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Apr 11, 2014

Rea Stays On Top In World Superbike FP2 At Motorland Aragon (Updated)

Jonathan Rea (65).

eni FIM Superbike World Championship

Motorland Aragon, Spain

April 11, 2014

Free Practice Two Results (all on Pirelli tires):

1. Jonathan REA, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:58.180

2. Tom SYKES, UK (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:58.417

3. Chaz DAVIES, UK (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:58.575

4. Loris BAZ, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:58.579

5. Davide GIUGLIANO, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:58.717

6. Sylvain GUINTOLI, France (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:58.900

7. Marco MELANDRI, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:58.901

8. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:58.971

9. Leon HASLAM, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:59.103

10. Niccolo CANEPA, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:59.861, EVO, crash

11. Alex LOWES, UK (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 2:00.309

12. Toni ELIAS, Spain (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 2:00.480

13. Claudio CORTI, Italy (MV Agusta F4 RR), 2:00.749

14. Leon CAMIER, UK (BMW S1000RR), 2:00.966, EVO

15. David SALOM, Spain (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 2:01.032, EVO

16. Jeremy GUARNONI, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 2:01.076, EVO

17. Ayrton BADOVINI, Italy (Bimota BB3), 2:01.463, EVO

18. Fabien FORET, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 2:01.511, EVO

19. Sheridan MORAIS, South Africa (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 2:01.801, EVO

20. Imre TOTH, Hungary (BMW S1000RR), 2:02.672

21. Christian IDDON, UK (Bimota BB3), 2:02.709, EVO

22. Michel FABRIZIO, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 2:02.716, EVO

23. Luca SCASSA, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 2:03.138, EVO

24. Alessandro ANDREOZZI, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 2:03.339, EVO, crash

25. Aaron YATES, USA (EBR 1190 RX), 2:04.075

26. Peter SEBESTYEN, Hungary (BMW S1000RR), 2:05.570, EVO

27. Geoff MAY, USA (EBR 1190 RX), 2:05.593

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

Round 2 of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship got underway in near perfect conditions at MotorLand Aragon a short time ago with Jonathan Rea (PATA Honda World Superbike Team) having the honour of topping the first European session of the season, albeit over two seconds slower than the circuit best lap from last year.

Rea left it until his final lap to edge out Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) who was 2nd, and reigning champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) who moved up to 3rd in the closing stages. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team), championship leader Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) and last year’s double winner Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team) completed the top 6.

In the EVO catergory Niccolo Canepa (Althea Racing) was fastest, claiming an impressive 10th position overall ahead of Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) who impressed in 13th.

Claudio Corti (MV Agusta RC – Yakhnich Motorsport) rode his upgraded machine to 17th position as the Team Hero EBR duo continued with their development taking 25th and 27th.

Today’s first free practice session saw welcome returns to the track for a number of riders injured in Australia, although Sylvain Barrier was not in action following his subsequent road traffic accident. His BMW Motorrad Italia machine was ridden by Leon Camier who powered the EVO spec machine to a credible 16th position after several months of not riding.

The second free practice of the day is scheduled to start at 1530 local time.

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

Rea leads the way in Spain

Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea set the fastest time in both today’s opening free practice sessions at Motorland Aragon in preparation for the two second-round World Superbike championship races at the Spanish circuit on Sunday.

The British rider fired his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP around the 5.344km Aragon circuit in a time of 1m58.180s in warm and sunny conditions this afternoon, two tenths ahead of compatriot and reigning World Superbike champion Tom Sykes. A third Brit, Chaz Davies, rounds out the provisional front row for Sunday's two 17-lap races.

Rea and his Pata Honda team-mate Leon Haslam have both made significant development strides in the long break since round one at Phillip Island in Australia, improving the CBR’s overall chassis and electronics package during two recent three-day tests in Spain.

Haslam was able to dramatically improve his lap time this afternoon after an unsatisfactory opening free practice session, ending the day in ninth place.

Jonathan Rea - P1, 1m58.180s

I’m quite satisfied with today - it’s been a really good start to the weekend for us. We’ve got quite a good base already, but I still need to work on optimising our engine braking quite a lot. The last time we were here it was quite good, but maybe a change in conditions has thrown some other issues into the mix. We can work a bit more on chassis settings tonight but, for day one, I’m quite happy with my out-and-out pace. With the change in raceday schedule, we need to do a long run tomorrow morning to work with a cooler race-one temperature in mind. We’ve got two rear options to check and see if our preferred tyre will work in cooler conditions around 10.30. So, after a longer run in the morning, I’ll get ready for Superpole.

Leon Haslam - P9, 1m59.103s

Most of this morning’s session was wasted as we tried to get the bike sorted with the fresh engine but the guys made some good changes between sessions. My first flying lap was about 1.3s faster than I went all morning so that was a good step. I felt pretty consistent on that tyre but went quicker on a new tyre at the end. I made a lot of mistakes on my lap and got held up in some traffic so Im reasonably happy with this afternoon’s performance. I feel the lap could’ve been a high to mid-58s without those issues. We’ve got a way to go yet, but Johnny [Rea] seems to be able to put the lap together so we know the bike can go well here. Tomorrow’s the last timed session for Superpole, so the priority is to get into the top ten, but we need to test in the cooler conditions for Sunday, too.

Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator

It’s been a really good day for Jonathan, topping the sheets this morning and this afternoon. Everyone’s been working really hard through the winter and since Phillip Island, so this makes everyone feel good. Tomorrow we still need to make some more improvements and find a bit of race pace, but I think it’s looking OK at the moment. Leon struggled a lot this morning, which was disappointing after the recent positive tests, but we found a direction again this afternoon. He got held up on his best lap, but we ended the day in a positive mood.

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:



Alcaniz, 11 April 2014 – Never more than today should the standings at the end of Friday's free practice be read so carefully. At Motorland de Aragon, the scene of the second 2014 World Superbike round, Aprilia Racing Team chose to work on race pace with long runs of several laps to simulate how the RSV4 will react over the 17 laps on Sunday and to take the best possible advantage of the tyres over the long distance. In light of the strategy being employed the sixth best combined time for Marco Melandri and the seventh best for team mate Sylvain Guintoli gave the Italian garage confidence and seem to pave the way for a weekend as protagonists.

Although each took a different route both Marco and Sylvain tackled the second afternoon session continuing to work with used tyres and they confirmed their good feeling during the recent tests in Jerez, approving the developments that have been made on the RSV4 during that time.

However, optimism in no way diminishes Marco Melandri's goals, satisfied with his work today on the track but still convinced that a few more precious tenths can be shaved off. Especially on the fast lap, a situation that will become crucial in Superpole tomorrow where the starting order for the races Sunday will be decided.

Marco Melandri: “I'm pleased. This is definitely the best day of practice since I've been on the Aprilia RSV4. We chose not to use a new tyre this afternoon to see what the best option would be for the races. Both the electronics strategies and the bike setup have been improving constantly so all that's left now are those areas where we can still improve and we'll work on those today and tomorrow, but overall I am quite satisfied with today's results.”

Sylvain Guintoli, winner at Phillip Island in the first race of the season and provisional leader of the rider championship, is of the same opinion. The Frenchman also put in a long series of fast laps using the same tyre, looking for the “delicate” setting that will make the difference at the end of the race. For Sylvain the new solutions introduced at Jerez were also confirmed on the Aragon track, a track which has historically favoured the powerful V4 from Noale.

Sylvain Guintoli:
“Two excellent sessions for us today. We were fast and consistent. The improvements we found at Jerez came out here at Aragon as well so that is quite comforting. We worked mainly on race length. We still have some more fine tuning to try tomorrow but the base setting that we reached today is definitely good. The RSV4 really works well here, I hit 327 kph and that is just more good news in view of the Sunday races.”

More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Top five for Davies and Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) in first practice sessions at Aragon

Alcaniz (Spain), Friday 11 April 2014 – The Ducati Superbike Team kicked off the race weekend at Motorland Aragon with encouraging results. Riders Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano closed day one of timed practice in third and fifth position respectively.

In the first of the weekend’s three timed practice sessions, which took place late this morning in warm and sunny conditions (air temperature 21°C, track 28°C ), Davies was immediately at ease on the Spanish track, one of his preferred circuits. His fastest lap of the session – 1’59.135 – placed him sixth at the end of the 45-minute session. Giugliano made a series of fast laps but lost a few minutes towards the end of the session as his technicians worked to improve the feeling during braking. The Italian rider nevertheless closed in seventh position, with a best time of 1’59.290.

The Ducati Superbike men were soon back on track for the second timed session of the day. Together with their technicians, both Chaz and Davide used the session to make small changes to their bikes, thanks to which feeling improved, allowing the pair to lower their times set in the morning by approximately half a second. At the end of day one, Davies closed in overall third position, thanks to a fastest time of 1’58.575 and Giugliano fifth (1’58.717). The team has more work to do tomorrow, particularly regarding race pace, but today nevertheless came to a positive close.

Quotes after the day’s sessions:

Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 3rd (1’58.575)

“The lap times picked up a little this afternoon but we still need to improve the front of my bike as I would like to have more stability. Having said that, today wasn’t too bad. My position is good but it doesn’t quite feel like we’re there with the bike just yet. Anyway we have more time tomorrow so we’ll continue to work to try to improve things ahead of Sunday’s races.”

Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 5th (1’58.717)

“Today wasn’t the easiest day, we had a few problems. We’re close to those ahead of us anyway, despite the problems we’ve had, and so this is a positive sign. We didn’t spend so much time on track, working more in the garage. This afternoon we improved a little but we still have a few things to solve tomorrow, especially in terms of stability during braking.”

Ernesto Marinelli (Ducati Superbike Project Director)

“We’ve had a positive day. We still have some things to resolve, particularly with regard to the level of stability in the final stage of braking, as both riders are talking about movement and not having enough constancy during braking. So we will concentrate on solving this aspect tomorrow in order to find the best possible solution.”

More, from a press release issued by Althea Racing:

Canepa first among the Evo riders at Motorland Aragon

During the first Spanish round of the Superbike world championship (the second will take place in Jerez in September), team Althea Racing can count on the support of Althea Service Spain, the historic branch of Althea Ceramica in Spain, managed by Bernando Suarez.

Althea Service Spain has taken care of the Spanish market as well as Mediterranean markets in general for twenty years. Althea Service Spain’s presence alongside the Althea Racing team in Spain marks an important occasion, confirming Althea’s presence on the Spanish market, which is experiencing a positive period of recovery.

After more than a month’s break, the World Superbikes are back on track at Motorland Aragon in Spain. Team Althea has worked constantly on the 1199 Panigale R while rider Niccolò Canepa has kept up with his training, so as to be as fit as possible for the second round of the championship. Dry and sunny conditions for this first day of practice. In the morning’s opening session, Canepa obtained tenth position (2’00”697) and was the first of the Evo riders in the standings. Niccolò confirmed his place at the head of his category again in the second session and with a time of 1’59”861, was the only rider in the Evo class to duck under the 2 minute barrier. A great performance that allowed him to close the day in overall tenth position, heading the Evo group of riders. Towards the end of the session Canepa suffered a small crash for he and the bike were fortunately unharmed. An extremely positive first day for the Althea Racing team, that will continue on this path tomorrow to prepare as thoroughly as possible for Sunday’s races.

Niccolò Canepa: “This track does not have the most favourable layout for our bike. Despite this, we have achieved some great results and were consistently fast. The tests we made in Vallelunga proved really useful and I’m really pleased with my Panigale. But we cannot stop now – we have to continue to work and improve, because our rivals will do all they can to get past us. It’s been a positive day that spurs us on to continue to do our best and confirm our position, both tomorrow and in Sunday’s races”.

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

Big improvements for Laverty at end of day one at Aragon

Eugene Laverty concluded Friday’s practice sessions at the Spanish Motorland Aragon circuit in a positive mind-set after making headway on the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R.

Laverty, initially struggling with set-up on-board the Yoshimura-powered machine, ended the day’s two-sessions stepping-up, in both time and position, to eighth with a lap of 1’58.971 after re-evaluating the Suzuki GSX-R1000’s electronics and chassis balance, and is confident with the bike’s potential for the weekend ahead.

Alex Lowes ended his first experience of the 5,078m Teruel track in 11th position, with a time of 2’00.309, despite having only ever completed 29 laps of the Spanish circuit. The British-rider finished the day frustrated, but determined to improve, and his Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team is confident that his pace is strong given his limited track experience.

A warm and sunny Motorland Aragon played host to the opening European action of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship, with air temperatures reaching 25°C ahead of the afternoon practice session.

With a similar forecast set for tomorrow, Voltcom Crescent Suzuki will use today’s data to evaluate the GSX-R’s performance ahead of the final timed-for-qualifying free practice session at 09:45hrs local time (08:45BST). The afternoon’s two all-important Superpole battles will commence at 15:00hrs local time (14:00BST).

Eugene Laverty:

“A difficult day, but we expected it to be tough here, and it’s good that we had two dry sessions testing the bike to allow us to improve. We made a good start this afternoon with the feeling on the front but we still need to improve the turn-in. Aragon has a long straight, and we are working hard to allow us to keep up with the Aprilias, but it’s going to be tough. We had a frustrating time at Jerez, with a number of issues that we are working through, but the lap times are good considering the problems we’re facing. It’s going to be a tough job to keep at the front, but we are confident we can progress as the weekend goes on.”

Alex Lowes:

“My first day at the track and it’s been quite difficult, but I’m looking forward to sleeping on it tonight and making some improvements tomorrow. I’m learning the track quickly, so it’s just a case of getting back out on the Suzuki GSX-R in the morning, and continuing the progress we’ve been making so far.”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“First day here at Aragon hasn’t gone absolutely to plan, but we were very pleased, particularly on Eugene’s side, to see some big improvements towards the end of the day. We now have a solid base to work on, to allow us to close the gap on the fastest riders before the races on Sunday. We are potentially lacking just a little bit of balance in the bike, the new swingarm has improved certain aspects of the handling, but we need to very carefully check whether it has caused any negatives elsewhere, and come out with the best package we possibly can for both riders in the morning. Alex is disappointed but he shouldn’t be! He has only spent two 45-minute sessions on his race bike around this track, compared to the guys who have done thousands, in races and tests. With a night’s sleep under his belt, and a careful look at what we can do to improve the bike, I’m sure he’ll make big steps forward tomorrow, and as a team we are looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”

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

Team Hero EBR Continues With Bike Development On Opening Day At Aragon

MotorLand Aragon in Spain is the venue for the opening European race of this year’s World Superbike Championship and it’s another totally new track for Team Hero EBR.

The plan today was to continue with the parts that we tested earlier in the week, whilst learning the track and finding the base setting for the EBR 1190RX.

Near perfect weather meant that both riders were able to do a lot of laps and this data will be valuable in the final free practice session tomorrow.

Aaron was slightly faster in the sessions today but both he and Geoff are aiming for a spot in the Tissot-Superpole and are confident that the EBR 1190RX could be part of the grid deciding session which will take place at 1500 local time tomorrow.

Aaron Yates 25th position: “I am happy with the progress that we made in today’s sessions. There was a big gap since Phillip Island and we have been working hard. I feel more comfortable on the bike and am happy to be back racing. Of course we still have a lot of work to do but we are moving in the right direction and we are all confident that over the coming races we will see big improvements, starting I hope tomorrow.”

Geoff May – 27th position: “I will be pushing hard to make the Superpole tomorrow but for sure that’s the aim. We will find some direction tomorrow and I am sure that we can improve tomorrow and again in the race. The track is great and I like riding it. The whole team and all my mechanics are working hard so thanks to them. We will get there.”

More, from a press release issued by Bimota Alstare:

Round 2, Motorland, Aragon, Spain

Friday practice and qualifying, 12th April


Today saw Team Bimota Alstare taking to the racetrack for the first time in the World Superbike Championship. In almost ideal conditions, riders Ayrton Badovini and Christian Iddon took to the 5.344 kilometre Motorland Aragon racetrack aboard the stunning BB3 racebike and ended the day in very positive frame of mind.

Ayrton Badovini - 17th, 2:01.463 (5th EVO Class)

“Really I am happy today because we’ve had no major problems at all, and that is great considering that we’re working with a brand new bike. Of course there’s a lot of work to be done but, at the moment, all the problems are small ones and that makes us all feel very positive about the future. We’re only a second or so adrift of the best EVO lap time and that gap would’ve been less if Canepa hadn’t crashed at the end of the second session. I had to ease of the throttle because of the yellow flags, but that lap would’ve been quicker and therefore closer. The bike has potential and we’re all excited about the next couple of days and improving it a lot more.”

Christian Iddon - 21st, 2:02.709 (8th EVO Class)

“Generally, today was not too bad and probably the biggest problem was me! I haven’t really ridden a 1000cc bike for about four years and my first job is getting to know the bike and put in the laps before I can push hard. The bike has potential for sure and I’m really looking forward to working on improving it. It handles well and the chassis feels very stable in both fast and slow corners. As long as the weather stays OK, I’m sure we’ll keep going forward and get better and better each time out.”

Francis Batta (Team Manager)

“Today has been the first time that we’ve really been able to find out where we are. I’m happy because, despite the fact that everything is new, we’re improving all the time. If Canepa hadn’t crashed at the end of the second practice, I’m sure Ayrton would have been much closer to him in lap times. The bike’s base is good, the handling seems to be good and the power delivery is smooth. The potential is there and it is up to all of us to work hard and realise that potential. I feel positive about our prospects and am looking forward to this wonderful challenge.”  

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