Guintoli spearheads Aprilia charge on Day 1

Guintoli Sepang - Fassi SBK SponsorshipSepang (Malaysia), Friday 6 June 2014 - After a top 3 lockout by Aprilia machines in FP1, the combined times after both of today’s Free Practice saw the same 3 riders end the day at the top, albeit with Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) edging his team mate and first session pace-setter Marco Melandri and a rejuvenated Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia), who remained 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) moved himself to 4th overall with a late surge displacing reigning champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) who ended the day 5th and the improving Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) who was 6th.

Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team), Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team), Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) rounded out the top ten.

Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia) improved from 15th this morning to head the riders in the EVO category in 12th overall, 0.069s ahead of David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) who in turn is a fraction of a second ahead of Claudio Corti (MV Agusta RC - Yakhnich Motorsport) and Team Bimota Alstare’s Christian Iddon who completed the top 15.

Fabien Foret (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) currently holds 20th position overall on combined times with one final session to decide the participants in Tissot-Superpole tomorrow morning. Fellow Frenchman Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) was 21st today and will be looking to find the 0.007s to elevate himself into Superpole 1.

Times: 1. Guintoli (Aprilia) 2'05.096 average 159.660 kph; 2. Melandri (Aprilia) 2'05.167; 3. Elias (Aprilia) 2'05.222; 4. Giugliano (Ducati) 2'05.278; 5. Sykes (Kawasaki) 2'05.283; 6. Laverty (Suzuki) 2'05.356; 7. Davies (Ducati) 2'05.448; 8. Rea (Honda) 2'05.752; 9. Baz (Kawasaki) 2'05.950; 10. Lowes (Suzuki) 2'06.089; 11. Haslam (Honda) 2'06.607; 12. Camier (BMW) 2'06.898; 13. Salom (Kawasaki) 2'06.967; 14. Corti (MV Agusta) 2'06.978; 15. Iddon (Bimota) 2'06.981; 16. Canepa (Ducati) 2'07.166; 17. Morais (Kawasaki) 2'07.262; 18. Badovini (Bimota) 2'07.582; 19. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 2'07.830; 20. Foret (Kawasaki) 2'08.165; 21. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 2'08.172; 22. Toth (BMW) 2'08.347; 23. Lanusse (Kawasaki) 2'08.950; 24. Staring (Kawasaki) 2'09.837; 25. May (EBR) 2'10.761; 26. Sebestyen (BMW) 2'10.825; 27. Yates (EBR) 2'11.191.

World Supersport

The World Supersport riders began their Sepang race weekend with an extended 75 minute opening free practice session that was headed by Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta RC – Yakhnich Motorsport). In hot and humid conditions the initial pace-setter was the MV Agusta rider, who looked immediately at home at the Malaysian venue having ridden here in the past in other classes. As the heat and humidity became more intense, Free Practice two ran for the usual 45 minutes and on combined times it was Cluzel who clung on to the top spot despite not improving his time from this morning. His 2.08.423 lap time kept him ahead of the ever improving Ratthapark Wilairot (Core PTR Honda) who was second. The Thai rider also failed to improve his time as did Florian Marino (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) who was 3rd overall.

Championship leader Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) was the first to improve in 4th ahead of another non improver Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) and Roberto Rolfo (Team Go Eleven Kawasaki) who was the second of the improving riders in 6th.

Wildcard rider Zaqhwan Zaidi (SIC Racing Team) impressed in both sessions eventually ending the day in a very credible 11th position on his World Supersport debut.

Tony Covena (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpress) crashed after 20 minutes of FP1, thankfully uninjured. He was able to rejoin the session with only 5 minutes remaning and completed FP2 without further incident. Riccardo Russo also fell this morning whilst running inside the top fifteen. He too was able to take part this afternoon, finishing 18th overall on the combined times. Florian Marino was the only other rider to fall, the Frenchman re-joining the session in the closing minutes.

Times: 1. Cluzel (MV Agusta) 2'09.423 average 154.322 kph; 2. Wilairot (Honda) 2'09.467; 3. Marino (Kawasaki) 2'09.548; 4. Vd Mark (Honda) 2'09.575;5. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 2'09.740; 6. Rolfo (Kawasaki) 2'09.821; 7. Coghlan (Yamaha) 2'09.860; 8. Jacobsen (Kawasaki) 2'09.915; 9. Zanetti (Honda) 2'09.980; 10. De Rosa (Honda) 2'10.346; 11. Zaidi (Honda) 2'10.378; 12. Kennedy (Honda) 2'10.659; 13. Leonov (MV Agusta) 2'10.881; 14. Tamburini(Kawasaki) 2'11.050; 15. Bussolotti (Honda) 2'11.068; 16. Nocco (Kawasaki) 2'12.045; 17. Menghi (Yamaha) 2'12.131; 18. Russo (Honda) 2'12.233; 19. Gamarino (Kawasaki) 2'12.312; 20. Rogers (Honda) 2'12.851; 21. Ivanov (Yamaha) 2'13.269; 22. Coveña (Kawasaki) 2'14.164; 23. Calero (Honda) 2'14.171.

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