WSBK, Phillip Island, AUSTRALIA
Baz Leaves Phillip Island Second Overall As Sykes Podiums
Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) scored a second place finish in race two while his team-mate Tom Sykes took a best of third today, also in race two. David Salom had two top Evo class race finishes for KRT.
On a day when the temperatures rose on track, after two days of cooler conditions in practice, Baz put in a good first race to go fifth after the full 22-lap distance. He upped his game once more in race two after some set-up changes and finished only 0.238 seconds from eventual race winner Sylvain Guintoli. The second race was halted because of an oil leak, and the results counted back to lap 14 of the planned 22.
Reigning SBK champion Tom Sykes experienced some grip issues in race one and finished seventh, but changes to his set-up arrived at by his team allowed him to fight back through the field in race two and he took a strong third place. He could have challenged for the win had the race not been cut short by the red flag, but he was still only 1.103 seconds from the winner.
In the new Evo category David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team SBK Evo) made a clean sweep of the two top places on offer on his Ninja ZX-10R, finishing ninth in race one overall and then tenth in race two. He is ranked ninth in the oval championship standings after two races, and clearly leads the Evo class.
Baz is a brilliant second in the overall SBK points, on 31, while Sykes’ recovery from seventh in race one puts him sixth overall, but very close to the top positions after one round.
Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Mahi Racing Team India SBK Evo) scored two 12th places today. Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki SBK Evo) was also in the points, for 14th in race one. Sheridan Morais (Iron Brain Kawasaki SBK Evo) scored 15th and then 14th places.
Loris Baz: “We changed just a little thing on the bike for race two and then opted for a new front tyre. So to score second place and then leave here second in the world championship is really good. In race one I was really happy with a top five and it felt like a podium. When I crashed again on Friday I really did not think I could make it this week but it worked out well on raceday. I wanted to go really fast in the beginning of race two and I saw that my pace was really good. I was even faster than Sylvain in the lead, but I always rode with the idea to save the tyres. My bike was feeling great. Tom was coming back and I am sure the end of the race would have been a great fight if it had gone full distance.”
Tom Sykes: “We had some issues in race one but in the second race we changed the set-up. I really do have to say a big thanks to the team. I have a real good set of guys working for me and their knowledge is incredible. We went back to some basics and it was so nice. Although Sylvain rode well to win the race I felt race two would have been our race, but unfortunately it was cut short. That is how racing goes sometimes. I am very happy with how things have gone finally. For track temperatures to be so hot on raceday here in Phillip Island, and a little bit of wind blowing around, these are usually the worst conditions for us. So it was great to come back so strong at the end. We reeled in the Aprilia and that never usually happens here, so I felt the next second laps of the second race would have been my part of the race. Now I can head back to Europe knowing that we have been so competitive at our worst circuit. We’re off to a steady start but I am only six points off second in the championship and 16 points off the lead.”
David Salom: “I can add this Evo class win to the one from race one. The second race was hotter and I did not have as much grip. Marco Melandri passed me so I followed him and he helped me to push forward. On the last laps I took a lead over Canepa and I was going faster every lap. The team and I worked well in the winter tests to arrive here in Australia 100% ready.”
More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:
WSS, Phillip Island, AUSTRALIA
Sofuoglu Unlucky At First Round In Australia
Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Mahi Racing Team India) looked set to convert his pre-race domination to a WSS race win at Phillip Island but a crash in the final running of the race left him out of the points.
Kenan was in the fight at the front of the first attempted race, but after less than ten laps of the scheduled 18 the red flags came out to stop the action after another rider’s machine lost its oil.
After a long delay to clean up the oil a complete new race, over only five laps, was called by the race organisers. Kenan, who was anxious to get away from the hordes of riders who felt this very short race format would give them a greater opportunity to win, fell while leading. He was unable to restart and now looks to the next round in Aragon to score his first points of 2014.
The highest placed Kawasaki rider in the final five-lap race was Florian Marino (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) in fourth place, with Roberto Tamburini (Kawasaki San Carlo Puccetti Racing) only one place behind.
Kenan Sofuoglu: “You cannot come to Australia to race for five laps. I crashed because I wanted to get away from everybody in the restarted race because five laps is an exciting gift to everyone in the field. Anyway, I am so disappointed because I was the fastest in practice after all the good work we did. I could have won the first race but then they stopped it and called for a five lap race, so everybody went on full attack. Anyway, I crashed and it is very disappointing after doing so well in practice and qualifying. Now we go to Aragon for the second round.”
More, from a press release issued by Pirelli:
PIRELLI TAKES PHILLIP ISLAND BY STORM: ON THE DEMANDING AUSTRALIAN TRACK THE DIABLO™ RANGE IS PUT TO THE TEST AND CONFIRMS ITS TECHNOLOGICAL SUPERIORITY
The top step of the podium goes to Laverty, Guintoli and Cluzel with Chaz Davies beating the fast lap record set last year by 2 tenths of a second and two riders from the brand new Superbike EVO class placing in the top ten
Phillip Island (Australia), 24 February 2014 – The results are in from round one of the eni FIM World Superbike Championship, held yesterday on the demanding Phillip Island track, and they are positive for Pirelli.
After the excellent performance achieved last year, the tire manufacturer from Milan once again proved that it can handle the tricky Australian track which has always been a nightmare for tire manufacturers from all over the world because of its particular layout – with a lot of left-handers that stress the tires on one side especially, as well as the high temperatures that the asphalt can reach.
Pirelli's DIABLO™ range with the DIABLO™ Superbike and DIABLO™ Supercorsa used respectively in the Superbike and Supersport classes placed all the riders in the best conditions to work on the bike and find the best race set-up.
In the top class Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) together with EVO rider David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) were the riders who most skillfully used their tires, conserving them well thanks to the excellent bike set-up their respective teams made.
The Ducati Superbike Team riders, struggling a bit more in Race 1, in any case achieved an excellent fourth place in both races with Davide Giugliano and in Race 2, thanks to a change made to the bike set-up and more careful use of the tires,Chaz Davies, winner of the Pirelli Best Lap Award for his fast lap in Race 1, also improved his performance, finishing in seventh place.
The performance of French rider David Salom's EVO Superbikeis also worth a mention, placing 9th and 10th and best of the EVO Superbike riders; as well as Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing) who rode his Ducati 1199 Panigale R EVO to a 10th and 11th place finish after an excellent weekend of timed free practice sessions.
InSupersport, MV Agusta brought home an historic winwithJules Cluzel(MV AGUSTA RC-Yakhnich Motorsport) taking the top step of the podium after 38 years: in fact, their last success dates back to 1976 when Giacomo Agostini rode his MV Agusta 350 4 cylinder to win on the Nürburgring track.
Comment from Giorgio Barbier, Pirelli Moto Racing Director:
“We know that this is a difficult and demanding track for tires, it always has been, and even after the resurfacing in December 2012 other tire manufacturers have had problems here. Given the situation we cannot help but feel satisfied with the work done over the winter and the results achieved here at Phillip Island. Thanks to the tires developed we were able to place all the riders, both Superbike and Supersport, in a position to be able to finish the races on what may very well be the most feared track for all tire manufacturers. What's more, Chaz Davies set an excellent fast lap, improving the already excellent result achieved by Eugene Laverty last year by 2 tenths of a second. This demonstrates that tire performance was very good in any case. Of course it is only natural that in extreme situations like the one here at Phillip Island the teams' skills in setting up the bikes and the riders' skills preserving the tire can make a big difference. This is all part of the game. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the rear tires on the top three riders' bikes were in very good condition despite the peculiarities of the track that we know well. The EVO results were also excellent. Using the same tires as the Superbike riders Salom and Canepa achieved excellent results. I'll be curious to see their performance in Europe when the EVO riders will have a dedicated rear race tire which should reduce the gap with the Superbike riders by a few tenths.”
The Pirelli solutions chosen by the riders:
For the first round of the 2014 eni FIM World Superbike Championship, given the peculiarities of the track, Pirelli brought 5 rear development solutions for theSuperbike class in medium-soft blend and 2 front standard solutions, the SC1 and SC2, of its DIABLO™ Superbikeslick tires.
For thefront the riders, as often happens, were basically split on their preferences between the two standard solutions, with a slight preference for the SC2 chosen by 13 and 14 riders respectively in Race 1 and Race 2.
On the rear the race tire, chosen unanimously by all the riders, was the SC1 development solution S1633, which had already set the bar in the 2013 round, in a medium-soft blend with different internal structure and materials designed to keep the operating temperatures particularly low.
In Supersport, the Championship whereDIABLO™ Supercorsa SCgrooved tires are used, the preferences feel to the SC1 development solution (S1664) on therear, chosen by about 80% of the riders, a medium-soft blend solution which also uses the profile used in 2013 for the Istanbul and Jerez de la Frontera races. On the front practically all the riders opted for the standard SC1 solution, ideal for medium difficulty circuits.
Pirelli Best Lap Award:
The“Pirelli Best Lap Award”is awarded by Pirelli to the rider who sets the fastest race lap. This recognition is presented by a Pirelli representative during the Paddock Show in a press conference which follows the podium at the end of the races, for a total of three awards each weekend. The time set by the fastest rider and his name are displayed on the trophy which this year has a ring set inside it for the rider to wear that bears an inscription of the track layout.
The Superbike and Supersport rider who has earned the most“Pirelli Best Lap Award”titles at the end of the season will be elected“Best Lap Winner: fastest rider of the year”and awarded in the usual end of year ceremony.
These are the riders who won the Pirelli Best Lap Awards in the first round of the season:
WSB Race 1 – Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team), 1'30.949 (2nd lap)
WSB Race 2 – Sylvain Guintoli(Aprilia Racing Team), 1'31.421 (12th lap)
WSS – Roberto Tamburini (San Carlo Puccetti Racing),1’33.883 (4th lap)
The 2014 Pirelli statistics for the Phillip Island round:
·Total number of tires Pirelli brought:3580
·Number of solutions (dry, intermediate and wet) for the Superbike class:4 front and 7 rear
·Number of tires available for each Superbike rider:30 front and 48 rear
·Number of solutions for the Supersport class (dry, intermediate and wet)::4 front and 4 rear
·Number of tires available for each Supersport rider:23 front and 25 rear
·Temperature in Race 1:air 21° C, asphalt 32° C
·Temperature in Race 2:air 22° C, asphalt 48° C
·Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli Diablo Superbike tires:321.4 kms/h, in Race 2 by Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) at 2ndlap
·Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa tires in Supersport:280.5 kms/h,Jules Cluzel (MV AGUSTA RC-Yakhnich Motorsport) at 5thlap.
Founded in 1872, Pirelli is the fifth largest tire manufacturer in the world in terms of sales. Present in over 160 countries, Pirelli has 22 manufacturing sites and over 36,000 employees worldwide. Pirelli is a leading producer of premium tires due to its commitment to R&D. Successfully competing in motorsport since 1907, Pirelli is the exclusive supplier of the Superbike world championship, many single marque championships around the world, and above all it has been the sole supplier for the Formula 1 championship since 2011.
Pirelli Tire North America (PTNA) services NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) member countries through its Modular Integrated Robotized System (MIRS) facility and research and development center at its Rome, Georgia headquarters, its state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Silao, Mexico and its New York City, Montreal and Mexico City sales and marketing offices. The company manufactures, distributes and markets original equipment and replacement tires for export and domestic car/motorcycle applications (US, CA, MX) and Agro/Heavy Truck platforms (MX).