Digital Edition Subscribers: Read Roadracing World Magazine Now >   |   3-Month Trial Subscription >
Roadracing World.com - An Online Service of Roadracing World Magazine
SHARE:
Jun 8, 2014

eni FIM World Superbike Race Two Results From Sepang

The Sepang Circuit.

eni FIM Superbike World Championship

Sepang Circuit, Malaysia

June 8, 2014

Race Two Results (all on Pirelli tires):

1. Marco MELANDRI, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 10 laps, 21:00.424

2. Sylvain GUINTOLI, France (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -0.166 second

3. Tom SYKES, UK (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -2.689 seconds

4. Toni ELIAS, Spain (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -5.386

5. Loris BAZ, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -5.514

6. Jonathan REA, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), -7.073

7. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Suzuki GSX-R1000), -7.476

8. Chaz DAVIES, UK (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), -11.057

9. Alex LOWES, UK (Suzuki GSX-R1000), -15.866

10. Davide GIUGLIANO, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), -16.206

11. Leon HASLAM, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), -16.488

12. Leon CAMIER, UK (BMW S1000RR), EVO, -23.820

13. David SALOM, Spain (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, -30.653

14. Jeremy GUARNONI, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, -31.266

15. Niccolo CANEPA, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), EVO, -43.009

16. Bryan STARING, Australia (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, -46.127

17. Sheridan MORAIS, South Africa (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, -58.167

18. Imre TOTH, Hungary (BMW S1000RR), -60.017

19. Peter SEBESTYEN, Hungary (BMW S1000RR), EVO, -63.574

20. Aaron YATES, USA (EBR 1190RX), -73.522

21. Romain LANUSSE, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, -5 laps, DNF, crash

22. Alessandro ANDREOZZI, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, -8 laps, DNF, crash

23. Fabien FORET, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, -10 laps, DNS

24. Geoff MAY, USA (EBR 1190RX), DNS

Subjects to Homologation:

STH. Ayrton BADOVINI, Italy (Bimota BB3), EVO, -29.094 seconds

STH. Christian IDDON, UK (Bimota BB3), EVO, -36.354 seconds


World Championship Point Standings (after 12 of 26 races):

1. Sykes, 201 points

2. Guintoli, 188

3. Rea, 179

4. Baz, 170

5. Melandri, 147

6. Davies, 130

7. Giugliano, 96

8. Laverty, 90

9. TIE, Elias/Haslam, 89

11. Lowes, 80

12. Salom, 56

13. Canepa, 39

14. Camier, 30

15. Guarnoni, 19

16. Luca Scassa, 16

17. Foret, 14

18. TIE, Corti/Morais, 10

20. Andreozzi, 8

21. Glenn Allerton, 6

22. Bos, 5

23. Staring, 3

24. TIE, Toth/Michel Fabrizio, 2

26. Lanusse, 1



More, from a press release issued by Dorna WSBK:

Melandri does the double in Malaysia

Sepang (Malaysia), Sunday 8 June 2014 – Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) came out victorious in the second World Superbike race of the day at the Sepang International Circuit, making it two out of two in front of an enthusiastic Malaysian crowd that reached a total of 34,528 spectators over the three days. The Italian got the better of teammate Guintoli in the final lap of the race, with the two swapping positions three times before crossing the line. It was the second double of Melandri’s career after the one he scored in Brno two years ago, aboard the factory BMW.machinery he was riding at the time.

Marco Melandri: “We really needed this double! We never gave up despite the difficulties we went through, we kept working hard and fighting. I found a good feeling here astride my RSV4. Conditions were difficult in race one, but I managed to close the gap to Sylvain anyway. After overtaking him I was able to pull away just enough to win. Race two was even harder, as I had to make my through the Kawasakis before try and catch my teammate. During the last lap I tried everything I could up to the finish line. A lot of respect should be paid to all riders for today’s races, because it was really tough to ride in these conditions. I would like to dedicate this double to my girlfriend Manu who is due to give birth soon and to the team.”

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) made amends after being taken out in race one to take the final spot on the podium, despite a painful wrist. The Brit still leads the standings after the sixth round whilst Guintoli now lies second in the title race, only 13 points behind the reigning champion.

Tom Sykes: “We got a podium and we are still leading the championship, which is very important. We made a change to the machine after Superpole and in warm-up I was very happy. I had a bit of a limitation in race two which created a little bit of instability with the bike because I was not able to use my right hand to its full potential. It is was difficult to see the two guys up front go away because if I was riding fit then I think we could have tried to give them something to think about. My crew chief had a good chat with me before race two, and he said we needed to try and do the best we can.”

The race was initially red flagged after the MV Agusta of Claudio Corti expired resulting in a small fire that needed to be extinguished by the track side marshals.

With only 3 full laps completed the grid for the restart was determined by the positions at the end of the third revolution, meaning Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) was on pole ahead of Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) and Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team). The restart, over 10 laps of the Sepang International Circuit did not disappoint, with the leading five riders locked together until the two factory Aprilia riders eased clear.

Marco Melandri had to take avoiding action as he misjudged his braking point on the second lap, narrowly missing the back of his team mate Guintoli and Toni Elias. Thankfully everyone stayed aboard treating the fans to one of the closest race finishes of the year. Melandri and Guintoli exchanged places several times on the final lap with the Italian getting the better of his team mate once again to take a double win on the championship’s first visit to Sepang.

Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) edged Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) for fourth, with Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) finishing in sixth place.

Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia) was the best classified EVO rider, racing to 12th at the end of the race ahead of David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team).

Alessandro Andreozzi (Pedercini Kawasaki), and his team mate Romain Lanusse both crashed out, thankfully without injury.




More, from a press release issued by Team Hero EBR:

Team Hero EBR Achieve Double Top Twenty Finish At Sepang

After the disappointing news that Geoff was unable to take part in either of today’s two races in Sepang due to an ongoing electrical problem, Aaron Yates was the sole rider representing Team Hero EBR in the heat and humidity of Sepang bringing his EBR1190RX machine claiming a pair of encouraging results.

Race one saw Aaron dicing with several riders, eventually finishing in 16th at the flag, our best result of the season and just missing out on our first championship point.

Happy with the performance and the reliability race two saw an equally satisfying race with Aaron finishing a respectable x after another gruelling race in the heat and humidity. The race was initially red flagged after 3 laps after Claudio Corti’s MV Agusta expired by which time Aaron had moved into 25th and was involved in a fight with both of the Team Toth BMW machines.

A ten lap restart was without incident, allowing Aaron to claim a double finish with 20th at the flag.

The entire team are buoyed by this double result, and whilst of course disappointed that Geoff had to miss both races they move to Misano in a fortnight with optimism.

Aaron Yates: “It’s hard to keep focused with nobody to follow, but after the riders I was fighting with in race one stopped I was left on my own. 16th is the best result of the year but it would have been nice to get the elusive first point. Race two I had a good battle with the BMW’s and we can go to Misano satisfied with our double top 20 finishes and ready to push for the next step forward.”

Despite being unable to compete in the races, Geoff was still buoyant about his Malaysian experience.

Geoff May: “The track is so much fun to ride, obviously I am disappointed at not being able to ride but we have to keep in mind that this is a new campaign, a new bike and our development year! We know what the issue is and we have things coming over the next few races. Things don’t happen overnight but we will get there and we have to keep focused like we have been and moving forward.”




More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

A solid fourth place finish for Davies and the Ducati Superbike Team today at Sepang

Sepang (Malaysia), Sunday 8 June 2014 – A strong performance by Chaz Davies and the Ducati Superbike Team in today’s first Superbike race at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia; the British rider crossed the line in fourth place, before concluding race two in eighth position; Davide Giugliano finished the two races eighth and tenth.

Race 1 – Today’s races were played out in very hot conditions (air temperature 32°C, track 52°C) and high levels of humidity. Starting from eighth on the grid, Davies was quickly able to make up a number of positions and was lapping fourth through the opening stages. He battled with Elias and got past him on lap six to move up into third position. In the final laps, a drop in grip prevented Chaz from defending his position as he would have wanted and he was passed by Laverty. The Ducati man then continued to fight it out to the wire with Elias, ultimately crossing the line ahead of the Spaniard to earn a very worthy fourth place finish.

For Giugliano it was a more frenetic race, and not helped by the fact that he felt unwell last night and awoke this morning with a fever. A collision at the second corner caused several riders to crash in front of Davide and the Italian rider had to almost stop in order to avoid suffering the same fate, falling back to fourteenth position as a result. Pushing hard to recover, Davide was able to pass several riders over the next two laps and was already up into seventh by lap three. Fighting with Haslam, Giugliano passed the British rider on lap seven only to be repassed soon after. The Italian gave it his all to the line but, losing ground in the final stages due to a lack of grip, he had to settle for final eighth position.

Race 2 – Temperatures had further increased for the second race, with the track up to 59°C. The two Ducati Superbike riders got off to a fairly good start and were lying sixth (Giugliano) and eighth (Davies) when, on lap four, Race Direction stopped the race with a red flag after another rider's bike left oil on track. A ‘quick restart’ and the race, shortened to just 10 laps, got underway. This time Davide positioned eighth after the opening lap, followed by Chaz, tenth. Both riders were able to pass Haslam early on and towards mid-race they both battled with Laverty but, losing ground in the closing stages, with a more dramatic drop in grip than in race one, the Ducati men closed the race in final eighth (Davies) and tenth (Giugliano) position.

After six of fourteen scheduled rounds, Davies is in sixth position in the general standings, with 130 points, with Giugliano right behind him in seventh place (96 points). Ducati lies fourth in the manufacturer’s classification with 158 points.

Quotes after the races:

Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 4th, 8th

“The races today were about as tough as we’d expected really. The main problem was a lack of side grip but then that also exaggerates other things as a result, for example the electronics are not so smooth when the edge grip is so low. The feeling was fairly similar in both races, perhaps a small improvement in race 2 after we made some changes, but we need to get on top of the side grip problem in order to be able to accelerate better off the turns. I was fairly happy with the race 1 result. Anyway, I felt that I did all I could here and we’ll continue to work to resolve the grip issues.”

Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 8th, 10th

“It’s a pity about race 1 as it’s not the first time Baz has done something like this and this time more than one rider fell and I lost many positions in trying to avoid the collision. I tried to accelerate as much as possible after that and was able to get by several of the fast guys but after a certain point there was no more grip. The second race didn’t go well. We got away ok in the restarted race but a drop in grip after only three laps prevented me from riding as I wanted to. A difficult day all in all but I can say that in these conditions, and considering that the flu has left me feeling pretty weak, it was already a result to finish both races. I don’t like eighth and tenth but just this once I will settle for these results.”

Ernesto Marinelli – Ducati Superbike Project Director

“Considering that this track is not so favourable for us, the results achieved here today are not so bad. Chaz just missed out on the podium in race one. A real pity for Davide, because a fever and weakness due to flu surely didn’t help matters in what were already extreme conditions. But thanks to his determination and the Clinica Mobile’s help, he was able to complete both races. Rear grip, especially in race 2 in which temperatures were higher, has been our main problem this weekend. We will therefore need to look at the data to try to understand how we can improve when it is this hot. So our work continues and we will now prepare for Misano as best we can.”




More, from a press release issued by Pata Honda Superbike Team:

Pata Honda riders gather points under Malaysian sun

Pata Honda riders Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam scored valuable championship points in today's two sixth-round World Superbike championship races at Sepang in Malaysia but were unable to challenge at the front of the field.

Today's two 16-lap encounters at the fast and flowing 5.548km Sepang circuit near Kuala Lumpur were both won by Marco Melandri, with Jonathan Rea finishing the two races in sixth position as he battled his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP with temperatures in the mid-30s and the track above 50°C.

Rea was innocently caught in a first lap crash in the first outing and was forced off the Sepang circuit at turn three before rejoining in last place. The 27-year-old quickly set about taking advantage of the absence of series leader Tom Sykes and scored ten valuable championship points at the flag.

Race two was interrupted by oil on the track and restarted over ten laps, with Rea starting from seventh place. He matched the pace of riders in front of him but was not able to improve on his first race result.

Rea's Pata Honda team-mate, Leon Haslam got a good start to race one but experienced corner entry problems on his way to seventh place. His second outing was no easier in the Sepang heat and the 30-year-old British rider could finish no better than eleventh.

Jonathan Rea - 6th and 6th

It's been a very tough weekend and it's not where we want to be. But we kind of made some steps forward when it mattered, especially in race two when I was able to carry a much better pace than I have all weekend in the heat. But it seems our engine braking system is too sensitive to different conditions and different circuits, which is frustrating because when I had grip at the beginning I had no problem entering the corners but at the end of the race I had a lot of chatter from the rear when the grip went down. But I really enjoyed riding this track, even though we didn't get the full potential out of the CBR this weekend. I look forward to the next race at Misano because it's a circuit that I love.

Leon Haslam - 7th and 11th

I think we've both struggled this weekend, and I'm not sure whether it's the hot conditions or the low grip levels. We made a different plan for this weekend on the chassis and it's definitely showed up some positives. We have a couple of technical issues which set us back a little but in the race it was quite difficult with me and Jonathan riding around for the lesser points positions which is not ideal. Hopefully we can learn a lot from this weekend and take that to Misano.

Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator

Jonathan did not really have good qualifying or practice sessions and we went back to a setting from yesterday. Two sixth places were not too bad under the circumstances and probably the maximum for this track for us at the moment. We'll be working hard to be able to fight again for the podium at Misano. Leon was able to stay with Jonathan quite well when he passed him in race one and we made some positive steps during the weekend. His position in race two was a bit of a disappointment though, so we'll have to see what happened there. All in all it's been quite a tough weekend so we look forward to going back to Europe and Misano.




More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:

WSBK - APRILIA DOMINATES AT SEPANG

TWO WINS BY MARCO MELANDRI, TWO ONE-TWO FINISHES FOR THE RSV4

THANKS TO HIS TWO SECOND PLACE FINISHES SYLVAIN GUINTOLI IS NOW SECOND IN THE RIDER STANDINGS

Sepang (Malaysia), 8 June 2014 – The first ever World Superbike Championship round at Sepang bore the Aprilia signature, dominator in both races. Marco Melandri's double win and Sylvain Guintoli's double second place confirmed the supremacy demonstrated from the first practice laps of the weekend where the RSV4, including the "satellite" bike ridden by Toni Elias, showed just how much they liked the Malaysian track.

Race 1 had the two RSV4s ridden by Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli pulling away at the front from the very first lap to battle for the win. It was the rider from Ravenna who brought it home in the end, skilfully bridging the gap that had been created after a crashing pileup in the first few turns. Once he had caught up with his team mate, Marco overtook him in one of the braking sections on the tenth lap, holding onto the lead until the chequered flag.

Race 2 changed in form but not in substance. A red flag in the third lap decreed a restart for a race now shortened to 10 laps and the starting grid based on the riders' positions at the time the race had been stopped, which put the three RSV4s on the front row. Sylvain Guintoli took the lead straight away while Marco Melandri battled to chase down his team mate.

In the final lap the two Aprilia riders made a series of passes that were as spectacular as they were clean, with Marco Melandri prevailing after Sylvain's last ditch attempt in the turn right before the finish line. It was a flying finish, the second one-two of the day and overall standings that were radically changed. This brings Melandri up to fifth place in the rider standings, whereas only 13 points separate Guintoli from current leader, Tom Sykes. Aprilia shortens the gap in the Manufacturer standings as well, where they lie in second place just 4 points from the top.

Marco Melandri: "A double win that was just what we needed! Despite the difficulties we never gave up. We kept working and fighting. I had a good feeling straight away with my RSV4 here. The conditions in Race 1 were difficult but I managed to catch up to Sylvain. After overtaking him I set my own pace. I knew I could defend well in the braking sections and I was able to manage the race to the end. Race 2 was even harder because I also had to battle with the Kawasakis before catching Sylvain. In the last tap I thought I would give it a try. I had to give 100 percent down to the chequered flag. Anyway, all the riders deserve admiration today because riding in these conditions is not easy at all. I want to dedicate this win to Manu, her belly and all the guys on the Team. See you at Misano!"

Sylvain Guintoli: "In Race 1 I thought I had implemented my strategy well, but unfortunately toward the end Marco just had a really good pace and forced me into a few mistakes. I think I did better in Race 2, trying to pull the pin straight away, but toward the end Marco quite simply had just a little more. I tried to fight back and I think we gave anybody watching the race plenty of entertainment in that last lap! We earned some important points in the championship and showed that Aprilia is back out front with a great day. Now we'll get some rest after this really tiring weekend."




More, from a press release issued by Voltcom Crescent Suzuki:

Laverty back on the podium in Sepang

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki racer Eugene Laverty stormed to third position at the Sepang International Circuit today in the opening race of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship’s Malaysian round.

Starting from 7th on the grid Laverty avoided the second corner collision, which brought down three riders including his teammate Alex Lowes, and got up to speed quickly to pursue the front running pack of four riders. Challenging their pace, the Irishman held fifth place for the initial eight laps before advancing on Aprilia’s Toni Elias and then Ducati’s Chaz Davies three laps later. Maintaining consistent speed on his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R, Laverty held third to the line to take a well-deserved podium and 16 championship points.

Race two got underway at 16:30hrs local time and after a red flag four laps in, the 10 lap sprint restart did little to dampen the momentum. Resuming from his previous race position of ninth Laverty rode a determined race, catching Honda’s Leon Haslam and the Ducati pairing of Davide Giugliano and Davies before running out of laps to catch the next group and taking his GSX-R1000 across the line for seventh.

Despite the collision in the first lap ending his race one campaign early, Alex Lowes regrouped for the second outing, taking his ninth place spot on the grid for the late afternoon contest. After the brief interruption of the red flag, he restarted the race from 11th. Holding 10th for the majority of the shortened 10 lap race, the British racer pushed his Suzuki GSX-R passed Giugliano to take ninth on the final lap.

Air temperatures of 32°C left the track a blisteringly hot 52°C for the opening race, rising to 36°C and 59°C respectively for the later outing. Aprilia’s Marco Melandri got the better of his teammate for the race one win, with a similar manoeuvre on the last lap of the day granting him the double.

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki now travels back to its UK headquarters to continue the motivation in preparation for the Riviera de Rimini round at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” in Italy on 22nd June.

Eugene Laverty:

“It was fantastic to get back on the podium in race one - a nice reward for all the guys because they deserved it in Donington but I threw it away in race one, so we are back where we belong I think. Race two, with the shorter distance, didn’t suit my Suzuki because we were better on old tyres but it’s been a positive weekend in all and it’s nice to finally be back in the top three for the first time since Phillip Island.”

Alex Lowes:

“There’s not much I can say about race one, but I definitely learnt something in race two. I really didn’t feel good at all, it was a big impact in the race one crash, but I dug deep and it was a good experience overall on a new circuit. It is a great track here at Sepang and I wish I could have done better, but now I’m really looking forward to Misano and seeing how close we can get to the front.”

Paul Denning:

“Following Alex’s superb podium at Donington, to follow that up with a podium for Eugene in very difficult conditions here at Sepang is a positive sign that we have got the GSX-R in the ball park and hopefully we can create further positive momentum from here on. Eugene’s not in the best of conditions with a broken bone in his right foot and is generally a bit battered after a testing accident last week, but he did very well to not let that affect him and to push forward so strongly and get to the podium in race one. Seventh was disappointing in race two, in that the potential was much better - I believe it was very possible to finish fourth if the race hadn’t been cut to such a short distance of only 10 laps.

“For Alex it has been a tough first visit to Sepang but we could have seen a very strong performance today. Only making one corner in race one before being violently taken out in the accident triggered by Loris Baz’s very rash move caused Alex a fair few injuries and a very severe bang on the head. All things considered he did very well to ride the bike in race two and even better to find a good pace, especially over the final five laps and fight his way up into the top 10. We are looking forward to the next three races at circuits we feel could be very positive for the bike and hope to arrive in Misano with two fit riders and some luck on our side.”




More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Sykes Podiums And Maintains Championship Lead

Tom Sykes (KRT) scored a third place in race two to recover from a race one DNF and keep his championship lead after six rounds of the championship have been completed. Loris Baz (KRT) secured a fifth place finish in race two, while David Salom won the first SBK Evo race of the day and has a clear lead in the Evo points table.

2013 World Champion Sykes qualified in second place on the Sepang grid on his Ninja ZX-10R and after a coming together with his team-mate Baz and another rider he recovered from a painful right hand injury to score a strong third place finish in race two. In taking another 16 points to add to his 2014 total he broke through the 200 points barrier and has a 13-point lead over Sylvain Guintoli, 201 to 188.

Baz fell under braking into the second corner of the first lap of race one and after his bike had collided with Sykes’s machine neither rider could restart. Baz recovered strongly in the shortened second race and finished in fifth place, pushing hard in the sweltering conditions. Loris is now fourth in the championship, with 170 points.

David Salom took a stunning win in the Evo class in race one, but a poor start off the line meant he had to fight hard for his overall 13th place finish, and was third in the Evo classifications. In the Evo points table Salom has a 17-point lead.

The second race was only ten laps long, not the planned 16, after an oil spill halted the first start it after only a few laps. Race one went the full 16 laps, which was a test in the high air and track temperatures at the Malaysian circuit. Track temperatures rose to almost 60°C in race two.

Misano in Italy is the venue for the seventh round of the series, with raceday on Sunday 22 June.

Tom Sykes: “We got a podium and we are still leading the championship, which is very important. We made a change to the machine after Superpole and in warm-up I was very happy with the Ninja ZX-10R and did some great lap times before the race. I was feeling very confident. We had a gap to make up to the Aprilias all weekend but in warm up I felt that we could have gone racing and at least challenged them. I had a bit of a limitation in race two which created a little bit of instability with the bike because I was not able to use my right hand to its full potential. It is was difficult to see the two guys up front go away because if I was riding fit then I think we could have tried to give them something to think about. My crew chief had a good chat with me before race two, and he said we needed to try and do the best we can. Third is the best we could have done in that race.”

Loris Baz: “In race one I made a good start and Alex Lowes cam inside in the first corner and we were together. I just wanted to pass him in the second one. Tom braked really hard to make sure he did not touch anyone in front of him and I had to brake really strongly too. When I did I lost the front and my bike took him and Alex out. It is a big shame for the team but I could not do anything. For me I crashed alone and my bike took somebody out and unfortunately it was Tom. In race two I tried everything to follow the top three guys but we were missing some grip in the exits of the corners, the slow ones. Here it is worse than most other tracks because the straights after the corners are really long. I lost time in all the straights but I was catching them in the other parts of the race. I made a small change after the red flags came out but I could not do anything more. Maybe I could have been fourth but I lost the rear on the last lap and Toni Elias overtook me on the straight, so that was it. Not the best weekend for sure but it will be OK in Misano.”

David Salom: “It was great to win in race one but it was very hard. The weather conditions were very difficult but we took the win we wanted and it is because we have worked very hard this weekend and all season. We got more points in the championship after these races. Even if I got beaten in the second race, because I had a really bad start, we still left here with a good championship lead. It was not possible to stay with Leon Camier but I had a fight with the other Evo riders, and beat them to the flag.”




More, from a press release issued by Alstare Bimota:

TEAM BIMOTA ALSTARE UPBEAT AFTER DIFFICULT DAY

Team Bimota Alstare riders Ayrton Badovini and Christian endured a difficult pair of races at Sepang International circuit today, but took away many positives despite the trying conditions. Today saw the hottest weather of the weekend and the searing heat of the tarmac caused grip problems for many of the riders.

Race 1 started superbly for Christian, who was in seventh place at the end of the first lap, with Ayrton just three places behind in 10th. It was all going well until Christian lost the front and crashed out on lap nine, fortunately without injury. Ayrton carried on the fight alone and finished 12th, after experiencing set-up and grip problems.

Race 2 was red-flagged after a few laps, due to Claudio Corti’s bike catching fire, and restarted as a 10-lapper. Ayrton finished 13th overall (and runner-up in the EVO class) and Christian 16th (overall) and 5th in the EVO category.

Ayrton Badovini – Race 1: 12th overall, 4th EVO, Race 2: 13th overall, 2nd EVO

“Race 1 started well, but I couldn’t really feel what the bike was doing, especially on the front end. I am not sure if it was to do with the high temperatures or not, but the bike wasn’t turning very well. I rode as hard as I could, without taking any big risks and brought the bike home as best I could.

For me the second race was better for us because it was shorter. I was happier because my bike worked a bit better than it did in the first race. We had changed quite a few things and that allowed me to push harder. For the first seven laps I pushed really hard and took a few risks and then I took things a bit more steadily and made sure of a respectable finish.”

Christian Iddon – Race 1: DNF, Race 2: 16th overall, 5th EVO

“In race 1, I made a good start but after eight laps or so, I lost the front and crashed. Maybe I was pushing a bit too hard and that’s why it happened. I wanted to get going again so I picked the bike and tried to restart it, but it wouldn’t fire up, so that was that. Up until the crash things had not been great because I was having problems with front end almost every time I released the brakes. I wasn’t near the ragged edge and tried to push my way through the problem, but failed.

In the shortened second race, I had a series of false neutrals and that really upset my rhythm. It started on the very first lap and then continued three or four times more. Every time it happened I would go straight on and lose positions and that was frustrating to say the least. I had no feeling for the grip, so rode as steadily as I could to finish the race. At the end of the day, I am a bit disappointed about how things worked out. It’s been the most difficult weekend of the year so far, but I guess these things happen.”

Francis Batta (Team Manager)

This was our hardest race weekend of the season, but we had no problems with the engine or the chassis, so this is good news. This track is difficult and it is hard to get a good set-up, but we still managed to get a runner-up spot in the EVO class in race 2 and that, together with our recent good results, shows what we are capable of – even at this early stage in this bike’s development. At the moment, our biggest problem is the electronics, because we are unable to do everything that we would like. However, I am happy that our results so far have been good and now I am looking forward to even better results in the second half of the season.”