June 9, 2014

It's been a great day for AXO at Sepang, where Sylvain Guintoli took a double runner up spot in the fifth round of the Superbike World Championship.

After sealing the Superpole with a fantastic fastest lap on Saturday, Guintoli had a great start in Race 1 and immediately pulled away followed by team-mate by Marco Melandri to battle for the win. Sylvain was then passed by the RSV4 of Melandri and, after a couple of small mistakes in the final stages, took the first runner up spot of the day as the chequered flag was waved.

Race 2 changed in form but not in substance. A red flag in the third lap decreed a restart for a race now shortened to 10 laps and the starting grid based on the riders' positions at the time the race had been stopped, which put the two RSV4s on the front row. Sylvain Guintoli took the lead straight away while Marco Melandri battled to chase down his team mate. In the final lap the two Aprilia riders made a series of passes that were as spectacular as clean, with Melandri prevailing after Sylvain's last ditch attempt in the turn right before the finish line. It was a flying finish, with Guintoli sealing the second runner up spot of the day. The overall standings now sees him only 13 points behind current leader, Tom Sykes.


Sylvain Guintoli: "In Race 1 I thought I had implemented my strategy well, but unfortunately towards the end Marco just had a really good pace and forced me into a few mistakes. I think I did better in Race 2, trying to pull the pin straight away, but in the final stages Marco simply had just a little more. I tried to fight back and I think we gave everybody watching the race plenty of entertainment in that last lap! We earned some important points in the championship and showed that Aprilia is back on the front with a great day. Now we'll get some rest after this really tiring weekend."

A technical problem forced Niccolò Canepa out of Race 1, while the Ducati Evo rider took fifteenth spot in Race 2.