David Salom has assured himself of a spot in the World Superbike history books as he upset most pre-race predictions to claim the first wins for the new EVO class at Phillip Island.

Riding the factory-backed Kawasaki Racing Team ZX-10R, Salom had spent much of the weekend trailing Niccolo Canepa on the Althea Ducati, the Italian hinting at his potential for a giant-killing performance after strong showings in free practice and qualifying inside the top ten for the races.

However, come race day Canepa faced a stronger challenge in Salom as the Spaniard mounted the pressure in both encounters, the former World Supersport runner-up eventually getting the better of his rival en route to ninth and tenth positions respectively, in doing so matching his best-ever WSBK results.

"The second race was hotter and I did not have as much grip. Marco Melandri passed me so I followed him and he helped me to push forward.

"On the last laps I took a lead over Canepa and I was going faster every lap. The team and I worked well in the winter tests to arrive here in Australia 100 per cent ready."

If Salom was pleased with his performances, then Canepa was somewhat disappointed given his relative dominance prior to the races.

"If they'd told me before the start of the weekend that I would have finished second in both Evo races I would have definitely been happy but considering our results during the practices I'm a little disappointed with the outcome.

"I battled with Salom in both races. In the first, I made some small mistakes and was unable to pass him, while in the second we went even faster but Salom maintained a pace that he never showed in practice and that I was unable to match. But, anyway, this has been a very positive race weekend overall.

"We carried out solid tests and collected data and experience that will be extremely useful during the rest of the season, as well as the knowledge that we can fight for the win in EVO. I want to thank my team for their exceptional work."

The EVO class will not get its own points' system in 2014, with WSBK adopting a similar approach to CRT in MotoGP whereby the 'overall winner' is determined by the points scored in the race as a whole. As such, Salom's ninth and tenth gives him 13 points, with Canepa on 11.

Fabien Foret is currently third in class after finishing 12th in both races (his first WSBK points in eight years), while BMW Italia substitute Glenn Allerton impressed given his late call-up to finish 11th and 15th in the two races.



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