Assen (The Netherlands), Saturday 26 April 2014 – The Ducati Superbike Team unfortunately had to deal with the onset of rain during Superpole 2 this afternoon at Assen. In what was the third Superpole of the 2014 Superbike season, and after yesterday’s positive results, Davide Giugliano qualified in sixth position for tomorrow’s races; Chaz Davies twelfth.
In the final timed practice session which took place this morning on the Dutch track, Davide and Chaz continued to work to refine the set-up of their 1199 Panigale bikes. In similar temperatures to yesterday’s first practice, Giugliano did not manage to improve on his impressive time set yesterday afternoon but thanks to that time, which remained unbeaten in today’s session, the Italian rider qualified directly for Superpole 2, in overall first position. Davies unfortunately closed practice outside of the top ten, in twelfth position overall, thus qualifying for Superpole 1 (together with the other riders who placed eleventh to twentieth in the combined practices).
Superpole 1: conditions remained dry for this first Superpole phase. Davies was straight out on track, making two laps with the race tyre, the fastest of which – a 1’35.9 – positioned him first. He quickly returned to the track with the qualifying tyre, and improved on his time as well as recording the fastest time of the session overall (1’35.5). The Ducati Superbike man therefore concluded this phase of the Superpole in overall first position, thus gaining safe passage to Superpole 2.
Superpole 2: both Davies and Giugliano decided to make a first exit on the race tyre. Subsequently returning to the track with qualifying tyres, both riders were pushing hard to complete fast laps when rain began to fall in every sector of the track. Unfortunately the change in conditions prevented both riders from improving any further, meaning that Giugliano therefore concluded the session in sixth position and Davies twelfth. The Ducati Superbike pair will line up on the second and fourth row of the starting grid for tomorrow’s races.
Quotes after the day’s sessions:
Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 6th (1’35.476)
“In the end the rain made its presence felt. I went out on the qualifier and was trying to make my fastest lap, a pity but it was useless trying to improve on my time in those conditions. Anyway, we’ve been working well in preparation for tomorrow’s races which will both be difficult I think. It’s a tough track from a physical point of view and then there are five or six riders that are going really well here.”
Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 12th (1’36.288)
“Today’s been fairly difficult. I should have gone straight out on the qualifier in the second Superpole, to beat the rain, but unfortunately we didn’t do that and so I was unable to improve my position. It didn’t help that we didn’t have a fresh race tyre for the session, having already used it in SP1. Anyway, that’s our grid position; we still have work to do tomorrow morning because we’re still experiencing some chattering at the front of the bike.”