WSBK: Round #4 Aprilia Racing P1 Report - Imola

Marco Melandri race action shot

Aprilia Racing Press Release:

On a decidedly summer day the World Superbike engines roared to life at the Enzo and Dino Ferrari circuit at Imola. For the Aprilia Racing Team, reigning Manufacturer World Champion, it was a very promising début: Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli were protagonists straight away in the two sessions today, demonstrating great determination and an excellent pace. The only black spot on the day was a red flag 12 minutes from the end of the second session when the riders were getting ready to test the last solutions.

Marco Melandri, playing on his home pitch, ended the day with the third best time in the combined standings. The young man from Ravenna improved consistently until arriving less than two tenths of a second from the ranking leader. Efforts will be focused on two fronts tomorrow: continuing the search for the best settings in view of the race and finding speed on the flying lap in order to do well in Superpole. In fact, one of the characteristics of the Imola track is difficulty overtaking.

Marco Melandri race action shot

Marco Melandri:

"I am really quite pleased. For us today was like a new, positive beginning. I feel good on my RSV4 and I am able to ride very smoothly. Today we did a lot of work in preparation for the race, trying to understand how the tires behave and working on our electronics strategies. Tomorrow we'll continue in this direction, also looking for speed on the flying lap for Superpole. The interruption in the second session didn't even create any big problems for us. We already have a good base to build on".

It was also a decidedly positive day for Sylvain Guintoli, winner at Assen and fourth best time today. The Frenchman put in a lot of laps at Imola and showed that he is consistently fast. There are a few regrets about the time lost in the last session, which could have led to further improvements. For Sylvain and his team tomorrow promises to be a rather intense day.

Sylvain Guintoli race action shot

Sylvain Guintoli:

"We started off well. As usual we are working on race pace, but my initial feeling with my RSV4 is very good. With all the red flags that interrupted the practice sessions there are still a few things left to test. I hope we can get some consistent time to work tomorrow and finish what we have planned. In any case our times are promising and I'm confident that starting from the good work we did today we'll be able to improve even more".

FRIDAY – COMBINED RESULTS:

1. Rea (Honda)            1’48.147

2. Sykes (Kawasaki)         1’48.187

3. Melandri (Aprilia)         1’48.261

** 4. Guintoli (Aprilia)         1’48.323**

5. Giugliano (Ducati)         1’48.329

6. Davies (Ducati)         1’48.592

7. Haslam (Honda)         1’48.999

8. Laverty (Suzuki)         1’49.259

9. Baz (Kawasaki)         1’49.600

10. Camier (BMW)        1’49.610

For more information: www.aprilia.it