The Superbike World Championship 2014 began in Australia at the weekend with a good second place in race 1 for Marco Melandri. Starting from third position, Marco gave a fighting performance and battled with Guintoli and Laverty for the top three positions. His patience paid off on the final sprint, beating his teammate.
A mistake in breaking too hard during the second race, forced Marco to run wide off the track, loosing several places. He finished a good eighth after a tough comeback. Chaz Davies had a good race in his debut with Ducati with an 8th and a 7th place. David Salom and Canepa had very good races respectively the winner and runner-up in the EVO class, in the races 9th and 10th (Salom) and 10th - 11th (Canepa). Good points also for Corti with the brand new MV and Guarnoni.
In the Championship Melandri is third while Davies, Salom and Canepa are eighth, ninth and tenth.
Next race at Aragon April 13.
Here are the riders declarations
Marco Melandri, Nolan X-802R
“Race 1 went well. I got off to a good start and then I was able to ride smoothly in the first few laps to conserve my tyres for the end. Unfortunately after the halfway point the bike was sliding around a lot. I wasn't able to be incisive so when Eugene took the lead I preferred holding onto second place. In Race 2 I wanted to use the same tactics again but to overtake Rea I braked harder than usual and the rear wheel came up so I was forced to run on. I'm disappointed because I threw away some important points. I'm sure I still need more experience adjusting to the way the bike reacts and adapting the settings to my riding style. The track conditions also brought out some problems that I had never had before. Now I need to get a handle on the situation so that I'm ready for the next race”.
Chaz Davies, X-lite X-802R
“I am a little disappointed in terms of race results. In race one we had a rear tyre issue and I gradually lost grip from maybe the mid-race point. Race 2 was a little better, I was hanging in there with the front group, managing to edge my way up through the field to about fifth. Then at about lap 10 I felt like I lost power and so I slowed down because I didn’t know what was happening. It was a shame as I think we were in for a better result in race 2. I felt more comfortable, with the team having made some changes between the first and second races. Anyway, there are positives to take away from the weekend. Solid points in each race for example – it’s the first time I’ve scored points in both Superbike races at Phillip Island. I also made the fastest lap of race one. But I know we’re capable of more, everyone’s working hard and the bike is feeling good. Roll on Aragon.”
David Salom, X-lite X-802R
“I can add this Evo class win to the one from race one. The second race was hotter and I did not have as much grip. Marco Melandri passed me so I followed him and he helped me to push forward. On the last laps I took a lead over Canepa and I was going faster every lap. The team and I worked well in the winter tests to arrive here in Australia 100% ready.”
Niccolò Canepa, Nolan X-802R:
“If they’d told me before the start of the weekend that I would have finished second in both Evo races I would have definitely been happy but considering our results during the practices I’m a little disappointed with today’s outcome. I battled with Salom in both races. In the first, I made some small mistakes and was unable to pass him, while in the second we went even faster but Salom maintained a pace that he never showed in practice and that I was unable to match. But, anyway, this has been a very positive race weekend overall. We carried out solid tests and collected data and experience that will be extremely useful during the rest of the season, as well as the knowledge that we can fight for the win in Evo. I want to thank my team for their exceptional work.”