Assen (The Netherlands), Friday 25 April 2014 – The third round of the Superbike World Championship got underway today at the Assen TT Circuit, with the Ducati Superbike Team and rider Davide Giugliano making the best possible start to proceedings. The Italian rider closed day one of action in first place overall, his teammate Chaz Davies concluded fifth.
The first session of timed practice took place this morning in dry conditions albeit under cloudy skies (air temperature 16°C, track 18°C). Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano worked methodically throughout the session, gradually improving on their lap times especially in the final stages. Giugliano concluded the session third, with a fastest lap of 1’36.8, while Davies recorded a best of 1’37.6, closing in eleventh position.
In the afternoon session, the times of almost all of the Superbike riders dropped on the warmer track (33°C). Already in his first exit, Giugliano was able to improve by three tenths on his best time recorded during the morning’s session, but his fastest lap came in the final minutes when he put in an extremely impressive 1’35.3 which projected him to the top of the standings, half a second ahead of second-placed rider Rea. Davide suffered a small crash in the final seconds, as he headed into the final chicane, but was fortunately unhurt. Chaz also continued to improve during the afternoon, taking a significant step forward in the final stages and lowering his best time set in the morning by over a second. The British rider closed in overall fifth position thanks to a fastest lap of 1’36.4.
Quotes after the day’s sessions:
Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 1st (1’35.396)
“The warmer track temperature this afternoon helped us to pick up the pace but it was mainly down to the work we put in throughout the day. We’ve worked a lot on my bike, carrying out a general check this morning before testing a few electronic updates that Ducati has provided us with this weekend. The bike is working really well and I’m really pleased with the progress we’ve made today, except for the small crash that is – I was pushing too hard going into the chicane but luckily I didn’t hurt myself.”
Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 5th (1’36.417)
“Today hasn’t been too bad. We improved the bike quite a lot this afternoon but we still have a lot to do tomorrow. The bike seems to be lacking stability through the fast sections and so we need to work on that, continuing to make the kind of progress we made today again tomorrow. The chances are it’ll rain at some point tomorrow so we may well have to start over and work out which direction to take with a wet set-up.”
Ernesto Marinelli – Ducati Superbike Project Director
“We’ve made a positive start to the weekend. Davide was immediately at ease today, demonstrating his fast pace this afternoon which is very encouraging. Chaz has improved a lot this afternoon too, though he is still having a few difficulties through the bumpy sections which seem to destabilize the bike more than they should. There’s still more to do tomorrow and we need to see what the weather will bring – forecasts indicate that we may have to swap over to a wet set-up tomorrow… It’s nevertheless very nice to be back at the front and this spurs us on for the rest of the weekend.”