ve had some up’s and down’s this weekend. To be honest I said after Phillip Island that I thought we would struggle more here, and we did, but saying that we’ve shown some really good pace on pure lap time and pure performance, so that’s a good sign. We’ve also progressed a lot during the weekend and in between the races – with a lot of work and a very late night working on data with the guys, so thanks to them for that. I appreciate it, staying up late to try to make the right choices! We’ve improved the performance – we’ve gone from 25 seconds from the winner in the first race to 13 in race two! I was able to put up the fight at the second part of the race as we kept the tyre much better today, so the differences we applied worked. It’s another good learning weekend for us so now we have to carry on pushing hard, pushing to the maximum, so we can get the best feedback and help the developments to move forward in Aragon.”

Alex Lowes
Race: DNF / -11 Laps. Championship: 14th / 12 points

“I’m really disappointed with today as I felt great on the YZF-R1 and had a decent start to run fifth. Sylvain passed me on the third lap – we came together and ran off track – so I sat behind him, pacing myself for the next few laps – because I knew from yesterday’s race that I had good pace near the end and could aim at fifth position. I was probably riding the best I have done all year, so it’s even more disappointing that I couldn’t finish the race. I’m pretty devastated, but I felt like I was riding really well and starting to understand how to get the best from this bike, so I need to go back, regroup and come back strong in Aragon.”

Paul Denning – Team Principal

“This fourth race day of the 2016 season has seen further positives for the new Pata Yamaha WorldSBK project, but also some unexpected and unfortunate challenges. Both riders made very aggressive starts and without question the team’s hard work last night to improve the performance of the YZF-R1 for the race today looked to be paying dividends, given the significant decrease in gap to the winner. Sylvain did another very solid job and fought hard for more good points, but we are extremely sorry for Alex that he was unable to finish the race – particularly as his understanding of the YZF-R1 and riding style has taken such big steps forward, and it looked like the top-five was on the cards. The team, and the Yamaha Racing group, will react to all the information we’ve gathered this weekend, and look to arrive ready to race in Aragon and take more steps forward.”

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