April 28, 2014

A successful week end for AXO at Assen saw Aprilia factory rider Sylvain Guintoli come close to a sensational double win, after his triumph in the first outing.

In Race 1 the French rider started well to move out in front of the rest when the red lights went off and set an impossible pace for the rest of his rivals. Then in the second half of the race he defended his position in the lead with flying laps as Tom Sykes made a comeback, before the race was interrupted due to a blown engine and oil on track.

Race 2 started off looking promising with Sylvain out front and clearly faster than all his rivals. The heavy rain forced the race marshals to suspend the race, restarting it later with distance shortened to 10 laps. On a treacherous track, and despite a less than perfect start, Sylvain managed to get front runner Rea in his sights within a few turns. On the last chicane the poor grip cause him to crash. In any case, able to get going again in 18th place, Guintoli resumed his pace and finished the race in ninth place after a spectacular comeback.

Sylvain Guintoli: "It's a real shame about Race 2. Despite a less than perfect start I was making up ground without any difficulty. The slide in the second lap had nothing to do with any specific mistake. On a track that wet it simply doesn't take much at all. In spite of the blow to my back and damage to the footpeg and handlebar, I lapped fast and that really makes me angry because it's clear that I could have won Race 2 as well. In Race 1, on the other hand, I took some risks in the first few laps to try and increase the gap - a dangerous strategy but one that worked in the end. Before the race was called I was keeping an eye on Tom Sykes' comeback, trying to manage my advantage. I have to thank the entire team and the guys here at Aprilia Racing because they did a great job today. Even with the low temperatures my RSV4 was really working well. It just goes to show that everyone's efforts paid off."

Very good job for AXO rider Niccolò Canepa, too, who took two first places in the EVO class and leads the provisional chart of this category.

Niccolò Canepa: “I’m really pleased with how today went, a very difficult day of course but we were able to finish first among the Evo riders in both races, meaning that we move into first position in the classification. In race one I battled with Superbike riders, but we had already demonstrated that we could be fast in the dry during the practice sessions. The second race was really hard though, because I’d never ridden the bike in the wet before and I had to be very careful. I found a good rhythm, tried not to commit errors, and brought home another win in the Evo category. A huge thank-you to my technicians for all their hard work.”.

Difficult week end for Michel Fabrizio, who didn’t manage to keep the pace of the front guys and seventh spot for Romain Lanusse in the Stock 1.000 class.