2014 Phillip Island World Superbike and World Supersport Sunday Post-Race Press Releases

Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the first races of the 2014 season at Phillip Island:

Historic win for Eugene Laverty and Team Voltcom Crescent Suzuki

Phillip Island (Australia), Sunday 23 February 2014 – The eni FIM Superbike World Championship had its first exciting race of the year today at Phillip Island, with Irishman Eugene Laverty scoring a sensational win aboard his GSX-R 1000, making it three in a row with the double he scored at Jerez last year in the last round. In his debut race with Voltcom Crescent Suzuki, Laverty achieved an historical maiden win for the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki Team. Laverty is also the first Suzuki rider to climb on the top step of the podium since the second race at Kyalami in 2010.

After a poor start of the race, which saw him crossing the line in seventh place at the end of lap 1, and an early battle first with Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team) and then with Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike), Laverty started his charge to the leaders thanks to an incredible race pace. Once he reached the front runners, the Irishman passed Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team), Marco Melandri and leader Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) to take first position on lap 17.

With Laverty pulling away in the late stages, Melandri got the better of team mate Sylvain Guintoli for second, whilst Giugliano settled for fourth after losing ground in the final laps. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) edged Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) to take fifth place as reigning Champion and Baz's team mate Tom Sykes had a difficult time, eventually ending up seventh ahead of Chaz Davies.

EVO riders David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team), Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Team) and substitute rider for injured Sylvain Barrier Glenn Allerton (BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team) put up an exciting battle, with Spaniard David Salom to come out on top to claim 9th.

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki's Alex Lowes, Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) and Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) all crashed unhurt early on in the race.

Results: 1. Laverty (Suzuki) 22 Laps/97.790 km in 12:34'20.711 average 174,328 km/h; 2. Melandri (Aprilia) 2.959; 3. Guintoli (Aprilia) 3.034; 4. Giugliano (Ducati) 6.972; 5. Baz (Kawasaki) 11.132; 6. Rea (Honda) 11.718; 7. Sykes (Kawasaki) 15.612; 8. Davies (Ducati) 25.724; 9. Salom (Kawasaki) 37.407; 10. Canepa (Ducati) 37.468; 11. Allerton (BMW) 39.271; 12. Foret (Kawasaki) 45.212; 13. Corti (MV Agusta) 50.249; 14. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 1'17.134; 15. Morais (Kawasaki) 1'23.686; 16. Toth (BMW) 1'30.651; 17. Yates (EBR) 1 Lap; RT. Andreozzi (Kawasaki); RT. Haslam (Honda); RT. Lowes (Suzuki); RT. Elias (Aprilia).


CIA INSURANCE HONDA'S Raffaele De Rosa scored a brilliant third place podium finish at the first round of the World Supersport Championship at Phillip Island in Australia.

Starting from fourth on a restarted grid over a short five-lap dash, Raffaele got straight up to second place and was always in the hunt for the win, finishing a fraction of a second behind the winner at the end.

Nacho Calero stepped up a gear in the race and scored his first ever World Supersport points in 13th place on his CIA Insurance Honda.

Ireland's injured Jack Kennedy was permitted to start after completing warm up on his CIA Insurance Honda. He was left heart-broken after racing through to 13th from last on the grid but then being forced to retire with a mechanical problem on lap 9.

The second round of the World Supersport Championship is at Aragon in Spain on April 13th.

Raffaele: "I am so happy that this is my first podium in World Supersport. It was a shame the race was restarted and in the second part it was very fast and close. I want to thank CIA Insurance Honda for this opportunity. It is not easy adapting to a new bike and team with such short notice so this is a good result.”

Nacho: “To start the season with points was my target and now I have achieved this I am very happy. It has been a tough week after my crash in testing but I enjoyed the race and can go to my home round at Aragon confident I can score points again.”

Simon Buckmaster, CIA Insurance Honda Team Manager: "It is a great result for Raffaele and for CIA Insurance to be on the podium in their debut race. It is a just reward for superb riding by Raffaele.

“After his testing crash Nacho has stuck at it and it is fantastic for him get first points in World Supersport. This will boost his confidence for the second round at Aragon, which is a home race for him.

"We worked so hard to get Jack passed fit and then worked hard again in warm up to make sure he could start. Jack then made up a lot of places and was unfortunate to suffer a technical problem. It is all ifs and buts, maybe the technical would have happened yesterday if he had been allowed to ride. I have to pay a big tribute to Jack how quickly he has recovered and was able to race – his determination is incredible and I have no doubt he will be fighting for the podium in the races to come.”

Retirement For Staring And Rivamoto In WSS Opener

After starting from 9th place on the grid on his Rivamoto Honda World Supersport debut, Aussie Bryan Staring was forced to retire in the opening round of the 2014 World Supersport championship at Phillip Island, Australia.

Having had less than a week to adjust to his production CBR 600cc machine, Bryan made a good start to end the opening lap 10th.

The weather was thankfully dry meaning Bryan could reap the rewards of his consistent lap times and moved into 9th by the half way point. By lap 8, Bryan found himself being able to make use of the consistency that he had found during practice and bit by bit closed in on the battle for the top 6. Unfortunately a few seconds later the red flag came out due to another riders machine laying oil on the track.

The race was restarted over a shortened 5 laps with Bryan starting from 9th on the grid as this was his position at the time the flag was shown.

After a better start, the Rivamoto rider found himself locked in a fight for 7th but with 3 laps to go he was forced to retire with a clutch issue.

Bryan Staring – Rivamoto Honda: “Racing can be cruel at times. I want to thank everyone who has made this weekend happen, all my sponsors and everyone at Rivamoto Honda. I am looking forward to getting to Aragon where I hope we can continue to be part of the action at the front.”

Jeremy McWilliams – Team Manager: “It is so disappointing after all the hard work that Bryan and the whole team have put in. I can’t remember the last time Rivamoto Honda had a technical problem during the race but restarts are always risky on the little 600, that’s racing. We will take the positives and move on to Aragon where I am sure we will be able to show our potential.”

World Supersport action resumes at Motorland Aragon, Spain in April.

Two second place finishes for Canepa at Phillip Island

The first round of the Superbike world championship took place today at Phillip Island in Australia. After the great results achieved in the practice sessions, in which Niccolò Canepa was consistently first among the Evo riders, today the Althea Racing rider lined up on the fourth row of the grid having closed yesterday’s Superpole 2 in tenth position. Sunny skies and warm temperatures characterised the opening races of the 2014 season. In race 1 Canepa made a strong start and by mid-race the Althea rider was in ninth position not far behind the Superbike riders.

Unfortunately, from mid-race on, the front tyre began to lose grip and Canepa was forced to slow down, meaning that he was caught by Salom, with whom he then battled it out to the finish, closing the race in final tenth position, the second Evo rider to cross the line. In race two another fast start for Canepa who, as in race one, quickly found himself close to the Superbike riders and fighting with Salom for first place in the Evo category. During the course of the fifteenth lap however the race was halted with a red flag when Laverty’s bike left oil on the track. Canepa concluded eleventh, second among the Evo riders.

The next championship round will take place at Aragon, Spain over the weekend of 11 – 13 April. Niccolò Canepa: “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.”

Genesio Bevilacqua: We are fairly pleased with today’s two races, although after our performance during the practices, we had started out as favourites today. The two races helped us gain experience, collect data and understand the true value of our rivals. We were able to evaluate our potential, which is extremely high and will allow us to compete for important results. There are a few things we can improve but we have the will and ability to do so.”

Top six results for Pata Honda at Phillip Island

Jonathan Rea took sixth and fifth place finishes in today’s two opening races of the 2014 FIM eni World Superbike championship at Phillip Island in Australia. His Pata Honda team-mate Leon Haslam bounced back from a first race crash to take sixth place in race two.

The two 22-lap encounters at the 4.445km Phillip Island circuit, which lies two hours drive south of Melbourne, were won by Eugene Laverty and Sylvain Guintoli, although race two was cut to 14 laps when red flags were waved following a technical problem for Laverty.

Starting from the second row of the grid, 28-year-old Rea got a good start to race one and became involved in a race-long battle with Tom Sykes and Loris Baz. His start to race two was even better and he was fighting for a podium place in the early stages before getting pushed wide and losing touch with the leading group.

In contrast, Haslam did not get a good start to race one and crashed out at the fast turn 12 on the fifth lap. The 30-year-old was unhurt but his crew had to work hard to completely re-build his CBR1000RR Fireblade SP in readiness for race two.

The Pata Honda team will re-group for further testing in Spain at the end of March before round two of the championship takes place at Motorland Aragon on 11-13 April.

Jonathan Rea - 6th 5th

I guess we have to be reasonably satisfied with the result here because we’ve made a big improvement over last year here at Phillip Island. It’s clear which areas we need to work on and it’s mostly mechanical grip. In race one, some of the guys struggled with tyre problems because it went the full distance, but I was able to look after my tyre which was a good thing. But we still need to make improvements in that area because the guys at the front had no problems. Race two was unfortunately stopped early because I think I was probably conserving my tyre a little more than I should have been. Sykes passed me into turn one but kind of stopped up in the corner and I lost a lot of places and lost touch with the group so the last few laps were quite boring. But I’m quite happy with everyone on my side of the box – we’ve been making good linear progress. They’re not results to jump up and down about but it’s a good way to start the season. I’m looking forward to getting back to some more conventional circuits in Europe and to aiming a lot higher than we did here.

Leon Haslam - DNF 6th

I had a big disaster in race one – we had a bit of an electronics issue and then the bike spun from under me at turn 12. We saw what that was and we know the problem in that area but the boys had to work really, really hard to get the bike ready for race two. They put a good setting in the bike that allowed me to run consistent times similar to the leaders’ but we just had a few niggly issues that stopped me getting up to them. Me and Johnny had a good battle and then the race got red flagged. It was disappointing that we didn’t get to have a bit more fun out on the track but fifth and sixth for the team, considering the issues we’ve had, is not so bad. We’ll go back and work hard for the next one – we’ve made some steps forward since Friday but we didn’t get back to where we were at the test, which was a little disappointing. We know why though, and we’ll get it sorted for next time.

Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator

Jonathan was sixth in race one after a race-long battle with the two Kawasakis. Considering our problems during practice and getting the bike set up, I think that was OK. Leon crashed out, unfortunately. In race two Jonathan got a really good start and was battling for a podium place for a long while but he got run wide and that created a gap. Leon’s second race was much, much better. He got a reasonable start and was fighting in the top eight, eventually getting sixth. It was really encouraging and no less than he and his crew deserved after the promising times during the test here. There’s a lot to do, but we have six days of testing before we go to Aragon so we’ll come back strong there.





Phillip Island (Australia), 23 February 2014 - On the Australian Phillip Island track for the opening round of the 2014 World Superbike season, Aprilia wins with Sylvain Guintoli in Race 2, takes two podiums in Race 1 and immediately takes back the top spot in both the Rider and Manufacturer standings. It was an extraordinary weekend for the Aprilia Racing RSV4s, key players in both races.

The first part revolved around the duel between the two Aprilia standard bearers, Melandri and Guintoli, along with Irishman Laverty who, after making a comeback on the leading pack which also included Giugliano for a long time, kept his rivals in check in the final laps. Marco Melandri made an excellent second place finish, crossing the line just ahead of his team mate Guintoli (third) who had led the pack at the beginning stages of the race for a long time, however costing him wear on his tyre so that in the final laps he had nothing left on the rear to be able to fend off Laverty's attacks.

In Race 2 the leading pack also included Rea, Baz and Sykes, making a comeback from the rear spots. Guintoli led the first part of the race and after being overtaken by fellow leaders Baz and Laverty once, he took back the lead in the 12th lap. Two laps later an engine failure for Laverty - riding second at the time behind he French Aprilia rider - with a consequent oil spill on the track, forced Laverty to withdraw and the marshals to suspend the race. This meant that the finishing order was decided by the last lap completed which had Guintoli winning in front of Baz and Sykes.

With this performance the Frenchman provides an encore of last year's success (also with the Aprilia RSV4) and, thanks to his third place in Race 1, puts him in the lead for the Rider Championship. Sylvain's win and Melandri's second place in Race 1 place Aprilia at the top of the Manufacturer standings, an excellent bounty for the new season.

After his nice second place in the first race Melandri had a bit of a moment during the eighth lap of the second race, running on after braking too hard and having to re-enter the track in 14th place. From there he made a bold comeback to finish in eighth place, earning 8 points that put him in third place in the rider standings.

Sylvain Guintoli: “In Race 1 maybe I had a little too much faith. I started off strong and toward the end I lost the right feeling with my rear tyre. The conditions were much different than they had been over the last few days but we did a good job anyway. In the second race I tried to look after my tyre and it worked. If I think about everything that happened during the winter I can't help but be pleased with our weekend. I'm finally back on the top step of the podium. I want to thank the guys who looked after me during my recovery. I'm pretty tired now but I'll have a month to recover before the next round”.

Marco Melandri: “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”.

Two fourth place finishes for Giugliano and the Ducati Superbike Team in today’s SBK races at Phillip Island

Giugliano brings his 1199 Panigale home in fourth place in the Australian season opener

Davies closes today’s races seventh and eighth

Phillip Island (Australia), Sunday 23 February 2014 – Davide Giugliano and the Ducati Superbike team made a very promising start to the 2014 Superbike World Championship today at Phillip Island, closing both races inside the top five, a very encouraging result coming at the end of a positive weekend. Chaz Davies closed the races in seventh and eighth position.

Race 1: Conditions were significantly warmer today, with the track temperature already at 39°C for race 1. Davies made a very quick start from eleventh on the grid, passing several riders through the first corners to position fifth at the end of lap one. On lap two, the British rider made the best lap of the race, 1’30.949, earning his first ‘Pirelli best lap award’ of the season and setting a new record with a lap time three tenths of a second faster than Laverty’s fast lap at this track in 2013. Chaz lost a couple of positions in the subsequent phase and from mid-race tyre wear began to impact on his performance, leaving him with no option but to slow down. Separated from both the group immediately ahead of him and the chasing group, Chaz was able to hold eighth position to the line.

Starting from second position on the grid, Giugliano made a strong start, tucking himself in in third place behind frontrunners Melandri and Guintoli. He held this position through the opening stages but, unfortunately, he too began to suffer from a lack of rear grip throughout the second half of the race that prevented him from being able to continue his battle with the three leaders (Melandri, Guintoli and Laverty). The young Italian rider thus closed this first race of the 2014 season in fourth place, a very respectable result considering the hot track conditions and ensuing circumstances.

Race 2: The track temperature had risen to 48°C for the second race. Davies was lying ninth after the first lap but then quickly moved up through the field to position himself fifth by lap eight. Unfortunately an electronic problem caused by a stone perforating the front fairing of his Panigale slowed him down from the tenth lap onwards and, when the race was brought to a premature end after 14 laps (with Laverty’s bike having left oil on track), Davies crossed the line in final seventh place.

Giugliano again started strongly and was once again in third position behind Melandri and Guintoli. He lost a few places through the subsequent laps as he tried to manage his race in the tricky conditions. He had just started to push, and was starting to catch those ahead of him when the red flag came out, signalling the end of the race. He therefore closed in fourth position for the second time today.

At the conclusion of this first championship round, Giugliano lies fourth in the general standings, with 26 points, while Davies is eighth with 17 points. Ducati places fourth in the manufacturer’s classification with 26 points.

Quotes after the races:

Davide Giugliano - Ducati Superbike Team #34

“In race 1 I was quite relaxed. I managed to lap fast by only riding at about 70%, saving that extra 30% for the end of the race but unfortunately the grip became an issue maybe five or six from the end. In the second race, I immediately realised that conditions were warmer than the first and so I tried to limit the damage by holding back a little. Then later I started to push and was catching those ahead of me – I think I could have battled for the podium if the race had gone full distance but unfortunately they stopped the race after 14 laps. Anyway, overall it’s been a great weekend. We’ve shown that, as far as the chassis and my riding is concerned, that we’ve arrived. We were consistently fast throughout the weekend and this gives us confidence for the next races. Today’s results are very encouraging for me, for the team and for Ducati.”

Chaz Davies - Ducati Superbike Team #7

“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.”

Ernesto Marinelli - Ducati Superbike Project Director

“As often happens at this track, the stresses on the rear tyre somewhat conditioned our races today, but we nevertheless brought home important points. Davide’s two fourth place finishes, coming at the end of a weekend in which he was consistently among the frontrunners, and Chaz’s lap record in race 1 confirm that their talent combined with the potential of our Panigale allows us to fight for the positions that count. I’m very pleased with the work of our entire team and I want to thank the guys in Ducati Corse in Bologna who, with hard work and determination, are moving the development of this project forward.”


Phillip Island, Australia

1 stage

23 February 2014

Sunday. Race

The first win

The Supersport race is the adornment of the Australian stage of the World Superbike Championship. This race was full of incredible overtaking, falls, technical failure, red flags and beautiful victory!

Yesterday the luck favored the Russian rider and Vladimir Leonov showed good pace getting the 6th position on the start grid. On the morning Warm up he was the 5th. However, everything changed immediately after the starting lights went out. On the first lap in the Siberia corner Vladimir got out. Unfortunately, the third year in a row Vladimir can’t finish the race in Phillip Island.

On the contrary, the wind of changes blew Jules Cluzel’s flag. All the week-end the cruel fate pursued him. After the qualification technicians made some changes. It allowed the French rider to show the 3d result during morning Warm up. The race started and Jules immediately broke from the 14th to the 8th. As a result of several good overtaking Cluzel got the 5th position to the 7th lap and was ready to attack Raffaele De Rosa. The race direction decided to stop the race as the oil poured from Jack Kennedy’s bike on the starting line. After the restart riders had to make 5 laps. Almost immediately Michael Vd Mark crashed, another moment Kenan Sofuoglu got into the gravel. The race headed Florian Marino. After dizzying overtaking on the last lap Kev Coghlan captured lidership. Jules Cluzel attacked him in few turns and brought the first win to MV in the world Supersport class.

Vladimir Leonov: “Honestly, I sorry to horror! We tried a lot to break series unsuccessful races on this track and again the same. The fate is not faire to us. We deserve more. This year we work on new tyres and not all work equally well on this track. Kenan and Michael crashed for the same reason. I want to congratulate my teammate with the victory. He had a great race. Now I’m thinking about Aragon. Thank fans for their support.”

Jules Cluzel: “Amazingly, we were terribly unlucky during all tests and the beginning of the week-end. We made less laps, not all we wanted. To win in such conditions is a dream! Before the start I told to my mechanics to do everything and I wouldn’t fail. Maybe we are not quite ready to be the first but I didn’t make any mistake, pushed as I could. I’m sure we deserved this victory. It’s a long way to go and we confidently started.”

Supersport disappointment for Pata Honda in Australia

The Pata Honda World Supersport team will leave Australia empty-handed after today’s first round World Supersport championship race at the Phillip Island circuit near Melbourne.

The team’s Italian rider, Lorenzo Zanetti, sustained an injury to his left hand in a last-lap qualifying crash yesterday. The 26-year-old was transferred to hospital in Melbourne where he underwent surgery, forcing him to miss today’s race.

His Pata Honda team-mate, Michael van der Mark, had been in impressive form all weekend and started the scheduled 18-lapper from the front row of the grid, alongside reigning world champion, Kenan Sofuoglu.

Van der Mark was competing for the podium positions when the race was red-flagged after seven laps. Race organisers declared a five-lap sprint race for the re-start in which the Dutch rider competed once more for a rostrum finish.

However, van der Mark crashed at Phillip Island’s turn two on the second lap and, although he was able to re-start, the 21-year-old crashed again on the following lap whilst trying to get back into contention.

The Pata Honda team will be back in action at round two of the series at Motorland Aragon in Spain on 11-13 April.

Michael van der Mark - DNF

The first part of the race was quite OK – I took the lead but I was a little too enthusiastic and made some mistakes, which allowed Kenan [Sofuoglu] and Kev [Coghlan] to pass me. When I followed them I felt I could do the lap times really easily so I held myself back a little bit because it’s a long race and I wanted to look after my tyre. When I was close to them again I wanted to overtake and follow Kenan but we got the red flag. The new race was five laps which was a little disappointing because we worked hard on race simulations all week because of the tyre situation. To travel all the way round the world for a five-lap race at the end of all that was tough. The crash was my mistake and I feel so sorry for the team because we worked so hard. On the positive side, I think we showed how much progress we hav e made over the past year in closing the gap to the front, so I’m really happy with this and I look forward to Aragon.

Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator

It’s a shame that Lorenzo could not start because of the operation on his finger, but he should be OK again in time for the next event in Aragon. We send him the team’s best wishes for a speedy recovery. Michael got away OK and was in a comfortable third place, trying to save his tyres and doing the pace easily before we got the red flag. The rest of the race was reduced to just five laps but he got off the line OK again and was in fourth when he overdid it a little and crashed out. He got up but crashed again a lap later. The good news is that he’s not hurt but the bad news is we lost a race that we could have won. He showed really good speed all week so, for sure, he’ll be back at Aragon trying to show how he can fight for a win.

Sylvain Guintoli wins race 2 and becomes Championship leader

Phillip Island (Australia), Sunday 23 February 2014 – Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) has won the second race of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island, his career's fifth in the series, in front of the 56,515 spectators attending the event. The Frenchman, now Championship leader after the opening round, was in first place on lap 15 when the race was red flagged, following the technical problem suffered by race 1 winner Eugene Laverty. The Irishman's GSX-R 1000 engine blew as he was running second ahead of Kawasaki Racing Team pairing of Loriz Baz and reigning Champion Tom Sykes, who claimed the remaining podium positions.

Sylvain Guintoli: "I pushed a bit too much in Race 1, I started off really strong but towards the end I couldn't keep the same pace. Track conditions were a lot different from the previous days, but we did a good job anyway. In the second race, I tried to save the tyre a bit and it worked out. Considering what happened to me during the weekend I can't be but happy about this round as I finally managed to get back on the top step of the podium. I would like to thank the people who assisted me during my recovery, I feel quite tired now but there is a long break before the next race to be fully fit."

Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) was 4th followed by Pata Honda duo Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam, whilst Giugliano's team mate Chaz Davies claimed seventh place ahead of Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) and Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia). Works Aprilia rider Melandri was part of a thrilling ten way battle up front in the early stages, before going wide at Turn 4 during the eighth lap. Two laps later Brit Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) made the same mistake whilst trying to catch the leaders, eventually ending up thirteenth behind EVO riders David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team), tenth, Niccol� Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati), eleventh, and Fabien Foret (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki), twelfth.

Results: 1. Guintoli (Aprilia) 14 Laps/62.230 km in 15:02'05.586 average 173.124 kph; 2. Baz (Kawasaki) 0.283; 3. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1.103; 4. Giugliano (Ducati) 2.052; 5. Rea (Honda) 4.951; 6. Haslam (Honda) 5.673; 7. Davies (Ducati) 9.664; 8. Melandri (Aprilia) 10.574; 9. Elias (Aprilia) 11.682; 10. Salom (Kawasaki) 15.065; 11. Canepa (Ducati) 16.294; 12. Foret (Kawasaki) 16.919; 13. Lowes (Suzuki) 19.694; 14. Morais (Kawasaki) 27.266; 15. Allerton (BMW) 27.845; 16. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 29.431; 17. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 36.393; 18. Corti (MV Agusta) 37.018; 19. Toth (BMW) 54.093; 20. Yates (EBR) 1'13.385; RT. Laverty (Suzuki) 0.131.

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki victorious as Laverty wins 2014 maiden race!

Eugene Laverty stormed to victory on his Voltcom Crescent Suzuki debut in race one at Phillip Island in Australia this afternoon, securing the first World Championship win for the Japanese manufacturer since 2010.

Fighting back from a difficult start, a determined Laverty made his way through from seventh to hunt down the leading pack of Giugliano, Melandri and Guintoli by lap seven. Biding his time, the Irishman advanced on the leaders, making his break for the lead on lap 17 and not looking back. The Yoshimura-powered GSX-R firmly controlled the pace for the remaining five laps bringing the first victory for Crescent Suzuki on the world stage. Race two continued to find Laverty challenging for the lead, a brief battle in the opening laps resulted in the Suzuki GSX-R again dominating the mid-race before a mechanical issue – causing a visible engine failure - bought about an early end to the weekend’s activities.

Alex Lowes, battling the injury sustained in Saturday’s free practice, looked to be finding a strong rhythm in his debut race in the eni FIM Superbike World Championship, before a crash at turn one saw his efforts halted prematurely. Regrouping for race two, the Englishman’s team worked tirelessly to rebuild the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000. Despite running on at turn four in the opening lap, Lowes’ determination saw him charging through the field and into the top 10, from 21st, in just five laps. Scoring his fastest lap of the race on his second revolution, Lowes held the fastest time for a further 10. The ankle injury ultimately compromising his race, and causing a further mistake at turn four, Lowes finished his debut weekend with three points and a top 13 finish to show for his brave efforts.

Sunshine, blue skies and a pleasant 22°C greeted the growing crowd as the track temperature fluctuated by more than 10 degrees between the two races, peaking at 48°C for the afternoon’s event. As the championship prepares to travel back to Europe, Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli heads the standings with 41 points, Laverty’s win positions him in fifth and Lowes begins his rookie campaign in 15th.

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki will now use the month-long break to re-evaluate the data from this weekend’s racing before preparing for the first European leg of the World Championship with a private test at Jerez on 31st March ahead of the second round of competition at Aragon in Spain on Sunday 13th April.

Eugene Laverty:

“A day of highs and lows! The first race was incredible! To be so far back on the first lap and come through to win, it was the perfect race for us and a nice way to pay back the whole team for the belief they’ve shown in me. Paul Denning worked hard to get me on board and he delivered everything I needed. He brought in my Crew Chief Phil Marron, Davide Gentile to work on the electronics, and Stan, who I’ve worked with before. All the rest of the boys have welcomed me, so it was nice to be able to reward them with the win right away, and it’s a win that means more to me than any so far in my WSBK career. The second race was a disappointment for everyone. We didn’t deserve that, that’s for sure but that’s racing and unfortunately that’s how it goes sometimes.”

Alex Lowes:

“I’m frustrated with today. I tried really hard and don’t have a lot to show for it really. The first race crash, and in the second race the run on, on the first lap and then the crash later was all because I was struggling to change gear with my foot. I had a numbing injection, lost a bit of feeling and I couldn’t change gear so it was hard work! I was riding through the pain, so to just get three points has upset me a bit because we had such good pace all through the test. I’ve never been here before and we were still looking like we could run at the front and challenge for a podium so I’m really disappointed, but I’m going to come back fitter and stronger and we should be ok for Aragon.”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“It’s very strange to have won our first ever World Superbike race - and in such a dominant fashion - and still be leaving Phillip Island feeling very disappointed! As a team we are very sorry to have let Eugene down in race two when another podium - and quite possibly another win - was on the cards. We will do everything in our power to ensure it’s the last time!

“The additional disappointment is for Alex who was so unlucky to dislocate his ankle in the Saturday morning crash, many other riders crashed heavily and got away with it. The injury made it impossible to enter the corners properly, and inevitably the difficulty in down-shifting gears caused the mistakes in the races. The frustrating thing is that he was still so fast and could have joined the fight at the front.

“I have to once again thank the team and all our partners for getting us and the Suzuki GSX-R back in to the winner’s circle and on top of that, thank Eugene for believing in this project and for riding with such aggression, precision and outright desire to win.”

First race and first points for MV Agusta

For a long time MV Agusta hasn’t taken part in races on the global level. Today was the debut in new history. F4 RR went out on the start against the best bikes in the world to understand what place take bikes from Varese…

Starting from the 14th place Claudio Corti lost few positions in the first corner on the Phillip Island circuit. Few laps later he caught good pace and showed the lap time on as TOP-10 riders. Sometime the MV Agusta Reparto Corse – YAKHNICH MOTORSPORT rider caught up Fabian Foret whom he pursued the lasst third of the race. Italian was ready to pass the French veteran but for one and a half lap for the finish the petrol started to finish. Miraculously Claudio finished earning precious points.

To the second race engineers made some changes in the bike of the Russian team. Corti had to skip ahead all his rivals because of bad start and entered the first turn the last. Italian tried to regain lost positions but it was almost impossible. Claudio finished the race out of points on the 18th place. However, the team got important information and experience so it will help in preparing for the second round of the World Superbike Chaampionship in Aragon.

Claudio Corti: “We got to the finish in both races and it’s very important. We have a kilometers, we have data. Here in Australia we were limited in spare parts so we had to work with what we have. In such conditions it’s hard to experiment. In Europe everything will be different. Thank everybody! See you in Spain!”

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