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World Superbike and World Supersport 2014

Round 06: Sepang Circuit – Malaysia

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Photo
June 8, 2014

Two Top Six Finishes for Rea at Superheated Sepang

Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) overcame the high heat and humidity at Sepang to record two si xth place finishes at the sixth round of the FIM Superbike World Championship in Malaysia.

Jonathan Reazoom
Jonathan Rea
Jonathan Reazoom
Jonathan Rea

Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) found two different set-ups on his machine gave him two different race results, going seventh in race one and then 11th in race two, finding different issues to deal with in each race.

Race one witnessed a three-rider crash at the second corner and this incident pushed Rea wide and off track, putting him at the back of the pack. He rode through as strongly as he could and finished in a more than creditable sixth place. His team-mate Haslam was one place and just under three seconds behind him after the first ever SBK race at the 5.548km Sepang International Circuit.

Race two was stopped on lap four of the scheduled 16 by a red flag when Claudio Corti’s machine lost oil and burst into flames. After the track surface was cleaned a ten-lap race was held, in which Rea was much closer to the double race winner Marco Melandri (Aprilia) but again in sixth place. Leon found a different set-up issue to deal with in race two and finished 11th, but also closer to the winner than he had been in race one.

In the championship fight Rea is now third with 179 points, 11 down on Sylvain Guintoli, who scored two very close second places behind his Aprilia team-mate Melandri at Sepang today. Reigning World Champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) tops the points table with 201. Leon Haslam is now tenth, sharing 89 points with Toni Elias (Aprilia).

The Superbike series now returns to Europe for round seven, at the Misano circuit in Italy from 20 to 22 June.

Van Der Mark Takes Third Race Win of the Season

Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) took a close race victory in the first ever round of the FIM Supersport World Championship to be held at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia, fending off Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta) by 0.018 seconds after 14 laps of intense competition.

Van Der mark, who has won races at Assen and Donington Park already this year, scored his win in Malaysia by overhauling the early race leader Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) at half race distance and pushing hard to try and make a break.

He took out a lead of one second but was reeled back in again by the hard charging Cluzel after the heat took a toll on his rear tire performance. Van der Mark and Cluzel were joined on the Sepang podium by Sofuoglu who ended his day 4.5 seconds back from the leading pair.

The Dutch rider’s latest win puts him on a total of 115 points, with one no-score in the opening race in Australia and either a first or second place in each race from then on. He now enjoys a strong 33-point lead over Cluzel.

Italian rider Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) was in a clear fourth place at the flag, fighting against an imperfect set-up that did not allow him to stay with the leaders, despite ending the first lap in third position. After two DNFs in his season the Imola race winner is now fourth in the standings and second highest ranked Honda rider, with 60 points.

In what amounted to his local race meeting Thailand’s Ratthapark Wilairot (Core PTR Honda) had a battling race, like many others in the heat of Sepang, but he finished sixth and scored easily his best finish of his rookie WSS season so far.

Wilairot was just over a second up on seventh placed finisher Raffaele De Rosa (CIA Insurance Honda) who had to start from 13th place on the grid after a tough qualifying session on Saturday. In the championship De Rosa is placed seventh, although tied on points with sixth placed Kenan Sofuoglu.

Local wild card rider Zaqhwan Zaidi (SIC Racing Team Honda) was combative and effective on his home circuit, taking his Ten Kate-prepared CBR600RR to a very respectable ninth place finish in a field of regular WSS competitors.

Marco Bussolotti (Team Lorini Honda) was the last rider inside the top ten, with his team-mate Riccardo Russo (Team Lorini Honda) 12th. The final Honda finisher was Fraser Rogers (Com Plus SMS Racing), in 16th place.

Jack Kennedy (CIA Insurance Honda) moved from ninth on the grid to a possible top seven placing but fell as he tried to pass Roberto Tamburini (Kawasaki) and his bike hit the back wheel of his Italian rival. Neither rider finished the race and Kennedy has slipped to 17th place overall in the standings. Nacho Calero (CIA Insurance Honda) was also a non-finisher in the Sepang race.

The next round takes place at Misano in Italy, with raceday on Sunday 22 June.

Leon Haslamzoom
Leon Haslam
Leon Haslamzoom
Leon Haslam

Honda Rider Comments

Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team)
Race result: 6th / 6th Championship position: 3rd
“It's been a very tough weekend and it's not where we want to be. But we kind of made some steps forward when it mattered, especially in race two when I was able to carry a much better pace than I have all weekend in the heat. But it seems our engine braking system is too sensitive to different conditions and different circuits, which is frustrating because when I had grip at the beginning I had no problem entering the corners but at the end of the race I had a lot of chatter from the rear when the grip went down. But I really enjoyed riding this track, even though we didn't get the full potential out of the CBR this weekend. I look forward to the next race at Misano because it's a circuit that I love.”
Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team)
Race result: 7th / 11th Championship position: 10th
“I think we've both struggled this weekend, and I'm not sure whether it's the hot conditions or the low grip levels. We made a different plan for this weekend on the chassis and it's definitely showed up some positives. We have a couple of technical issues which set us back a little but in the race it was quite difficult with me and Jonathan riding around for the lesser points positions which is not ideal. Hopefully we can learn a lot from this weekend and take that to Misano.”
Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team)
Race result: 1st Championship position: 1st
“From the first practice we were quite fast and yesterday morning in FP3 we showed that we had a really good race pace. I qualified third and my start was quite good, although I braked a bit too early for turn one. I tried to get away when I took the lead after a few laps but it was not possible. The grip went down very fast because it was so hot. I could not push any harder so I did not want to take any risks. When Jules passed me near the end I just braked early because at that point I was not strong, and I knew he would overtake me at turn nine. Then I had all of the back straight to take his slipstream and I was hoping that he would brake late again and he did, so I was able to take a tight line. The bike spun up a lot towards the finish line and that is why the gap was so close. Thanks to the team as it was their first time here at Sepang and they did an amazing job with the bike. The championship gap is even better now as well.”
Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team)
Race result: 5th Championship position: 4th
“I wanted to be fighting for the win but all weekend I have had some problems with the setup and not having a good feeling. We improved the bike but just not enough. In the first part of the race when the tire was new I was pushing over the limit to try and fight for the win. I stayed with the first group, but then the tire dropped a bit, moved around a bit, and I lost two or three tenths in some places. I started to make some mistakes and I lost the group that fought for the podium. I finished fifth and I think I could not have taken more today. It is not too bad for the championship and I needed the points because I have two no scores now.”
Raffaele De Rosa (CIA Insurance Honda)
Race result: 7th Championship position: 7th
“I am a little bit disappointed because even though I did not feel I could have raced for the win or a podium I felt I could stay with the second group because I had a good pace in the morning warm-up. I did my best today from 13th on the grid. I made a small mistake in qualifying and need to work hard to qualify better because in the race I have the speed to compete at the front but lose too much time trying to get through the pack. My fastest lap time was competitive with the leaders, so I know I can race with them. I took some good points in the race so it is not so bad.”
Ratthapark Wilairot (Core PTR Honda)
Race result: 6th Championship position: 14th
"I felt good on the bike with the suspension but I felt a little bit with the engine that I could not follow people so easily. I was happy with the set-up and the bike was turning really well, but I could be doing with a bit more top end. I really enjoyed riding in the corners and I could brake later than some other riders because it was working so well in the corners."
Zaqhwan Zaidi (SIC Honda)
Race result: 9th Championship position: 21st
“I am so lucky today to have this ride and to have a top ten position I think we all did a good job. The machine was really good and I was able to fight. It was exciting riding in front of my home crowd and I pushed, pushed, pushed. In the early laps I thought it would be so difficult to get a top ten but with the support of the crowd I was able to do it.”
Riccardo Russo (Team Lorini Honda)
Race result: 12th Championship position: 12th
“All weekend I have had a problem with the suspension set-up and the engine power delivery and that affected my chances of making a good result. I qualified 17th so I made up five places, but I did not have the set up to do more today.”
Jack Kennedy (CIA Insurance Honda)
Race result: DNF Championship position: 17th
“I just wanted to get past Tamburini and it was frustrating sitting behind because his bike was fast in a straight line, but he did not have so much pace. I went for the pass and the door closed and I was already committed. Unfortunately I took him out and it is not what I wanted to do. I went down as well and I was lucky not to get hit by another bike that came flying in behind us, into the gravel. I got a mediocre start but I feel we could have had a top five or six. It was so hot and slippery as well.”
Michael van Der Markzoom
Michael van Der Mark

World Superbike and World Supersport 2014
Round 06: Sepang Circuit – Malaysia

Superbike Race 1
Rank Rider (Team)
1M. MELANDRI (Aprilia Racing Team)
2S. GUINTOLI (Aprilia Racing Team)
3E. LAVERTY (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki)
4C. DAVIES (Ducati Superbike Team)
5T. ELIAS (Red Devils Roma)
6J. REA (PATA Honda World Superbike)
7L. HASLAM (PATA Honda World Superbike)
Superbike Race 2
Rank Rider (Team)
1M. MELANDRI (Aprilia Racing Team)
2S. GUINTOLI (Aprilia Racing Team)
3T. SYKES (Kawasaki Racing Team)
4T. ELIAS (Red Devils Roma)
5L. BAZ (Kawasaki Racing Team)
6J. REA (PATA Honda World Superbike)
11L. HASLAM (PATA Honda World Superbike)
Rank Rider (Team)
1M. VD MARK (PATA Honda World Supersport)
2J. CLUZEL (MV Agusta RC-Yakhnich M.)
3K. SOFUOGLU (MAHI Racing Team India)
4R. ROLFO (Team GO Eleven)
5L. ZANETTI (PATA Honda World Supersport)
6R. WILAIROT (Core PTR Honda)
7R. DE ROSA (CIA Insurance Honda)
9 Z. ZAIDI (SIC Racing Team)
10M. BUSSOLOTTI (Team Lorini)
12R. RUSSO (Team Lorini)
16F. ROGERS (Com Plus SMS Racing)
RTJ. KENNEDY (CIA Insurance Honda)
RTN. CALERO (CIA Insurance Honda)

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