It's a double win for Melandri and Aprilia at Jerez, the soft compound Pirelli DIABLO™ Superbike solutions performed well
The Andalusian sky was the backdrop for the crowning of two Champions in two FIM Supersport World Championship classes and the weekend confirmed once again that the top class for factory derivatives will not have a crowned Champion until the final round in Qatar. In the Supersport class, the Dutch rider for Pata Honda World Supersport Team, Michael Vd Mark, was crowned World Champion two races before the end of the Championship. The same pleasant fate was in store for Marco Faccani who won the championship title in his rookie year of Superstock 600. In Superbike an astonishing Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) took a fabulous double win with his team mate Sylvain Guintoli crossing the line behind him both times to give Aprilia a double one-two, the second of the season after Malaysia. Current leader, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) handled damage control with a sixth and third place finish to hold onto the lead in the championship standings with a 31 point advantage over Aprilia's Frenchman. In the manufacturer championship Aprilia is now just one point behind Kawasaki. The soft solutions that Pirelli brought for the Superbike class worked very well and the solution reserved for Superbike riders proved to be particularly popular, already seeing action during the Misano round. The top class got heated up yesterday with a Superpole that had an amazing Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) drawing the most from his rear DIABLO™ Superbike qualifier, stopping the clock at 1’40.298 to set a new track record, improving on Eugene Laverty's time from last year by 3 tenths of a second. In Race 1 Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) showed his claws to hang onto his hopes for the Championship title. The Frenchman, after starting from the fifth spot on the grid, made his way to the front little by little until moving into the lead. Championship leader Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), third on the grid, was never able to get into the thick of the race and had to settle for a sixth place finish. His team mate, Loris Baz, starting from pole position, managed to keep Aprilia's Frenchman at bay for the first laps but was then overtaken and whilst making an attempt to take back the lead he crashed out in the 13th lap. In the meantime, Marco Melandri closed the gap behind team mate Sylvain Guintoli until finally overtaking him in the 16th lap. This gave Aprilia's Italian rider the win for Race 1, stealing important championship points from team mate Sylvain Guintoli, who finished the race in second place. Behind them was Ducati rider Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team) with a gap of more than 4 seconds. In Race 2 the Aprilia and Kawasaki riders were once again protagonists. At the beginning of the second lap Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) overtook Loris Baz to move into the lead and not long afterwards Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) made his move to overtake his team mate, moving in behind the Frenchman from the Noale-based manufacturer. In the fourth lap Marco Melandri, Race 1 winner, took third place from Loris Baz and at mid race overtook Tom Sykes as well, settling in behind his team mate. The Aprilias began to check out at the front and the rider from Ravenna closed the gap steadily on the Frenchman until overtaking him on the final stretch just as the 15th lap started. Once again, after a brilliant comeback, Marco crossed the finish line first in front of team mate Sylvain Guintoli and Kawasaki rider Tom Sykes. The FIM Supersport World Championship race got off to a bad start for championship leader Michael Vd Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) who, starting from pole position, went long at the first turn, dropping back several positions. However, the Dutchman did not give up and a few laps later he was back in the leading trio, headed up by Florian Marino (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) with Jules Cluzel following astride his MV Agusta and the Honda rider behind him. In the eighth lap Vd Mark managed to overtake the Frenchman from the MV Agusta Reparto Corse team, but was then overtaken himself again, taking back second place only in the 11th lap. At that point the Dutchman threw himself into chasing down Marino and overtook him in the 12th lap, but the trio made up of Vd Mark, Cluzel and Marino remained locked in a constant battle. In the 16th lap, first Marino and then Cluzel moved in front of Honda's Dutchman who passed the Frenchman in the 17th lap to move into second place. The race came down to the last lap when MV Agusta's French rider, crashed out whilst attempting to overtake Marino. Michael Vd Mark took advantage of the opening and moved back into the lead, crossing the finish line first ahead of Patrick Jacobsen (second) and Florian Marino (third). And so both the race win and the championship win went to Michael Vd Mark who, at twenty-two years of age, rode his Honda CBR600RR to the top, earning the title of FIM Supersport World Champion. In the FIM Superstock 600 European Championship, Italian rider Marco Faccani (San Carlo Team Italia) was crowned European Champion in his rookie year in this Championship. Faccani came to the Spanish track with a 34 point advantage over the nearest contender, Wayne Tessels, and thanks to his race win he took home the Championship title with one race left in the season. The twenty-year-old from Ravenna was chosen last year by the Italian Motorcycling Federation to race in the FIM Superstock 600 European Championship and to join the San Carlo Team Italia. In spite of this being his first season, in 6 of the 7 races already held in the Championship, Faccani took 5 wins astride his Kawasaki ZX-6R, leaving everyone duly impressed. The win went to Leandro Mercado in the FIM Superstock1000 European Championship. On the Ducati Panigale that he rides for Barni Racing Team, the Argentinian started from pole position and held onto the lead flag to flag. With this win Mercado moves up in the overall standings ahead of Lorenzo Savadori (who was unable to bring home more than third place at Jerez), heading to the final round of the season at Magny-Cours with a 3 point advantage over the Italian rider from Team Pedercini. So everything will come down to the last race on the French track. Comment from Giorgio Barbier, Pirelli Moto Racing Director: “First of all I would like to congratulate the newly crowned champions, Michael Vd Mark and Marco Faccani and their teams for their brilliant performance this year. Both are two promising young riders for international motorcycling and I am sure that we will be hearing much more from them in the years to come. My compliments also to Romano Albesiano's team and their riders, not only for the splendid double one-two they achieved, but for their exceptional attitude of fair play which is more and more rare these days because of the strong economic interests that characterise our environment. As for the work done by Pirelli this round, I cannot help but feel satisfied. Jerez is definitely not an easy track, but the soft solutions that we brought all worked very well, both the standard SC0 and the two solutions reserved for the Superbike and EVO classes. We expect an exciting season finale. This year it will once again be difficult to crown a Champion in the top class before the last round, but that's just fine. That means that the Championship is heated and that there is a lot of competitiveness, characteristics that every fan likes in this sport where we are accustomed to holding our collective breaths until the final race.” The Pirelli solutions chosen by the riders: In Superbike the riders made no changes between Race 1 and Race 2. In both races practically all the riders except Corti used the SC1 S1699 development solution on the front, whereas the choices fell to the three soft solutions on the rear: the standard SC0, chosen by 6 riders, the solution reserved for Superbike riders (T0722) chosen by practically all the riders in the Superbike category and the T1102 solution reserved for the EVO class and chosen by 5 riders. In the Supersport class the riders opted unanimously for the SC0 development solution (T0813) on the rear, a tyre that uses a profile already seen in Australia, Istanbul and right here at Jerez last year, designed to keep the tyre cooler and to perform well at high temperatures. On the front almost all the riders opted for the S1485, the development SC1 which was first seen at Misano and was also used at Portimão. A couple of riders chose the standards SC2. Pirelli Best Lap Awards: The “Pirelli Best Lap Awards” are awarded by Pirelli to the riders who set the fastest race lap in Superbike and Supersport. This prestigious recognition is presented by a Pirelli representative during the Paddock Show in a press conference which follows the podium at the end of the races, for a total of three awards each weekend. The Superbike and Supersport riders who have earned the most “Pirelli Best Lap Award” titles at the end of the season will be elected “Best Lap Winner: fastest rider of the year” and awarded during the end of year ceremony. At the moment Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) lead the Superbike standings both with 4 Best Lap Awards. In Supersport Michael Vd Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) is the leader with 3 Best Lap Awards. These are the riders who won the Pirelli Best Lap Awards at Jerez: WSB Gara 1 – Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team), 1'41.939(2nd lap) WSB Gara 2 – Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team),1'42.223 (3rd lap) WSS – Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India),1'44.849 (2nd lap) The overall standings with two rounds to go are as follows: WSB: Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team): 4; Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team): 4; Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team): 3; Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team): 3; Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team): 2; Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team): 2; Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki): 2 WSS: Michael Vd Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team): 3; Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India): 2; Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta RC-Yakhnich Motorsport): 1; Roberto Tamburini (San Carlo Puccetti Racing): 1; Kev Coghlan (DMC Panavto-Yamaha): 1; Patrick Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres): 1 The 2014 Pirelli statistics for the Jerez round: • Total number of tyres Pirelli brought: 4882 • Number of solutions (dry, intermediate and wet) for the Superbike class: 6 front and 7 rear • Number of tyres available for each Superbike rider: 38 front and 34 rear • Number of solutions for the Supersport class (dry, intermediate and wet): 5 front and 4 rear • Number of tyres available for each Supersport rider: 26 front and 26 rear • Temperature in Race 1: air 23° C, asphalt 26° C • Temperature in Race 2 (Wet): air 28° C, asphalt 40° C • Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Superbike tyres: 281.9 kms/h, in Race 1 by Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) at 5th lap • Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Supercorsa tyres in Supersport: 247.9 kms/h, Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) at 2nd lap.