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Feb 22, 2014

Guintoli Wins FIM World Superbike Superpole At Phillip Island

Sylvain Guintoli (50).

eni FIM Superbike World Championship

Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia

February 22, 2014

Qualifying Results (all on Pirelli tires):

Superpole Pole One Results (top two advance to Superpole Two):

1. Leon HASLAM, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:30.970

2. David SALOM, Spain (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:31.652

3. Toni ELIAS, Spain (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:32.107

4. Claudio CORTI, Italy (MV Agusta F4 RR), 1:32.187, ran off track

5. Fabien FORET, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:32.248

6. Alessandro ANDREOZZI, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:32.902

7. Jeremy GUARNONI, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:33.146

8. Sheridan MORAIS, South Africa (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:33.404

9. Glenn ALLERTON, Australia (BMW S1000RR), EVO, 1:33.605

10. Imre TOTH, Hungary (BMW S1000RR), 1:34.137

Superpole Two Results:

1. Sylvain GUINTOLI, France (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:30.038

2. Davide GIUGLIANO, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:30.135

3. Marco MELANDRI, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:30.332

4. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:30.385

5. Alex LOWES, UK (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:30.421

6. Jonathan REA, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:30.660

7. Loris BAZ, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:30.796

8. Tom SYKES, UK (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:30.835, crash

9. Leon HASLAM, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:31.138

10. Niccolo CANEPA, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), EVO, 1:31.274

11. Chaz DAVIES, UK (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:31.281

12. David SALOM, Spain (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:31.950

Combined Final Qualifying Results:

1. Sylvain GUINTOLI, France (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:30.038

2. Davide GIUGLIANO, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:30.135

3. Marco MELANDRI, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:30.332

4. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:30.385

5. Alex LOWES, UK (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:30.421

6. Jonathan REA, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:30.660

7. Loris BAZ, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:30.796

8. Tom SYKES, UK (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:30.835, crash

9. Leon HASLAM, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:31.138

10. Niccolo CANEPA, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), EVO, 1:31.274

11. Chaz DAVIES, UK (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:31.281

12. David SALOM, Spain (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:31.950

13. Toni ELIAS, Spain (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:32.107

14. Claudio CORTI, Italy (MV Agusta F4 RR), 1:32.187

15. Fabien FORET, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:32.248

16. Alessandro ANDREOZZI, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:32.902

17. Jeremy GUARNONI, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:33.146

18. Sheridan MORAIS, South Africa (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:33.404

19. Glenn ALLERTON, Australia (BMW S1000RR), EVO, 1:33.605

20. Imre TOTH, Hungary (BMW S1000RR), 1:34.137

21. M. WALTERS, Australia (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:34.453, crash

22. Aaron YATES, USA (EBR 1190 RX), 1:35.521

23. Geoff MAY, USA (EBR 1190 RX), 1:36.150, crash

24. Peter SEBESTYEN, Hungary (BMW S1000RR), EVO, 1:37.274

More, from a press release issued by Althea Racing:

Fourth row for Canepa in tomorrow’s races at Phillip Island

The Phillip Island circuit today hosted the second day of qualifying as well as the first Superpole of the 2014 Superbike World Championship. There were cloudy skies and fairly low temperatures this morning for the third and final timed practice, in which Niccolò Canepa was able to put in a fantastic performance. The Althea Racing rider was able to improve not only on his best time of yesterday but with an exceptional lap time of 1’31”065 he even improved on the times he’d recorded during testing earlier this week. Thanks to this result, Canepa qualified directly for Superpole 2, the only Evo rider to do so. 

This year a change to the regulations means that the first ten riders in qualifying proceed directly to Superpole 2, while the riders that place between eleventh and twentieth position take part in Superpole, in order to establish which two riders will move on to Superpole 2, which therefore sees a total participation of 12 riders. 

In this early afternoon free practice, Canepa and his technicians worked to set-up their 1199 Panigale R ahead of the Superpole. Canepa closed fourteenth with a time of 1’32”445. 

In Superpole 2 Niccolò made a few laps with the race tyre and then worked hard to improve further with the qualifying tyre. On his best lap the Althea rider showed signs of moving up into sixth place, but through the very last corner the tyre lost grip and Canepa risked crashing, losing valuable tenths which meant that he closed in final tenth position, meaning a place on the fourth row of tomorrow’s grid. Both he and the team can nevertheless be very pleased with the performance and the fact that they have consolidated their position at the head of the Evo pack. 

Niccolò Canepa: “This morning’s qualifying session went well, so much so that i was able to improve on my best time set during testing and I qualified directly for Superpole 2. Unfortunately, in the Superpole we had a problem with the qualifying tyre; I didn’t have a good feeling with it and through the last turn it gave up on me and I risked crashing. It was a pity because I could have improved and perhaps started from one row in front. I’m satisfied anyway because I’m nevertheless the first Evo rider and together with my team we have found good race pace that should allow us to be there with the Superbike guys tomorrow. I’m confident.”

Genesio Bevilacqua: “I’m pleased with how today has gone. We did very well in qualifying and our Superpole was only ruined on the final lap, due to a tyre that didn’t hold out until the end. The team and Niccolò have made a great job and have been consistently at the front of the Evo pack, which is our main goal. We would have liked to disturb the Superbike riders even more and the Superpole result could have been better, seeing as the split time put Canepa in sixth position, but we are confident ahead of tomorrow’s races and have reached a competitive level with a bike that is, let us remember, still completely new.”

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:




Phillip Island (Australia), 22 Feb 2014 - Aprilia Racing turned up at the start of the first 2014 SBK race with a performance worthy of the Manufacturer World Champion title earned last season.

Sylvain Guintoli dominated Superpole on the Australian Phillip Island circuit, setting the track record and taking first place on the starting grid and Marco Melandri also rode his silver RSV4 to the front row, earning the third spot.

After the Friday and Saturday morning practice sessions, used to find the best setup and race pace, Sylvain Guintoli took his best shots in the 15 minutes of Superpole, moving into the lead in the second lap with a race tyre (at 1’30.696) and then, after being overtaken by Giugliano and team mate Melandri, he improved even more in his fifth good lap and on a qualifier, stopping the clock with an amazing time of 1’30.038 which broke the record for the magnificent Australian track and gave him the third pole of his career.

Sylvain Guintoli: “This winter was hard. After 4 months without riding a bike and only a little bit of testing I was concerned about my physical conditions. But my Aprilia worked very well and it is no secret that this is one of our favourite tracks. I really had a lot of fun today. It's a shame I couldn't get my time down to 1’29 - that would have been fantastic. The important thing is that we grew and developed throughout the weekend. My shoulder isn't giving me any problems so tomorrow I'll be able to push hard since we've also got an excellent race pace. I expect to have two good races. There are a lot of riders with good pace, but I hope to be able to use my RSV4's power to bring home the win”.

Despite an accident - with no consequences for the rider - which basically cost him all the times from the morning, and despite having spent the next free practice sessions trying to find the setup he lost with the wrecked bike, Marco Melandri rode a Superpole worthy of his name. He even took a provisional lead at one point and in the end he landed a spot on the front row with the third best time (1’30.332). Overall an excellent performance and a nice way to start the races tomorrow.

Marco Melandri: “That was an incredible Superpole. After my crash in the test sessions the guys did an exceptional job fixing my RSV4. I had lost my feeling with it a little bit and before Superpole I admitted to my crew chief that I'd be happy if I made it into the top six. In all actuality I found a good feeling with the race tyre straight away and I put in an excellent lap, but with the qualifier I tried to push but I was struggling too much and went wide in Siberia. I'm happy to be here. Starting from the front will be fundamental tomorrow. I have a good race pace but it will be a battle with at least five other riders”.

More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) scores a front row start for tomorrow’s races at Phillip Island

Giugliano qualifies in second position in the first Superpole of the 2014 season, that took place today in Australia

Davies will start from eleventh position on tomorrow’s grid

Phillip Island (Australia), Saturday 22 February 2014 – The Ducati Superbike Team can be satisfied by the performance put in by its rider Davide Giugliano, while Chaz Davies’ grid position for tomorrow’s races was unfortunately conditioned by an unexpected skid through the final corner. In this afternoon’s first Superpole of the season, Davide Giugliano qualified second while Chaz Davies closed eleventh.

The lap times of all the Superbike riders began to drop in this morning’s third and final timed practice sessions, held in dry conditions (air temperature 18°C, track 16°C). Ducati Superbike rider Giugliano improved on his best time set yesterday almost immediately and continued to lower his times throughout this final timed practice session. By session’s end, he was in third position with a fastest time of 1’30.864. Davies, having lost valuable time during yesterday afternoon’s session due to a crash, was back on track this morning, albeit a little sore, and was able to improve significantly, by eight tenths of a second, on his best time set yesterday to record a fastest time of 1’30.962 in the latter stages of the session. This time positioned him fourth at session’s end, which meant that both Ducati Superbike riders, having closed inside the top ten, proceeded directly to this afternoon’s Superpole 2.

A short free practice session in the early afternoon gave both Davies and Giugliano a final chance to prepare with their technicians for the all-important Superpole 2. The Ducati riders closed the 30-minute session in first (Davide) and sixth (Chaz) position respectively.

Superpole 2: Dry conditions for the first Superpole of the season. This year, the new qualifying format gives the fastest ten riders in the practice sessions, plus the fastest two riders from Superpole 1, the chance to battle it out for positions on the first four rows of the grid in this 15-minute session. Each rider has one qualifying tyre available for use during the session.

Having made a very fast lap (1’30.2) on race rubber, Giugliano returned to the garage to put in the qualifying tyre. Determined to ride his Panigale onto the front row, the Italian rider gave it his all to record an impressive lap time of 1’30.1 that was enough to place second. He held this position until the session’s end, thus earning himself a key position on the front row of tomorrow’s starting grid.

Davies also made a few laps with the race tyre. He too then went back on track with the qualifying tyre and pushed hard to record a fast time. Unfortunately, at the very last turn, the British rider almost lost the rear of his Panigale, losing valuable tenths in the process and closing the session with a best of 1’31.2. Consequently, Davies will line up on row four of tomorrow’s grid, in eleventh position.

Quotes after the day’s sessions:

Davide Giugliano - Ducati Superbike Team #34

“I’m really pleased with the work I’ve completed with my team over the last two days. Up until now we’ve had a good pace but we need to see what track conditions are like tomorrow and then see what we can do. We’re very pleased to be able to start from the front row tomorrow and second place is an important result for us. I hope to be able to make a solid start – the start is one of strengths usually. I’m also happy with having made a 1’30.2 with the race tyre, it was a nice surprise when I saw that time appear on my dashboard. I’m feeling confident for tomorrow, and I’ll be fighting hard to be part of the leading group.”

Chaz Davies - Ducati Superbike Team #7

“It seemed like we had a few problems with the rear tyre through the last corners and I almost highsided coming out of the final turn, the tyre just seemed to run out of grip. This was disappointing as I was on a fast lap and would have moved up the grid a fair bit if it hadn’t been for that. To be honest I didn’t do a great job on the race tyre which probably hurt me, but then with the qualifier I lost a good half second through that final section. I think we’re in a fairly good position as far as pace is concerned so I hope to be able to make a good start and make some passes early on. Having said that, it won’t be easy starting from the fourth row.”

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki Press Office:


Voltcom Crescent Suzuki racers Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes qualified fourth and fifth respectively today in the first Superpole session of the 2014 eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island in Australia.

Laverty, improving on the already consistent form shown this week, set a 1’30.385 early in the session to claim his position at the head of the second row. Finding his pace from the off, both his first and second flying laps were enough to challenge for the front of the grid; the Irishman set his fastest lap on a Pirelli race tyre and increased his confidence ahead of tomorrow’s opening races.

Lowes continued his stellar performance shown on Friday, capturing the fastest time in the morning practice to secure his place in the afternoon’s final Superpole. Even a heavy crash after just 25-minutes - which resulted in a dislocated ankle – couldn’t stop the Englishman, as he dug deep to continue the day’s events. He set the fourth fastest time in the final free practice, before taking on the top-11 riders for the battle for Pole Position. Lowes will have treatment overnight to make sure he is as fit as possible to take part in tomorrow’s two races on-board his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R.

Sunday will see Voltcom Crescent Suzuki begin the challenge for the 2014 World Championship at the Australian circuit. The first race is schedule to start at 12:00 local time (01:00 GMT) with race two at 14:40 local time (03:40GMT).

Eugene Laverty:

“Second row! It’s not quite the front but we did our lap-time on a race tyre so to be right there at the head of the second row without a qualifier is definitely confidence inspiring. The qualifier just didn’t work for us; we had some vibration causing us to lose the ability to flow. Race setting was good so the aim now is to try for a good start, stay with the Aprilias and fight for a podium in the first race of the season.”

Alex Lowes:

“I’m frustrated more than anything. I think we’ve made some really good steps with the Suzuki GSX-R. Dale, Russell, Ash and Lez have worked really, really hard with the bike and Tim, Davide and the whole team have worked to give me the bike that I’ve wanted. We’ve improved every time that I’ve gone out, obviously I’ve made a mistake this morning - a small mistake but with big consequences and they’ve had to work really hard to get me back out, so fair play to them. I felt I did as good as I could do in the qualifying, my foot was holding me back a bit and I really need to work on that tomorrow because the bike is better than me at the moment and it’s frustrating because I think we can do so much better. It’s nice to be injured and still be fifth, I think people would have taken that if I was fit! I’m happy, I’ve been fast every session and I believe that I can go well and it’s now a case of trying to get my ankle to the best that it can be and have two good races.”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“Today has been tougher than yesterday, particularly with Alex’s huge high-side this morning. The damage isn’t too bad but a normal person would definitely still be in hospital waiting for treatment! Shifting gears is the biggest restriction along with coping with the pain, but he’s done an amazing job so far to qualify fifth in his first ever World Superbike weekend. Alex is extremely fit and extremely tough and whilst the injury is going to be a restriction tomorrow I don’t expect it to hinder him too badly.

“Eugene has been consistently quick on the GSX-R throughout the test and the race weekend and it was no different today. It’s the first time that he has used a qualifier on this bike and unfortunately we just didn’t have the setting right to capitalise, so in the end his best lap was set on the race tyre that we will choose for tomorrow, which definitely augurs well.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the whole team and the riders and we are all looking forward to getting the 2014 championship underway tomorrow.”

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

Second row for Rea in Phillip Island opener

Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea will start tomorrow’s two opening races of the 2014 FIM eni World Superbike championship from the second row of the grid after setting the sixth-fastest time in this afternoon’s Superpole qualifying session at Phillip Island in Australia.

In the new-format, two-part Superpole, Rea’s team-mate Leon Haslam took his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP into Superpole 1 as the 12th fastest rider from the first three timed practices.

The 30-year-old British rider qualified comfortably fastest from Superpole 1 and joined Rea and the other nine quickest riders from the timed free practice sessions for the 15-minute Superpole 2 to determine the final positions for the first four rows of the grid. Haslam set the ninth-quickest time in Superpole two for a third row start tomorrow.

Pole position was taken by Sylvain Guintoli as Haslam and Rea, 27, improved on their best times from free practice with a single Pirelli qualifying tyre. However, the Northern Irishman lost some grip towards the end of his solitary flying lap on the softer rubber.

The first of tomorrow’s two 22-lap openers at the 4.445km Phillip Island will start at 12.00 local time, with the second outing at 14.40.

Jonathan Rea - P6 1m30.660s

Superpole went quite smoothly for us, really – no major problems apart from the fact that my qualifier really ran out of grip halfway through the lap. It meant the last two corners were a little bit…er, exciting! But we worked quite well today and I was really happy with our earlier free practice run when we worked solely on our race set-up. I’m not exactly sure about everyone else’s pace but I think we’ve definitely moved forward from yesterday, which is good. I guess we’ll know after 22 laps tomorrow if we’ve done our homework properly, but I’m quite happy with my choice of race tyre. The weather conditions and wind direction in warm-up tomorrow will determine our last-minute settings, but I’m really looking forward to getting the season underway. It’s been a lo ng winter coming back from the injury last year and I want to thank everyone that has helped to get me back on to the grid again – they know who they are and hopefully we can do a good job for the whole Pata Honda team tomorrow.

Leon Haslam - P9 1m31.138s

It’s a little disappointing after feeling really confident after the test here earlier this week. We put in a new specification engine yesterday, which is more powerful and a bit more aggressive. It’s thrown a few little bugs into our plans and we’ve only been able to make a few steps back towards where we were in the test. I’d say we’re around 50% of the way there and we made some more progress in those two Superpole outings. But, as I say, it’s a little disappointing because in the test I was feeling really confident. On the positive side, we can see where the issues are and we just need to study the electronics to get them sorted. The chassis settings and tyres are exactly the same as we ran in the test and, apart from one or two other niggling little problems, I’m happy with all that.

Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator

It’s not been an easy day for us, especially on Leon’s side where we struggled to get the right electronics set-up. It has been harder for him to do the lap times compared to the test here and this seems to be connected to the difference in engine performance. We are on to something now and have already made some steps; if we can find something more tomorrow, I’m quite sure he can do the rest and find a few tenths because he has been quick since we got here. Jonathan was sixth, but we’ve had similar problems to Leon’s. We still need to find a couple of tenths in the last sector and if we can get those he can still fight for the podium.

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

Team Hero EBR Just Miss Out On Phillip Island Superpole

In a dramatic final free practice session at Phillip Island, Team Hero EBR rider Geoff May suffered a nasty looking fall which has left him with a fractured left collarbone.

With conditions significantly better than the previous 24 hours, both Hero EBR riders were keen to improve their positions and for May, he was hopeful of not just improving in terms of time but also hopeful of hanging onto the final Superpole spot. It wasn’t to be however for Geoff, as after only 9 minutes of the session, he suffered a spectacular crash which has ruled him out of the season opener tomorrow.

Considering that the all new EBR 1190 RX machine hadn’t turned a wheel until the official test on Monday, in the overall classification we were only 0.4s from making it into the Superpole session.

On the other side of the garage, Aaron Yates, continued to improve, reducing his personal best lap time by almost a second to ensure that he lines up on the grid tomorrow in 23rd position.

Giulio Bardi – Team Hero EBR Manager: “What happened to Geoff is a real shame. We had been making steps forward with the bike every time we go on track which is really encouraging for us. We were hoping Geoff could make a few laps to allow us to continue to evaluate the data but then he crashed. The main thing is that he is not too seriously hurt and should make a full recovery for Aragon. Aaron on the other hand did make a big step forward with his lap time and although he didn’t make the Superpole should have two solid races tomorrow.”

Aaron Yates – Rider: “We made some changes and I am starting to get more feel from the rear now which means we are picking up with drive, so all in all we are moving in the right direction. All that counts at this stage is for us to keep collecting data and from there we can keep taking steps forward. We arrived here with some completely new aspects of the bike so of course we have had to make adjustments. We are a little bit off the pace but tomorrow the plan is of course to finish both races and if we can pick up a tow, anything could happen.”

More, from a press release issued by Dorna WSBK Press Office:

The first Tissot-Superpole of 2014 was contested today under cloudy skies, with Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) securing the first slot on the grid for the two debut races of the season, scheduled for tomorrow at Phillip Island. The 31 year old Frenchman set a new outright best lap of the Australian venue in 1'30.038during the final Superpole session, despite a small moment he had during his flying lap. The first race winner of last year got the better of Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) by only a hundredth of a second, with the Italian rider continuing to impress on his first ever race weekend aboard his Ducati 1199 Panigale R.

Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) won the battle for the last spot of the first row by finishing third ahead of Voltcom Crescent Suzuki duo Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes, whilst Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) claimed sixth place, followed by KRT paring of Loris Baz and Tom Sykes. The reigning Superbike World Champion missed the chance to snatch the pole position as he crashed unhurt at turn 9 with two minutes to go.

Leon Haslam, following an encouraging lap set in Superpole 1, did not manage to significantly improve his performance in the following session and was 9th at the chequered flag, two places in front of fellow British Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team).

Two riders out of the twelve who took part in the second Tissot-Superpole were riding EVO-spec bikes. NiccolòCanepa (Althea Racing Ducati) finished 10th after qualifying directly to the final 15 minutes, thanks to a 6th place in the combined times from free practice. Kawasaki Racing Team's David Salom, on the other hand, worked his way up to Superpole 2 thanks to the second best time set in the first session, eventually securing a 4th row start (12th place).

Sylvain Guintoli: “My Aprilia worked very well and it is no secret that this is one of our favourite tracks. I really had a lot of fun today.It's a shame I couldn't get my time down to 1’29 - that would have been fantastic. The important thing is that we improved a lot throughout the weekend. My shoulder isn't giving me any problem so tomorrow I'll be able to push hard since, also considering our excellent race pace. I expect two good races. There are a lot of riders with good pace, but I hope to be able to use the RSV4 power to take the win."

Eugene Laverty: “Second row! It’s not quite the front, but we did our lap-time on a race tyre so to be right there at the head of the second row without a qualifier is definitely confidence inspiring. The qualifier just didn’t work very well for us; we had some vibration causing us to lose the ability to flow. Race setting was good so the aim now is to try for a good start, stay with the Aprilias and fight for a podium in the first race of the season.”