Aprilia rider, Sylvain Guintoli will start tomorrow’s race at the 6th round of the World Superbike Championship from Portimão from the middle of the second row on the grid.
|5th place “isn’t disastrous” for Guintoli
Photo: Aprilia Racing
The current world championship leader seems to have struggled at the Portuguese circuit in comparison to his rivals, despite having topped many of the practice sessions in their early stages. After leading for for a while in Q2 this morning, the Frenchman found himself lying in 3rd at the end of the session just behind his team mate Laverty, ahead of this afternoon’s Superpole.
The climatic unpredictability of Superpole meant that a lot of quick decisions had to be made with regard to when riders should use up their qualifying tyres to set a fast lap. After SP2 and SP3 were combined due to a splash of rain, Guintoli was unable to take full advantage of the soft tyre given the uncertain conditions and damp patches around the circuit, this meant the Frenchman could manage no better than fifth place on the grid behind BMW’s Marco Melandri. “This wasn’t my best Superpole. I couldn’t find the best feeling with the qualifier so I wasn’t able to improve the times I had made on the race tyre. Fifth place isn’t disastrous anyway, especially since we were able to improve our race pace quite a bit. The times put on the boards during the practice sessions seem to predict two very heated races. Tomorrow I’ll have to get off to a good start in order to make a play for it.”