2014 Sepang World Superbike Race One Results: Racing Always Surprises

The opening World Superbike race was sixteen 5.5km laps for a total of 88.7 kilometres on a 52°C track.

Davide Giugliano was suffering from a fever overnight and his bike looked like it sympathised as it bucked off the start and dragged a wheelie for a little too long. Sylvain Guintoli led the race into turn one, but Loris Baz leant too far over on the inside kerb and lost the front, skittling his teammate Tom Sykes into the gravel. Sykes collected Alex Lowes on the way and Jonathan Rea needed to do some deft manoeuvring to avoid crashing, ending up in last place. Giugliano was also disadvantaged, ending up mid-pack.

With both Kawasakis taken out early, the advantage was firmly with the Aprilias and Sylvain Guintoli dragged Toli Elias with him. On the third lap, Marco Melandri passed Chaz Davies to ominously put all three Aprilias at the front of the race as Eugene Laverty closed the gap to Chaz Davies and, at the end of the lap, Melandri took second place off Elias.

Guintoli and Melandri then set about building a gap from the rest of the field; five seconds at the halfway point. Fighting for third place, Chaz Davies passed Toni Elias and threw him into the jaws of Eugene Laverty. Further back, Jonathan Rea carved through the Evo bikes to catch an equally-charging Davide Giugliano and the pair set about catching Leon Haslam in sixth position.

As the race progressed, the gap at the front extended and Melandri made a typically decisive and aggressive pass on Guintoli and took the lead but was unable to break away as both Aprilia riders rode at an elevated pace, pushing the gap to third to twelve seconds by the end of the race.

Try as he might, Sylvain Guintoli was unable to pass Marco Melandri and the Italian took his first victory of the year, elevating him to fifth place in the championship, while Guintoli's second place, plus the lack of points scored by Kawasaki, put him in third place, seventeen points off Tom Sykes and ahead of Loris Baz.

Third place was a hard fought battle between Eugene Laverty, Chaz Davies and Toni Elias, but Laverty was able to gap the other two to take third place and leave them fighting for fourth. Chaz Davies took the fourth place on the last corner as Elias went wide. 

Marco Melandri's victory could not have come at a better time, amidst rumours of a falling out between him and his team, and joining Chaz Davies in equal fifth place will do him no harm. An unexpected result for Laverty and Suzuki, and damage limitation by Jonathan Rea on the Honda, keeps the title chase interesting, but Tom Sykes was seen clutching his wrist as he recovered from the crash, which is the wrong sort of interesting for race fans.

Aprilia stated very loudly that they would do well at this track, finally able to unleash their horses on the long straights, and the results backed up their claims.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Gap Best Lap Speed
1 33 M. MELANDRI Aprilia RSV4 Factory   2'04.884 307,2
2 50 S. GUINTOLI Aprilia RSV4 Factory 0.620 2'05.248 304,6
3 58 E. LAVERTY Suzuki GSX-R1000 12.865 2'05.225 298,7
4 7 C. DAVIES Ducati 1199 Panigale R 15.437 2'05.598 301,2
5 24 T. ELIAS Aprilia RSV4 Factory 15.723 2'05.509 304,6
6 65 J. REA Honda CBR1000RR 31.304 2'06.978 299,5
7 91 L. HASLAM Honda CBR1000RR 34.093 2'07.169 294,6
8 34 D. GIUGLIANO Ducati 1199 Panigale R 35.804 2'06.794 297,8
9 44 D. SALOM Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 42.031 2'07.966 284,5
10 19 L. CAMIER BMW S1000 RR EVO 49.465 2'07.982 290,6
11 11 J. GUARNONI Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 53.715 2'08.421 280,8
12 21 A. ANDREOZZI Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 1'07.783 2'09.054 289,8
13 67 B. STARING Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 1'10.746 2'09.078 280,8
14 10 I. TOTH BMW S1000 RR 1'18.143 2'09.312 295,4
15 98 R. LANUSSE Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 1'21.026 2'08.899 281,5
16 20 A. YATES EBR 1190 RX 1'49.054 2'10.647 266,2
RET 59 N. CANEPA Ducati 1199 Panigale R EVO 3 Laps 2'08.837 286,0
RET 32 S. MORAIS Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 9 Laps 2'08.766 282,3
RET 56 P. SEBESTYEN BMW S1000 RR EVO 10 Laps 2'11.492 280,8
RET 71 C. CORTI MV Agusta F4 RR 10 Laps 2'09.950 286,0
RET 9 F. FORET Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 12 Laps 2'09.596 280,8
RET 22 A. LOWES Suzuki GSX-R1000 15 Laps   296,2
RET 76 L. BAZ Kawasaki ZX-10R 15 Laps   299,5
RET 1 T. SYKES Kawasaki ZX-10R 15 Laps   301,2
STH 86 A. BADOVINI Bimota BB3 EVO 55.683 2'08.537 283,7
STH 2 C. IDDON Bimota BB3 EVO 8 Laps 2'08.290 286,8

 

Round Number: 
6
2014
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