2014 Sepang World Superbike Results
Spoiler Alert: 2014 World Superbike results from Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia, listed below
The World Superbike Championship made its debut at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, a track well known on the Grand Prix calendar.
The 2014 World SBK riders with previous GP experience had an advantage over the grid, considering they had already competed at Sepang, having some insights to the circuit’s tricky layout.
This was immediately apparent in the free practices when two previous-GP riders – Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli – finished on top. Aprilia Racing Team’s Melandri led the opening free practice, and his teammate Guintoli the remaining three.
Guintoli then continued this momentum into Superpole, qualifying on the pole with a best lap 2:03.02. As for Melandri, he was a bit off the pace, qualifying fifth, nearly a second off the top time.
Another reason for these impressive times? With two long straights, the Sepang circuit is the perfect fit for the RSV4. And when racing began for round six of 13, the Aprilia duo simply dominated.
The Italian Melandri won both 16-lap races, and his Frenchman teammate finished runner-up both times.
During the first race, Guintoli got out front quickly, opening up a gap on the grid once a pile up occurred on the opening lap. But Melandri would play catch up, and on the 10th lap pass his teammate for the lead. Melandri held this lead, finishing ahead of his teammate and Tyco Suzuki’s Eugene Laverty.
The second race was red flagged on the third lap due to Claudio Corti’s MV Agusta lighting on fire. The race was shortened to 10 laps, with the restart’s grid based on the on the rider’s positions when the race was red flagged.
This placed three RSV4s on the front row – Guntoli, Melandri and Red Devils Roma’s Toni Elias. Guintoli led the way, but Melandri chased him down and an intense battle began on the final lap. Melandri would prevail at the end, finishing ahead of Guintoli. Taking the final podium position was the reigning World Superbike Champion Tom Sykes.
Marco Melandri says “A double win that was just what we needed! Despite the difficulties we never gave up. We kept working and fighting. I had a good feeling straight away with my RSV4 here. The conditions in Race 1 were difficult but I managed to catch up to Sylvain. After overtaking him I set my own pace.
“I knew I could defend well in the braking sections and I was able to manage the race to the end. Race 2 was even harder because I also had to battle with the Kawasakis before catching Sylvain. In the last tap I thought I would give it a try. I had to give 100 percent down to the checkered flag. Anyway, all the riders deserve admiration today because riding in these conditions is not easy at all. I want to dedicate this win to Manu, her belly and all the guys on the Team. See you at Misano!”
Sylvain Guintoli says “In Race 1 I thought I had implemented my strategy well, but unfortunately toward the end Marco just had a really good pace and forced me into a few mistakes. I think I did better in Race 2, trying to pull the pin straight away, but toward the end Marco quite simply had just a little more.
“I tried to fight back and I think we gave anybody watching the race plenty of entertainment in that last lap! We earned some important points in the championship and showed that Aprilia is back out front with a great day. Now we’ll get some rest after this really tiring weekend.”
Following round six, Kawasaki Racing Team’s Sykes continues to lead the championship (he doubled two weeks ago at Donington) with 201 points. Guintoli is now season, 13 points behind, with Rea in third, 22 points behind.
Following are the official World SBK reports:
2014 Sepang World Superbike Race 1:
The first ever race at Sepang for the eni FIM Superbike World Championship was a thriller, with Aprilia Racing Team’s Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli locked in a titanic battle for victory until the flag.
The race was incident packed from the start as Loris Baz tangled with his Kawasaki racing team mate Tom Sykes, both riders falling and taking with them Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki).
With the incident creating a gap at the front the race, Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri exchanged places at the front with Melandri eventually coming out as the victor and claiming his first win as a factory Aprilia rider. Guintoli was second.
Behind the leading two, a three way fight raged with Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) claiming the final podium spot ahead of Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team) and Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) who were 4th and 5th respectively.
6th at the end of the first 16 lap encounter of the day went to Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) who recovered from a bad start to get the better of his team mate.
David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) claimed the EVO honours with a spirited ride to 9th overall ahead of Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia) who was 10th.
Bryan Staring (Iron Brain Grillini Kawasaki) scored points with 13th on his first Superbike start of the year.
2014 Sepang World Superbike Race 2:
he possible threat of a thunderstorm at Sepang disappeared providing the enthusiastic Malaysian crowd one of the most hotly contested battles for victory this season.
With the air temperature rising, the race was initially red flagged after the MV Agusta of Claudio Corti expired resulting in a small fire that needed to be extinguished by the track side marshals.
With only 3 full laps completed the grid for the restart was determined by the positions at the end of lap 3 meaning Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) was on pole ahead of Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) and Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team). The Kawasaki pairing of Tom Sykes and Loris Baz lined up alongside each other in 4th and 5th with Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) 6th and therefore completing row two.
The restart, over 10 laps of the Sepang International Circuit didn’t disappoint, with the leading five riders locked together until the two factory Aprilia riders eased clear.
Marco Melandri had to take avoiding action as he misjudged his braking point on the second lap, narrowly missing the back of his team mate Guintoli and Toni Elias. Thankfully everyone stayed aboard treating the fans to one of the closest race finishes of the year.
Melandri and Guintoli exchanged places several times on the final lap with the Italian getting the better of his team mate once again to take a double win on the championshp’s first visit to Sepang.
Reigning champion made amends after being taken out in race one to take the final spot on the podium.
Loris Baz was 5th, Toni Elias a solid 4th and Jonathan Rea 6th.
Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia) was the best classified EVO rider, racing to 12th at the end of the race ahead of David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team).
Alessandro Andreozzi (Pedercini Kawasaki), and his team mate Romain Lanusse both crashed out, thankfully without injury.