SU­PER-FAST R1 IS OFF THE RACE PACE GIPRO

MORE COM­PACT & MORE RE­SPON­SIVE THAN OTHER GEAR IN­DI­CA­TORS

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - Chaz Davies Jonathan Rea Tom Sykes

When Yamaha duo Syl­vain Guin­toli and Alex Lowes qual­i­fied sec­ond and third in Su­per­pole, the whole pad­dock took a sharp in­take of breath. Could this be the break­through week­end? Es­pe­cially as the team had re­ceived an en­gine up­grade and other parts.

The ul­ti­mate an­swer was no, but the signs are clear – it will be soon.

In race one Guin­toli tailed Tom Sykes for a time but dropped back with grip is­sues to fin­ish ninth. In race two he started more con­ser­va­tively from the front row to save his tyre but still dropped back as he found spin and not drive - and tenth place.

For Lowes, race one put him eighth, race two ninth, and in each case 25 sec­onds back from the win­ner. He re­cov­ered from be­ing down in 18th in race two to romp back into the top 10, but so far the WSB Yamaha team are strug­gling to find con­sis­tency.

Lowes said: “In the sec­ond race I rode very well apart from a few prob­lems at the start. The re­sults are not where they need to be but we’re learn­ing.”

Guin­toli was clear what his is­sues were in race trim, af­ter set­ting a blis­ter­ing pole time of 1m 49.583s. He said: “In race one dur­ing the first laps I felt quite happy be­hind Tom. I was even look­ing to at­tack him but then the grip dropped mas­sively.”

CHAZ DAVIES

Ques­tioned if WSB was no longer a Kawasaki-dom­i­nated cham­pi­onship Davies replied with a grin, “I hope not - I am try­ing to keep it in­ter­est­ing. It does get bor­ing when it is one man­u­fac­turer. It is not bor­ing for the rider. I can vouch for that! It needs to be a close cham­pi­onship from ev­ery­body’s point of view and at dif­fer­ent cir­cuits there will be other guys pop­ping up as well. It does seem to be us three at the mo­ment but other guys will be in the mix too.” Chaz Davies was able to ex­ploit more power and less weight thanks to a new ex­haust and big­ger ra­di­a­tors first tested at Va­len­cia in the week lead­ing up to the Aragon race week­end.

Du­cati are mak­ing the most of WSB’S new 115deci­bel noise limit with their new ti­ta­nium Akravovic ex­haust sys­tem re­duc­ing mass and in­creas­ing power. Al­though the team were re­luc­tant to give ex­act fig­ures, MCN un­der­stands they have re­duced the weight of the bike by close to 3kg and given it as much as a 5bhp in­crease.

Du­cati did con­firm that the bike now needs to have ad­di­tional bal­last added to reach the 168kg min­i­mum weight limit.

Du­cati’s Su­per­bike Project Leader Ernesto Marinelli told MCN: “We’ve been work­ing on the ex­haust for a long time. We planned to have a pack­age to bring to the first Euro­pean round.”

The other per­for­mance im­prove­ment at Aragon was, of course, Davies him­self. Marinelli heaped praise on his en­gi­neers, but ul­ti­mately sin­gled out Davies as the main in­gre­di­ent for the vic­to­ries.

“I think at this track Chaz can find half-a-sec­ond from inside him­self. It is sim­i­lar to La­guna, an­other track that suits his strengths.”

Su­per­pole stars but Guin­toli and Lowes strug­gled in the races HAY­DEN MPH

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