April 14th, 2014
With the shift to a 10:30 start, World Superbike now has to deal with colder temperatures in the mornings. Last year, the noon start meant the race was held at 22ºC compared to today's 16ºC, meaning tyres would play a big part and that settings from the first race would be invalid by the second.
Press releases from the series organizer and the World Supersport and World Superbike teams after Sunday's races at Aragon:
As the riders lined up for the warmer second race, they did so on the softer tyre, all apart from Tom Sykes who stuck with the harder rear.
Fifteen Laps at Aragon, warming up a few degrees from the World Superbike race, World Supersport gave us the tough fighting we expect from the class.
With three fewer laps than last year, World Superbike at Aragon took place under a cool 16-degree sun, the earlier and colder start making tyre choice tricky.
Those who fear a Marquez whitewash at the Circuit of the Americas could draw some comfort from the raw numbers on the timesheets as Saturday progressed. Marquez gap from Friday was cut dramatically, first to under a second in FP3, then to a third of a second in FP4, before being slashed to less than three tenths in qualifying. Is the end of Marquez' dominance at Austin in sight?
But raw numbers are deceptive. Sure, the gap in single lap times is small, but there is still no one who can get close to the reigning world champion. Marquez' four flying laps were faster than the best laps by any other rider on the grid. Second place man Dani Pedrosa's fastest lap was still slower than Marquez' slowest. In FP4, Marquez punched out four laps in the 2'03s, while the best anyone else could do is lap in the 2'04s. During the morning FP3 session, Marquez racked up five 2'03s, while only Pedrosa could manage two 2'03s, Stefan Bradl, Andrea Dovizioso and Bradley Smith managing only a single solitary lap under 2'04.