Marco Melandri

Team Orders: Is Motorcycle Racing A Team Sport?

In a few hours time, we will know who will be the 2014 World Superbike champion. Tom Sykes leads Sylvain Guintoli by 12 points going into the final two races at Qatar. With 50 points up for grabs, the title race is still completely open, and in a series as close as World Superbikes has been this year, anything could happen.

What both Sykes and Guintoli need are help from their teammates. Guintoli most of all: if the Frenchman is to be champion, he will need someone, such as his Aprilia teammate Marco Melandri, to get in between him and the Kawasaki of Sykes. Sykes, on the other hand, can wrap up the title by winning both races, or at least finishing ahead of Guintoli. If he can't finish ahead of the Frenchman, then he will hope that his teammate Loris Baz can assist.

As loyal teammates, surely Melandri and Baz will be happy to help? That was only partially the case at the last round in Magny-Cours. In race one, Melandri theatrically waved Guintoli past and into the lead, making it patently obvious that victory was Melandri's to dispense as he saw fit, and he was prepared to allow his teammate to win this time. Further back, Baz did the same same for Sykes, though without making quite as much of a song and dance about it as Melandri did.

Race two was a different affair. Once again, Melandri led, and could grant victory to Guintoli if he wanted to. He chose not to, taking the win – despite his pit board making the feelings of his team very clear indeed, for the second race in a row – and taking 5 precious points from Guintoli. If Melandri had obeyed team orders and moved over, then Guintoli would have trailed Sykes by 7 points instead of 12. That would put Guintoli's destiny in his own hands: win both races, and it would not matter what Sykes did. Now, Guintoli needs help, he needs someone between him and the Englishman. Will his teammate come to his rescue this time? Will the Aprilia WSBK team issue team orders again, commanding Melandri to serve the cause of Guintoli's championship challenge?

Portimao WSBK Test - Sykes Tops Abbreviated Field After Two Days Of Testing

Kawasaki's Tom Sykes leaves the two-day official World Superbike test with his authority firmly stamped on the WSBK field. The Yorkshireman was nearly a quarter of a second faster than Aprilia's Sylvain Guintoli, and nearly four tenths quicker than his teammate Loris Baz. Marco Melandri was six tenths off the pace of Sykes, with the Ducatis of Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies setting the fifth and sixth best times.

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Homage to Catalunya

MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.


Homage to Catalunya

2014 Imola World Superbike Friday Post-Practice Press Releases

Press releases from the series organizer and the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the first day of practice at Imola:


Rea overhauls Sykes on Day 1

Imola (Italy), Friday 9 May 2014 - As the opening day of on track action at Imola draws to a close, Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) heads into tomorrow’s final free practice session ahead of Tissot-Superpole as the fastest rider in the combined classification.

Jerez WSBK Private Test Press Releases

Press releases from some of the World Superbike teams after the latest test at Jerez:


APRILIA RACING TEAM: THREE DAYS OF WORK AT JEREZ AFTER THE OPENING ROUND AT PHILLIP ISLAND WITH A WIN AND FIRST PLACE IN THE STANDINGS

In view of the second round at Aragon Melandri and Guintoli tested chassis setups and electronics.

Aprilia will arrive at the first European race leading the Rider championship with Guintoli, in third place with Melandri and at the top of the Manufacturer standings.

Portimao Private WSBK Test Press Release Round Up

Press releases issued by some of the World Superbike and World Supersport teams present at the Portimao test held over the past few days:


Lowes and Voltcom Crescent Suzuki on top in Portugal

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki successfully concluded its week of pre-season testing with Alex Lowes topping the Portimao timesheets today, following on from Eugene Laverty’s quickest time on the first day of the test.

Jerez World Superbike Test Press Releases

Press releases from some of the World Superbike teams after the test at Jerez:


A positive debut for the MV Agusta Reparto Corse Yakhnich Motorsport Team

Smiling faces in the team Yakhnich Motorsport MV Agusta Reparto Corse team at the Jerez circuit. After two days of intense work, the MV factory team took home great technical feedback.

2014 World Superbike Line Up Solidifies: Melandri Signs With Aprilia, Laverty To Join Suzuki?

With the uncertainty surrounding the World Superbike series easing up, the outlines of the 2014 season are starting to become clear. The test after the final round of the 2013 season at Jerez turned into an audition for some of the riders, with riders still searching for a team for next season. 

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