- Giugliano qualifies in second position in the first Superpole of the 2014 season, that took place today in Australia
- Davies will start from eleventh position on tomorrow’s grid
Phillip Island (Australia), Saturday 22 February 2014 – The Ducati Superbike Team can be satisfied by the performance put in by its rider Davide Giugliano, while Chaz Davies’ grid position for tomorrow’s races was unfortunately conditioned by an unexpected skid through the final corner. In this afternoon’s first Superpole of the season, Davide Giugliano qualified second while Chaz Davies closed eleventh.
The lap times of all the Superbike riders began to drop in this morning’s third and final timed practice sessions, held in dry conditions (air temperature 18°C, track 16°C). Ducati Superbike rider Giugliano improved on his best time set yesterday almost immediately and continued to lower his times throughout this final timed practice session. By session’s end, he was in third position with a fastest time of 1’30.864. Davies, having lost valuable time during yesterday afternoon’s session due to a crash, was back on track this morning, albeit a little sore, and was able to improve significantly, by eight tenths of a second, on his best time set yesterday to record a fastest time of 1’30.962 in the latter stages of the session. This time positioned him fourth at session’s end, which meant that both Ducati Superbike riders, having closed inside the top ten, proceeded directly to this afternoon’s Superpole 2.
A short free practice session in the early afternoon gave both Davies and Giugliano a final chance to prepare with their technicians for the all-important Superpole 2. The Ducati riders closed the 30-minute session in first (Davide) and sixth (Chaz) position respectively.
Superpole 2: Dry conditions for the first Superpole of the season. This year, the new qualifying format gives the fastest ten riders in the practice sessions, plus the fastest two riders from Superpole 1, the chance to battle it out for positions on the first four rows of the grid in this 15-minute session. Each rider has one qualifying tyre available for use during the session.
Having made a very fast lap (1’30.2) on race rubber, Giugliano returned to the garage to put in the qualifying tyre. Determined to ride his Panigale onto the front row, the Italian rider gave it his all to record an impressive lap time of 1’30.1 that was enough to place second. He held this position until the session’s end, thus earning himself a key position on the front row of tomorrow’s starting grid.
Davies also made a few laps with the race tyre. He too then went back on track with the qualifying tyre and pushed hard to record a fast time. Unfortunately, at the very last turn, the British rider almost lost the rear of his Panigale, losing valuable tenths in the process and closing the session with a best of 1’31.2. Consequently, Davies will line up on row four of tomorrow’s grid, in eleventh position.
Quotes after the day’s sessions:
Davide Giugliano – Ducati Superbike Team #34
“I’m really pleased with the work I’ve completed with my team over the last two days. Up until now we’ve had a good pace but we need to see what track conditions are like tomorrow and then see what we can do. We’re very pleased to be able to start from the front row tomorrow and second place is an important result for us. I hope to be able to make a solid start – the start is one of strengths usually. I’m also happy with having made a 1’30.2 with the race tyre, it was a nice surprise when I saw that time appear on my dashboard. I’m feeling confident for tomorrow, and I’ll be fighting hard to be part of the leading group.”
Chaz Davies – Ducati Superbike Team #7
“It seemed like we had a few problems with the rear tyre through the last corners and I almost highsided coming out of the final turn, the tyre just seemed to run out of grip. This was disappointing as I was on a fast lap and would have moved up the grid a fair bit if it hadn’t been for that. To be honest I didn’t do a great job on the race tyre which probably hurt me, but then with the qualifier I lost a good half second through that final section. I think we’re in a fairly good position as far as pace is concerned so I hope to be able to make a good start and make some passes early on. Having said that, it won’t be easy starting from the fourth row.”
Weekend schedule (CET +10):