Aprilia’s Guintoli Sets Record Lap En Route to Phillip Island SBK Pole

Aprilia Racing's Sylvain Guintoli

2014 Phillip Island World Superbike Superpole Qualifying Results

Aprilia’s “Silver Fireball” is now living up to its name. This is after its factory rider, Sylvain Guintoli, took the Superpole for the opening round of 2014 World Superbike at Phillip Island.

The Frenchman secured the first pole of 2014 World SBK with a lap of 1:30.038 – a new record for the Australian circuit (breaking the Phillip Island SBK record set by now retired Carlos Checa’s Record (Ducati, 2013, 1:30.234)).

The 31-year-old Guintoli, who won last season’s race one, will be joined on the front row by Ducati Superbike Team’s Davide Giugliano, and the other Aprilia Racing Team rider, Marco Melandri. Giugliano finished 0.097 behind Guintoli aboard the Ducati Panigale R, and Melandri 0.294 of a second back.

Speaking after the newly-formatted Superpole session, which is now similar to MotoGP qualifying, Guintoli says “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 favorite 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”.

Finishing fourth was  Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Eugene Laverty, with his teammate Alex Lowes in tow. Pata Honda World Superbike’s Jonathan Rea 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 checkered 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 fourth-row start (12th place).

As for the Americans aboard the Erik Buell Racing 1190 RX, Team Hero EBR’s Aaron Yates qualified 22nd, and Geoff May 23rd.

2014 Phillip Island World Superbike Superpole Qualifying Results:

1. Sylvain Guintoli – French – Aprilia Racing RSV4 1m 30.038s
2. Davide Giugliano – Italian – Ducati SBK 1199R 1m 30.135s
3. Marco Melandri – Italian – Aprilia Racing RSV4 1m 30.332s
4. Eugene Laverty – Irish – Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000 1m 30.385s
5. Alex Lowes – British – Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000 1m 30.421s
6. Jonathan Rea – British – Pata Honda CBR1000RR 1m 30.660s
7. Loris Baz – French – Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 1m 30.796s
8. Tom Sykes – British – Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 1m 30.835s
9. Leon Haslam- British – Pata Honda CBR1000RR 1m 31.138s
10. Niccolo Canepa – Italian – Althea Ducati 1199R 1m 31.274s (E)
11. Chaz Davies – British – Ducati SBK 1199R 1m 31.281s
12. David Salom – Spanish – Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 1m 31.950s (E)
13. Toni Elias – Spanish – Red Devils Roma Aprilia RSV4 1m 32.107s0
14. Claudio Corti – Italian – MV Agusta RC Yakhnich F4RR 1m 32.187s
15. Fabien Foret – French – MAHI Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 32.248s (E)
16. Alessandro Andreozzi – Italian – Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 32.902s (E)
17. Jeremy Guarnoni – French – MRS Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 33.146s (E)
18. Sheridan Morais- Russian – IRON BRAIN Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 33.404s (E)
19. Glenn Allerton – Australian – BMW Italia S1000RR 1m 33.605s (E)
20. Imre Toth – Hungarian – Team Toth BMW S1000RR 1m 34.1379s
21. Mathew Walters – Australian – Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 34.453 (E)
22. Aaron Yates – American – Team Hero EBR 1190RX 1m 35.521s
23. Geoff May – American – Team Hero EBR 1190RX 1m 36.150s
24. Peter Sebestyen – Hungarian – Team Toth Italia S1000RR 1m 37.274s (E)