WSBK Phillip Island: Guintoli 'still not dialled in'

Pata Honda rider admits he has his hands full at Phillip Island after completing the first day of free practice in 12th position on the combined leaderboard
World Superbike champion Sylvain Guintoli made some progress in the afternoon at Phillip Island despite the blistering heat as the Pata Honda rider finished 12th overall on the combined time sheets in Australia.

Guintoli is still playing catch-up after missing the Jerez test following a heavy tumble and struggled in FP1 in the morning before making some gains later in the day, setting his fastest lap in 1m 32.329s as he finished 1.538s behind Alex Lowes at the top.

“It was a tough start this morning when we tried something that didn't work so we had to go back to the base setting. The feeling with the bike this afternoon was a little better but I'm still struggling to get dialled in, so there's still a lot of work to do,” he said.

“We're too slow for now and we have to look through all the data to find that last little bit of pace that we need. We're still a little bit on the back foot after missing the test in Jerez and I'm just not quite dialled in yet.

“We're definitely making progress but sometimes it happens straight away and other times you need a bit more time to find your mark.”

Guintoli's team-mate, WSB newcomer Michael van der Mark, was seventh fastest overall, lapping in 1m 31.693s and finishing fourth quickest in FP2.

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February 20, 2015 1:20 PM

After the sweet Aprilia Sylvain must have been shocked by how user-hostile the Fireblade was. Then he picked up a significant injury when the 'blade ejected him. Now he says he's having difficulty getting it "dialled in" which comes as no surprise. JRea tried for years to get it to behave but it simply isn't up to the job. On the other hand, Michael VDM has no WSBK experience or reference points so is just riding what he's given as hard as he can. It's sad to see Sylvain off the pace and with little prospect of improvement, and realistically he's not going to be able to defend his Championship title. He must be regretting signing for the Pata Fireblade.


February 20, 2015 3:23 PM

Spinach: @Tetley While agree that Sylvain must be rethinking his contract, I'm not certain there were other viable alternatives. Sad really, champion of the last season, gets the boot, and no where to turn but a turd ride. Best of luck Sylvain, maybe Honda will give you a little something to smooth out this rough patch?
You're right- the acceptable options were few. But I don't think he "got the boot" exactly. He knew that Aprilia were taking their works team out of WSBK so he made an early decision based on the (same old) Ten Kate Honda promises. At that time he didn't know that Red Devils would be so well supported by the Aprilia factory. I'm sure Red Devils would have been happy to welcome a current World Champ into their team if the timing had been different.

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