Imola (Italy), Saturday 10 May 2014 – An extremely hard-fought Superpole this afternoon at the Imola circuit brough very positive results for the Ducati Superbike Team and its riders Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies, who qualified third and fourth for tomorrow’s fourth round of the 2014 Superbike World Championship.
In the final timed practice session held in warm conditions this morning (air temperature 24°C, track 42°C), both Chaz and Davide were able to further improve on yesterday’s performances. Thanks to a fastest time of 1’47.511, an impressive eight tenths of a second quicker than yesterday and only three tenths away from the lap record, Giugliano closed the practices in overall first position, while Davies finished in sixth place with a best of 1’48.136, an improvement of almost half a second on his time set yesterday afternoon. Both Ducati Superbike men therefore qualified directly for Superpole 2.
The early afternoon’s free practice session gave the team a chance to make final adjustments ahead of the Superpole. In this short 30-minute session, Davies finished first, Giugliano sixth, both demonstrating good pace.
Superpole 2 – Both riders went straight out on a race tyre and Davide in particular was able to record an extremely fast lap (1’47.172) that allowed him to take an early lead. The Ducati Superbike pair then returned to the track with the qualifying tyre. Both Davide and Chaz pushed hard to make a flying lap and lower their times. While Giugliano closed with a best time of 1’46.555, Davies recorded a fastest lap of 1’46.678. Giugliano concluded the Superpole in third place (missing out on second position by just one thousandth of a second!) and Davies in fourth. Thanks to these results, the Ducati Superbike team will line up on the first and second row of the race grid tomorrow, clearly a strong result for the entire team in front of the home crowd.
Quotes after the day’s sessions:
Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 3rd (1’46.555)
“Superpole went really well. We recorded a good time but I’m particularly pleased with my lap time on the race tyre at the start of the session. Of course it’s great to be able to start on the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s races here in Imola, it gives me personal satisfaction and is also great for the many Ducati fans here at the track. Tomorrow the races will surely be difficult, there are at least five riders who can fight for the podium. The temperatures will also play an important part, both physically and on the tyres but it will be like that for everyone, so we’re feeling confident.”
Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 4th (1’46.678)
“Today has gone well and we’ve taken another step forward. This morning we had really good pace and although there is still room for improvement I’m happy with how things have been going. The Superpole was also positive and finishing fourth is our best result so far, a result that gives me confidence, coming after some bad luck in previous Superpoles. Tomorrow I’m expecting two tough races, it will be difficult but today I was able to do race distance with the tyre and our pace wasn’t bad. We’re confident and ready to race here tomorrow.”