February 24, 2014

It was an extraordinary weekend for AXO the one kicked off at Phillip Island, for round number one of the 2014 SBK World Championship! Sylvain Guintoli took a perfect win in Race 2 after stepping on the first step of the rostrum in the first outing, while new-comer Niccolò Canepa clinched the second spot in the Evo class.

After sealing a fantastic Superpole lap on Saturday, Guintoli started great in the first outing of the day. He pushed hard keeping the lead of the race for quite a long time, which cost 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 and had to be content to take the chequered flag in third.

In Race 2 Guintoli led the first part of the race and after being overtaken by fellow leaders Baz and Laverty, he took back the lead on lap 12th. Two laps later an engine failure to Laverty’s Suzuki - 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 AXO rider clinches the lead in the Riders’ Championship.

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”.

Good job for Niccolò Canepa, too, who aboard the Ducati Evo of the Althea Team, clinched 10th and 11th to secure second spot overall in the Evo class.

Michel Fabrizio had to sit out from this first round due to a crash in the tests held at Phillip Island the week prior to the opening race.