eni FIM Superbike World Championship
Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia
February 23, 2013
Race Two Results (all on Pirelli tires):
1. Sylvain GUINTOLI, France (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 14 laps, 21:34.034
2. Loris BAZ, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -0.283 second
3. Tom SYKES, UK (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -1.103 seconds
4. Davide GIUGLIANO, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), -2.052
5. Jonathan REA, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), -4.951
6. Leon HASLAM, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), -5.673
7. Chaz DAVIES, UK (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), -9.664
8. Marco MELANDRI, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -10.574, ran off the track
9. Toni ELIAS, Spain (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -11.682
10. David SALOM, Spain (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, -15.065
11. Niccolo CANEPA, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), EVO, -16.294
12. Fabien FORET, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, -16.919
13. Alex LOWES, UK (Suzuki GSX-R1000), -19.694, ran off the track twice
14. Sheridan MORAIS, South Africa (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, -27.266
15. Glenn ALLERTON, Australia (BMW S1000RR), EVO, -27.845
16. Jeremy GUARNONI, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, -29.431
17. Alessandro ANDREOZZI, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, -36.393, ran off the track
18. Claudio CORTI, Italy (MV Agusta F4 RR), -37.018
19. Imre TOTH, Hungary (BMW S1000RR), -54.093
20. Aaron YATES, USA (EBR 1190 RX), -73.385
21. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Suzuki GSX-R1000), -0.131 second, DNF, mechanical
World Championship Point Standings:
1. Guintoli, 41 points
2. Baz, 31 points
3. Melandri 28
4. Giugliano, 26
5. TIE, Sykes/Laverty, 25
7. Rea, 21
8. Davies, 17
9. Salom, 13
10. Canepa, 11
11. Haslam, 10
12. Foret, 8
13. Elias, 7
14. Allerton, 6
15. TIE, Morais/Corti/Lowes, 3
18. Guarnoni, 2
More, from a press release issued by WSBK Dorna Press Office:
Sylvain Guintoli wins race 2 and becomes Championship leader
Phillip Island (Australia), Sunday 23 February 2014 – Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) has won the second race of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island, his career's fifth in the series, in front of the 56,515 spectators attending the event. The Frenchman, now Championship leader after the opening round, was in first place on lap 15 when the race was red flagged, following the technical problem suffered by race 1 winner Eugene Laverty. The Irishman's GSX-R 1000 engine blew as he was running second ahead of Kawasaki Racing Team pairing of Loriz Baz and reigning Champion Tom Sykes, who claimed the remaining podium positions.
Sylvain Guintoli: "I pushed a bit too much in Race 1, I started off really strong but towards the end I couldn't keep the same pace. Track conditions were a lot different from the previous days, but we did a good job anyway. In the second race, I tried to save the tyre a bit and it worked out. Considering what happened to me during the weekend I can't be but happy about this round as I finally managed to get back on the top step of the podium. I would like to thank the people who assisted me during my recovery, I feel quite tired now but there is a long break before the next race to be fully fit."
Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) was 4th followed by Pata Honda duo Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam, whilst Giugliano's team mate Chaz Davies claimed seventh place ahead of Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) and Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia). Works Aprilia rider Melandri was part of a thrilling ten way battle up front in the early stages, before going wide at Turn 4 during the eighth lap. Two laps later Brit Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) made the same mistake whilst trying to catch the leaders, eventually ending up thirteenth behind EVO riders David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team), tenth, Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati), eleventh, and Fabien Foret (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki), twelfth.
Results: 1. Guintoli (Aprilia) 14 Laps/62.230 km in 15:02'05.586 average 173.124 kph; 2. Baz (Kawasaki) 0.283; 3. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1.103; 4. Giugliano (Ducati) 2.052; 5. Rea (Honda) 4.951; 6. Haslam (Honda) 5.673; 7. Davies (Ducati) 9.664; 8. Melandri (Aprilia) 10.574; 9. Elias (Aprilia) 11.682; 10. Salom (Kawasaki) 15.065; 11. Canepa (Ducati) 16.294; 12. Foret (Kawasaki) 16.919; 13. Lowes (Suzuki) 19.694; 14. Morais (Kawasaki) 27.266; 15. Allerton (BMW) 27.845; 16. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 29.431; 17. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 36.393; 18. Corti (MV Agusta) 37.018; 19. Toth (BMW) 54.093; 20. Yates (EBR) 1'13.385; RT. Laverty (Suzuki) 0.131.
The eni FIM Superbike World Championship had its first exciting race of the year today at Phillip Island, with Irishman Eugene Laverty scoring a sensational win aboard his GSX-R 1000, making it three in a row with the double he scored at Jerez last year in the last round. In his debut race with Voltcom Crescent Suzuki, Laverty achieved an historical maiden win for the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki Team. Laverty is also the first Suzuki rider to climb on the top step of the podium since the second race at Kyalami in 2010.
After a poor start of the race, which saw him crossing the line in seventh place at the end of lap 1, and an early battle first with Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team) and then with Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike), Laverty started his charge to the leaders thanks to an incredible race pace. Once reached the front runners, the Irishman passed Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team), Marco Melandri and leader Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) to take first position on lap 17.
With Laverty pulling away in the late stages, Melandri got the better of team mate Sylvain Guintoli for second, whilst Giugliano settled for fourth after losing ground in the final laps. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) edged Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) to take fifth place as reigning Champion and Baz's team mate Tom Sykes had a difficult time, eventually ending up seventh ahead of Chaz Davies.
EVO riders David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team), NiccolòCanepa (Althea Racing Team) and substitute rider for injured Sylvain Barrier Glenn Allerton (BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team) put up an exciting battle, with Spaniard David Salom to come out on top to claim 9th.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki's Alex Lowes, Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) and Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) all crashed unhurt early on in the race.
Eugene Laverty: "To win race 1 was a dream come true. I had told the boys in the garage that I would win before we reached it being 100 races without Suzuki on the top step but I didn’t think the run would stop so soon after we took the first win. Looking ahead, we have shown that we have the race pace and I think that we can have a very strong season. Thanks to my whole team, we have worked hard over the winter and I am looking forward to Aragon."
More, from a press release issued by Althea Racing:
Two second place finishes for Canepa at Phillip Island
The first round of the Superbike world championship took place today at Phillip Island in Australia. After the great results achieved in the practice sessions, in which Niccolò Canepa was consistently first among the Evo riders, today the Althea Racing rider lined up on the fourth row of the grid having closed yesterday’s Superpole 2 in tenth position. Sunny skies and warm temperatures characterised the opening races of the 2014 season. In race 1 Canepa made a strong start and by mid-race the Althea rider was in ninth position not far behind the Superbike riders.
Unfortunately, from mid-race on, the front tyre began to lose grip and Canepa was forced to slow down, meaning that he was caught by Salom, with whom he then battled it out to the finish, closing the race in final tenth position, the second Evo rider to cross the line. In race two another fast start for Canepa who, as in race one, quickly found himself close to the Superbike riders and fighting with Salom for first place in the Evo category. During the course of the fifteenth lap however the race was halted with a red flag when Laverty’s bike left oil on the track. Canepa concluded eleventh, second among the Evo riders.
The next championship round will take place at Aragon, Spain over the weekend of 11 – 13 April.
Niccolò Canepa: “If they’d told me before the start of the weekend that I would have finished second in both Evo races I would have definitely been happy but considering our results during the practices I’m a little disappointed with today’s outcome. I battled with Salom in both races. In the first, I made some small mistakes and was unable to pass him, while in the second we went even faster but Salom maintained a pace that he never showed in practice and that I was unable to match. But, anyway, this has been a very positive race weekend overall. We carried out solid tests and collected data and experience that will be extremely useful during the rest of the season, as well as the knowledge that we can fight for the win in Evo. I want to thank my team for their exceptional work.”
Genesio Bevilacqua: We are fairly pleased with today’s two races, although after our performance during the practices, we had started out as favourites today. The two races helped us gain experience, collect data and understand the true value of our rivals. We were able to evaluate our potential, which is extremely high and will allow us to compete for important results. There are a few things we can improve but we have the will and ability to do so.”
More, from a press release issued by Pata Honda Superbike Team:
Top six results for Pata Honda at Phillip Island
Jonathan Rea took sixth and fifth place finishes in today’s two opening races of the 2014 FIM eni World Superbike championship at Phillip Island in Australia. His Pata Honda team-mate Leon Haslam bounced back from a first race crash to take sixth place in race two.
The two 22-lap encounters at the 4.445km Phillip Island circuit, which lies two hours drive south of Melbourne, were won by Eugene Laverty and Sylvain Guintoli, although race two was cut to 14 laps when red flags were waved following a technical problem for Laverty.
Starting from the second row of the grid, 28-year-old Rea got a good start to race one and became involved in a race-long battle with Tom Sykes and Loris Baz. His start to race two was even better and he was fighting for a podium place in the early stages before getting pushed wide and losing touch with the leading group.
In contrast, Haslam did not get a good start to race one and crashed out at the fast turn 12 on the fifth lap. The 30-year-old was unhurt but his crew had to work hard to completely re-build his CBR1000RR Fireblade SP in readiness for race two.
The Pata Honda team will re-group for further testing in Spain at the end of March before round two of the championship takes place at Motorland Aragon on 11-13 April.
Jonathan Rea - 6th 5th
I guess we have to be reasonably satisfied with the result here because we’ve made a big improvement over last year here at Phillip Island. It’s clear which areas we need to work on and it’s mostly mechanical grip. In race one, some of the guys struggled with tyre problems because it went the full distance, but I was able to look after my tyre which was a good thing. But we still need to make improvements in that area because the guys at the front had no problems. Race two was unfortunately stopped early because I think I was probably conserving my tyre a little more than I should have been. Sykes passed me into turn one but kind of stopped up in the corner and I lost a lot of places and lost touch with the group so the last few laps were quite boring. But I’m quite happy with everyone on my side of the box – we’ve been making good linear progress. They’re not results to jump up and down about but it’s a good way to start the season. I’m looking forward to getting back to some more conventional circuits in Europe and to aiming a lot higher than we did here.
Leon Haslam - DNF 6th
I had a big disaster in race one – we had a bit of an electronics issue and then the bike spun from under me at turn 12. We saw what that was and we know the problem in that area but the boys had to work really, really hard to get the bike ready for race two. They put a good setting in the bike that allowed me to run consistent times similar to the leaders’ but we just had a few niggly issues that stopped me getting up to them. Me and Johnny had a good battle and then the race got red flagged. It was disappointing that we didn’t get to have a bit more fun out on the track but fifth and sixth for the team, considering the issues we’ve had, is not so bad. We’ll go back and work hard for the next one – we’ve made some steps forward since Friday but we didn’t get back to where we were at the test, which was a little disappointing. We know why though, and we’ll get it sorted for next time.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
Jonathan was sixth in race one after a race-long battle with the two Kawasakis. Considering our problems during practice and getting the bike set up, I think that was OK. Leon crashed out, unfortunately. In race two Jonathan got a really good start and was battling for a podium place for a long while but he got run wide and that created a gap. Leon’s second race was much, much better. He got a reasonable start and was fighting in the top eight, eventually getting sixth. It was really encouraging and no less than he and his crew deserved after the promising times during the test here. There’s a lot to do, but we have six days of testing before we go to Aragon so we’ll come back strong there.
More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:
APRILIA STARTS THE NEW WSBK SEASON WITH ONE WIN AND TWO PODIUMS.
GUINTOLI TRIUMPHS IN RACE 2 AT PHILLIP ISLAND AND SHOOTS TO THE TOP OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP.
APRILIA – REIGNING CHAMPION – IS NUMBER ONE IN THE MANUFACTURER STANDINGS.
MELANDRI SECOND IN RACE 1 AND THIRD IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP.
Phillip Island (Australia), 23 February 2014 - On the Australian Phillip Island track for the opening round of the 2014 World Superbike season, Aprilia wins with Sylvain Guintoli in Race 2, takes two podiums in Race 1 and immediately takes back the top spot in both the Rider and Manufacturer standings. It was an extraordinary weekend for the Aprilia Racing RSV4s, key players in both races.
The first part revolved around the duel between the two Aprilia standard bearers, Melandri and Guintoli, along with Irishman Laverty who, after making a comeback on the leading pack which also included Giugliano for a long time, kept his rivals in check in the final laps. Marco Melandri made an excellent second place finish, crossing the line just ahead of his team mate Guintoli (third) who had led the pack at the beginning stages of the race for a long time, however costing him wear on his tyre so that in the final laps he had nothing left on the rear to be able to fend off Laverty's attacks.
In Race 2 the leading pack also included Rea, Baz and Sykes, making a comeback from the rear spots. Guintoli led the first part of the race and after being overtaken by fellow leaders Baz and Laverty once, he took back the lead in the 12th lap. Two laps later an engine failure for Laverty - riding second at the time behind he French Aprilia rider - with a consequent oil spill on the track, forced Laverty to withdraw and the marshals to suspend the race. This meant that the finishing order was decided by the last lap completed which had Guintoli winning in front of Baz and Sykes.
With this performance the Frenchman provides an encore of last year's success (also with the Aprilia RSV4) and, thanks to his third place in Race 1, puts him in the lead for the Rider Championship. Sylvain's win and Melandri's second place in Race 1 place Aprilia at the top of the Manufacturer standings, an excellent bounty for the new season.
After his nice second place in the first race Melandri had a bit of a moment during the eighth lap of the second race, running on after braking too hard and having to re-enter the track in 14th place. From there he made a bold comeback to finish in eighth place, earning 8 points that put him in third place in the rider standings.
Sylvain Guintoli: “In Race 1 maybe I had a little too much faith. I started off strong and toward the end I lost the right feeling with my rear tyre. The conditions were much different than they had been over the last few days but we did a good job anyway. In the second race I tried to look after my tyre and it worked. If I think about everything that happened during the winter I can't help but be pleased with our weekend. I'm finally back on the top step of the podium. I want to thank the guys who looked after me during my recovery. I'm pretty tired now but I'll have a month to recover before the next round”.
Marco Melandri: “Race 1 went well. I got off to a good start and then I was able to ride smoothly in the first few laps to conserve my tyres for the end. Unfortunately after the halfway point the bike was sliding around a lot. I wasn't able to be incisive so when Eugene took the lead I preferred holding onto second place. In Race 2 I wanted to use the same tactics again but to overtake Rea I braked harder than usual and the rear wheel came up so I was forced to run on. I'm disappointed because I threw away some important points. I'm sure I still need more experience adjusting to the way the bike reacts and adapting the settings to my riding style. The track conditions also brought out some problems that I had never had before. Now I need to get a handle on the situation so that I'm ready for the next race”.
More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:
Two fourth place finishes for Giugliano and the Ducati Superbike Team in today’s SBK races at Phillip Island
Giugliano brings his 1199 Panigale home in fourth place in the Australian season opener
Davies closes today’s races seventh and eighth
Phillip Island (Australia), Sunday 23 February 2014 – Davide Giugliano and the Ducati Superbike team made a very promising start to the 2014 Superbike World Championship today at Phillip Island, closing both races inside the top five, a very encouraging result coming at the end of a positive weekend. Chaz Davies closed the races in seventh and eighth position.
Race 1: Conditions were significantly warmer today, with the track temperature already at 39°C for race 1. Davies made a very quick start from eleventh on the grid, passing several riders through the first corners to position fifth at the end of lap one. On lap two, the British rider made the best lap of the race, 1’30.949, earning his first ‘Pirelli best lap award’ of the season and setting a new record with a lap time three tenths of a second faster than Laverty’s fast lap at this track in 2013. Chaz lost a couple of positions in the subsequent phase and from mid-race tyre wear began to impact on his performance, leaving him with no option but to slow down. Separated from both the group immediately ahead of him and the chasing group, Chaz was able to hold eighth position to the line.
Starting from second position on the grid, Giugliano made a strong start, tucking himself in in third place behind frontrunners Melandri and Guintoli. He held this position through the opening stages but, unfortunately, he too began to suffer from a lack of rear grip throughout the second half of the race that prevented him from being able to continue his battle with the three leaders (Melandri, Guintoli and Laverty). The young Italian rider thus closed this first race of the 2014 season in fourth place, a very respectable result considering the hot track conditions and ensuing circumstances.
Race 2: The track temperature had risen to 48°C for the second race. Davies was lying ninth after the first lap but then quickly moved up through the field to position himself fifth by lap eight. Unfortunately an electronic problem caused by a stone perforating the front fairing of his Panigale slowed him down from the tenth lap onwards and, when the race was brought to a premature end after 14 laps (with Laverty’s bike having left oil on track), Davies crossed the line in final seventh place.
Giugliano again started strongly and was once again in third position behind Melandri and Guintoli. He lost a few places through the subsequent laps as he tried to manage his race in the tricky conditions. He had just started to push, and was starting to catch those ahead of him when the red flag came out, signalling the end of the race. He therefore closed in fourth position for the second time today.
At the conclusion of this first championship round, Giugliano lies fourth in the general standings, with 26 points, while Davies is eighth with 17 points. Ducati places fourth in the manufacturer’s classification with 26 points.
Quotes after the races:
Davide Giugliano - Ducati Superbike Team #34
“In race 1 I was quite relaxed. I managed to lap fast by only riding at about 70%, saving that extra 30% for the end of the race but unfortunately the grip became an issue maybe five or six from the end. In the second race, I immediately realised that conditions were warmer than the first and so I tried to limit the damage by holding back a little. Then later I started to push and was catching those ahead of me – I think I could have battled for the podium if the race had gone full distance but unfortunately they stopped the race after 14 laps. Anyway, overall it’s been a great weekend. We’ve shown that, as far as the chassis and my riding is concerned, that we’ve arrived. We were consistently fast throughout the weekend and this gives us confidence for the next races. Today’s results are very encouraging for me, for the team and for Ducati.”
Chaz Davies - Ducati Superbike Team #7
“I am a little disappointed in terms of race results. In race one we had a rear tyre issue and I gradually lost grip from maybe the mid-race point. Race 2 was a little better, I was hanging in there with the front group, managing to edge my way up through the field to about fifth. Then at about lap 10 I felt like I lost power and so I slowed down because I didn’t know what was happening. It was a shame as I think we were in for a better result in race 2. I felt more comfortable, with the team having made some changes between the first and second races. Anyway, there are positives to take away from the weekend. Solid points in each race for example – it’s the first time I’ve scored points in both Superbike races at Phillip Island. I also made the fastest lap of race one. But I know we’re capable of more, everyone’s working hard and the bike is feeling good. Roll on Aragon.”
Ernesto Marinelli - Ducati Superbike Project Director
“As often happens at this track, the stresses on the rear tyre somewhat conditioned our races today, but we nevertheless brought home important points. Davide’s two fourth place finishes, coming at the end of a weekend in which he was consistently among the frontrunners, and Chaz’s lap record in race 1 confirm that their talent combined with the potential of our Panigale allows us to fight for the positions that count. I’m very pleased with the work of our entire team and I want to thank the guys in Ducati Corse in Bologna who, with hard work and determination, are moving the development of this project forward.”
More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki Press Office:
LAVERTY CLAIMS FIRST WSB WIN ON SUZUKI
Eugene Laverty stormed to victory on his Voltcom Crescent Suzuki debut in race one at Phillip Island in Australia today, securing the first World Championship win for the Japanese manufacturer since 2010.
Laverty fought back from a difficult start and made his way through from seventh to hunt down the leading pack of Giugliano, Melandri and Guintoli from lap seven. The Irishman advanced on the leaders, making his break for the lead on lap 17 and didn’t look back. The Yoshimura-powered GSX-R firmly controlled the pace for the remaining five laps bringing the first victory for Crescent Suzuki on the world stage.
Race two again saw Laverty challenging for the lead; a brief battle in the opening laps resulted in the Suzuki GSX-R again dominating the mid-race before a mechanical issue brought about an early end to the weekend’s activities.
Alex Lowes - battling the ankle injury sustained in Saturday’s free practice - looked to be finding a strong rhythm in his debut race in the eni FIM Superbike World Championship, before a crash at turn one saw his efforts halted prematurely. Regrouping for race two, the Englishman’s team worked tirelessly to rebuild the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000 and despite running-on at turn four in the opening lap, Lowes’ determination saw him charging through the field and into the top 10, from 21st, in just five laps. He posted his fastest lap of the race on his second lap and held the fastest time for a further 10. The ankle injury ultimately compromised his race and after a further mistake at turn four, Lowes finished his debut weekend with three points and a top-13 finish to show for his brave efforts.
Sunshine, blue skies and a pleasant 22°C greeted the crowd as the track temperature fluctuated by more than 10 degrees between the two races, peaking at 48°C for the afternoon’s event.
As the championship prepares to travel back to Europe, Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli heads the standings with 41 points, Laverty’s win positions him in fifth and Lowes begins his rookie campaign in 15th.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki will now use the month-long break to re-evaluate the data from this weekend’s racing before preparing for the first European leg of the World Championship with a private test at Jerez on March 31st ahead of the second round of series at Aragon in Spain on April 13th.
“A day of highs and lows! The first race was incredible! To be so far back on the first lap and come through to win; it was the perfect race for us and a nice way to pay back the whole team for the belief they’ve shown in me. Paul Denning worked hard to get me on board and he delivered everything I needed. He brought in my Crew Chief Phil Marron, Davide Gentile to work on the electronics and Stan; who I’ve worked with before. All the rest of the boys have welcomed me, so it was nice to be able to reward them with the win right away, and it’s a win that means more to me than any so far in my WSBK career. The second race was a disappointment for everyone. We didn’t deserve that - that’s for sure - but that’s racing and unfortunately that’s how it goes sometimes.”
“I’m frustrated with today. I tried really hard and don’t have a lot to show for it really. The first race crash, and in the second race the run on; on the first lap and then the crash later was all because I was struggling to change gear with my foot. I had a numbing injection, lost a bit of feeling and I couldn’t change gear so it was hard work! I was riding through the pain, so to just get three points has upset me a bit because we had such good pace all through the test. I’ve never been here before and we were still looking like we could run at the front and challenge for a podium so I’m really disappointed, but I’m going to come back fitter and stronger and we should be ok for Aragon.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“It’s very strange to have won our first ever World Superbike race - and in such a dominant fashion - and still be leaving Phillip Island feeling very disappointed! As a team we are very sorry to have let Eugene down in race two when another podium – and quite possibly another win – was on the cards. We will do everything in our power to ensure it’s the last time!
“The additional disappointment is for Alex who was so unlucky to dislocate his ankle in the Saturday morning crash as many other riders crashed heavily and got away with it. The injury made it impossible to enter the corners properly and inevitably the difficulty in down-shifting gears caused the mistakes in the races. The frustrating thing is that he was still so fast and could have joined the fight at the front.
“I have to once again thank the team and all our partners for getting us and the Suzuki GSX-R back into the winner’s circle and on top of that, thank Eugene for believing in this project and for riding with such aggression, precision and outright desire to win.”
More, from a press release issued by Team Hero EBR:
Solid Races For Team Hero EBR At Phillip Island
With Geoff May injuring himself
in yesterday’s final free practice session, the opening round of this year’s
World Superbike championship at Phillip Island saw the all new Hero EBR team
claim xx and xx in the two races with American Aaron Yates the team’s sole
rider aboard the EBR 1190 RX machine.
With the weather conditions
almost perfect, the first round of 2014 had the huge crowd on their feet from
the opening lap as a series of titanic battles raged throughout the field of 24
Starting 21st on the
grid as a couple of riders including his own team mate were declared unfit,
Aaron maintained his position at the end of the opening lap despite a great
start which saw him move up to 19th.
As expected though, with a bike
still in development Aaron lost touch a little with the group ahead but
continued to circulate consistently, eventually bringing the EBR 1190 RX home
in a very respectable 17th position.
Having had time to further
evaluate the data that was gathered in the opening encounter, Race 2 saw Aaron
confident of further improvement in terms of overall race pace and as the race
began Aaron was once again ahead of Team Toth BMW rider Imre Toth.
With the sun continuing to
shine, Aaron took full advantage of a dry track and once again lapped consistently
throughout the race to finish 20th.
Aaron Yates – Team Hero EBR: “The bike was the best that it’s been all weekend. We found
something in the warm up session which has helped us massively. Towards the end
of the race I was thinking about not getting in the way of leaders but we did
what we set out to achieve and that was to finish both races and get a lot more
data. We can go to Aragon proud of what we have achieved here.”
Giulio Bardo – Team Manager
Hero EBR: “One of the targets was to
complete both races with both riders. Unfortunately Geoff got injured but he
will be back for the next race. With Aaron we completed both races and that was
important for us. We can go back home and between Australia and the next race
in Spain, we can further develop the EBR 1190 RX. This weekend we have been
chasing our tails a little but the whole team has worked hard and can be
satisfied that we are moving in the right direction.”