World Superbike is headed for its début on the Malaysian Sepang circuit, a new stop on the 2014 calendar. The setting for many world championships, the circuit just a few kilometres from the capital Kuala Lumpur is a rather recent one, opened in 1999. Quite long, more than 5.5 km, the Malaysian track should make for a good show thanks to the combination of long straight stretches, violent braking sections and fast turns.
The Aprilia team riders are very familiar with the tricky new track, having already ridden on it during their respective careers. Both of them see it as a favourable circuit for the characteristics of the Aprilia RSV4, the reigning Manufacturer World Champion bike. Sylvain Guintoli prepared for this round, characterised by a rather extreme climate, with a week of intense training in Borneo.
Race conditions therefore do not concern the French rider: “Finally a track where we will be able to use the raw power of the RSV4. Sepang is a great track, wide, fast and I know it very well from my GP days. I have just completed 7 days of training in Borneo with similar heat and humidity so the very hot and tropical conditions won’t be a problem. Can’t wait”.
Marco Melandri, who has also been working hard to be in top condition for this round, also expressed his appreciation of the Malaysian track. The rider from Ravenna and the Aprilia racing division are focusing on finding continuity and finally aiming for an important result.
Marco Melandri: “It’s nice to be back at Sepang, an incredible track where all the horses of a powerful SBK like the RSV4 are put to use. The races will be very hard given the temperatures and high humidity, but I’ve been working hard and I want to get back in the thick of things to battle for the positions that count. I’m confident in Aprilia’s enormous commitment to put me at ease”.