Friday Portimao Superbike Practice | Aprilia’s Melandri Quickest Overall
2014 Friday Portimao Superbike Results
When free practice began Friday morning at Portimao for round eight of 2014 World Superbike, Aprilia Racing’s Marco Melandri was quickest.
The temps were hot in the morning, and became hotter as the day went on, creating even greasier conditions in the second 45-minute free practice on the 2.85 circuit in Portugal. Due to this, Melandri’s morning time of 1:43.880 was the fastest overall time Friday.
“Overall this was a good day for us. In the afternoon the conditions were much different than in the morning with strong winds and very hot asphalt. Because of that we focused on testing tires because with the new solutions available to us the choice is not necessarily a given,” Melandri says.
“As far as our times go I was quite pleased with the performance in the first practice session so in the afternoon I decided to work more on race pace. I am seeing a lot of competitive riders and here at Portimão race times usually change quite a bit, so being well prepared is essential. Superpole is not my strong point, but tomorrow I’ll have to try to take advantage of it as best as possible. Starting from the front row could definitely help in the hung for a good result.”
The Italian, who doubled at Sepang and finished third in both Misano two weeks ago, couldn’t quite match his FP1 time, finishing fifth in FP2, 0.445 of a second off the leader, Kawasaki Racing Team Tom Sykes.
The Brit piloted his Ninja ZX-10R to a 1:43.927 in FP2. The reigning SBK Champion was followed 0.012 of a second back by Pata Honda World Superbike’s Jonathan Rea. Third quickest, 0.220 of a second back, was Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Eugene Laverty.
Taking the fourth time ahead of Melandri was Ducati Superbike Team’s Chaz Davies.
Rounding out the top 10 were Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes, Pata Honda World Superbike’s Leon Haslam, Kawasaki Racing’s Loris Baz, Aprilia Racing’s Sylvain Guintoli and Ducati Superbike’s Davide Giugliano.
Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia) was once again the best classified EVO rider in 11th overall ahead of Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia), Sheridan Morais (Iron Brain Grillini Kawasaki) and the much improved MV Agusta Reparto Corse machine of Italian Claudio Corti, who was 14th.
At the back of the field both Team Hero EBR riders had a torrid opening day with both Aaron Yates and Geoff May currently outside of the qualification maxima.
The riders will be back at Portimao Saturday for Superpole ahead of Sunday’s double header.