What the riders said – World SBK from Aragon


With the 2014 World SBK Championship putting in its second round from Aragon, we take a look at view of the riders.


Tom Sykes:
“It was very important to put in this kind of performance after the first weekend in Phillip Island. We scored two race wins today but after four or five laps of race two it felt far from perfect! Race one was very good and we had a good set-up that gave us a consistent pace on a cold track. I was expecting more of a drop off in that race but it was good to the end. I thought race two was going to be more straightforward in hot conditions so I went for the same SC0 as race one. There was a change in temperature in race two on the starting grid and I had to dig extra deep and try to make the best of the changing situation. The two guys behind me for sure had more grip than me but we were for sure able to put the Ninja ZX-10R on the pieces of tarmac those guys were looking for. I had a plan on the last lap to keep them behind me – and it worked. If someone had have made the pass and made it stick they would have deserved the win. Marco tried a pass and could not quite make the corner on the final lap. It was great racing and good for the spectators!”



Marco Melandri:
“It’s a shame that we basically wasted Race 1. From the very first laps I was struggling and wasn’t able to keep my pace. In the second race we made some changes with the team and the bike was working much better. I only lost a bit of time in the first part of the race. I had a little trouble braking going into turns but lap by lap I gained confidence until catching up the front runners. I overtook Baz and at that point, with the win within a shout, my DNA pushed me to make a go of it even if maybe I was a little too far behind Sykes. Unfortunately I went wide and finished third, but I had to prove that I could win and I will take that confidence with me to Assen to get my first win of the season.”



Leon Camier:
“The first race went quite well, I was first among the Evo riders so that’s extremely positive. In the second race we had a few problems but I felt that the bike was working really well and that I had a lot more speed than the other riders. I made a couple of mistakes which was frustrating but the potential is there and the bike is working well. If we can fix those small things that aren’t quite right then we can be very strong. I’m very happy with the team and the bike, we just have to continue working in this direction and I’m sure we’ll get there.”



Chaz Davies:
“Race 1 didn’t go as I’d hoped, despite my final position. I made a bad start and then was stuck behind the two Aprilias for a long while. I finally managed to get past them and got into something of a rhythm but then as the race progressed I lost some grip and I couldn’t do more. We made some changes for the second race but the front of the bike seemed a little nervous right from the start. I was trying to save the tyre for the later stages of the race but then I lost grip at the front and crashed. For some reason the marshals wouldn’t let me continue even though my bike was still running. It’s been a disappointing day because I think Davide and I were capable of reaching the podium today. We’ve taken some important data anyway and now we move on to tracks that should be more favourable for the Ducati.”



Eugene Laverty:
“We salvaged two decent results on Sunday. Worst-case scenario we need to be top six in any race this year, it was a difficult weekend and we achieved that! In the first race we had the potential to fight for third, but unfortunately I ran off the track twice because we are having problems with a full tank of fuel and the engine braking control at the beginning. I had the same problem in the second race but I just had to be more careful. At the end of race one, we were really strong; race two I had a good pace but on lap one Toni Elias hit me and I moved from eighth back to twelfth position. That hurt my race a lot so I had to fight back to finish sixth, but I can at least have a smile at that.”



Jonathan Rea
“It’s been a really positive weekend for us” said Jonathan Rea “to go back on the podium this early in the season. It hasn’t really been a trend for us recently so it’s given everyone a bit of a boost. We just really need to build on this. I really enjoy riding the bike at this circuit and we’ve made a lot of improvements since Phillip Island. Because of the temperature change and some rear problems we experienced in the first race, in race two we went with the softer tyre option, which most of the grid changed to.”


MV Agusta

Claudio Corti:

“Even in the morning warm-up we found problems with electronics” said Corti. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t solve them before the first race so I had to pull in after the first lap. During the second race I pushed as hard as I could, as the goal for the weekend was to stay ahead of the EVO riders. We were close, but the bike still does not have enough acceleration, meaning I had to keep up corner speed. So, on the sixth lap I fell, and it was my fault. I’m really sorry for that and I would like to apologise to the team. We will do a better job at Assen.”



Aaron Yates:
“We tested a lot of different solutions, some that were positive and were a step forward. It was a good test and it helped us to know which direction to move. I am really looking forward to racing in Aragon.”



Christian Iddon: “The first race was a great experience and a real milestone in my career. My debut in World Superbikes – and doing it with such a famous brand and with such a great team. I had a few (electronic) issues in Race 1, but I the team sorted them out for Race 2 and I was really looking forward to pushing much harder and exploring the bike’s potential. Everything was going well and Ayrton and I were having a good battle with a group of riders, but then I started to have a problem with my seat – it fell off! I carried on for about another four laps, but then the bike stopped. The seat has a sensor, which is activated when you crash, so I guess (because the seat fell off) the sensor thought I’d fallen off and cut the bike out. But, apart from that, I feel that it has been a very productive weekend for all of us in the team. We’ve learned a lot in such a short space of time and we’ll use that information to improve their bike next time out. As this was not one of my favourite circuits, I’m pretty happy with how things went this weekend.”


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