Donington Park (UK), Friday 23 May 2014 – The Ducati Superbike Team enjoyed a encouraging start to proceedings at Donington Park with riders Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies concluding today’s three timed practice sessions in overall second and tenth position.
Round 5 of the 2014 Superbike World Championship got underway today at the British track of Donington Park and, in a change to the usual schedule, the day’s programme included all three of the timed practice sessions, which took place in predominantly dry albeit cloudy conditions (average air temperature 17°C, track 22°C).
The official Ducati Superbike riders used the first session to start adapting their 1199 Panigale bikes to the English track. Having made good progress throughout this opening session, the factory riders closed with lap times that positioned them ninth (Davide) and tenth (Chaz).
Later in the day, both riders were able to make a significant step forward in session two, particularly Giugliano who improved by more than 1.5 seconds on times set earlier in the day, scoring the fastest lap of the session with a 1’28.082 (just a few thousandths from Sykes’ 2013 lap record). Davies also improved, dropping his time by eight tenths of a second to close ninth with a best of 1’29.001.
Chaz went on to improve marginally again in the third and final timed session, recording a time of 1’28.947, meaning that the combined results of the day’s three sessions saw Giugliano close in overall second position and Davies tenth, meaning that both factory riders easily qualified for tomorrow’s Superpole 2.
Quotes after the day’s sessions:
Davide Giugliano – (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 2nd (1’28.082)
“Everything’s going well so far. We made two long-runs today to better understand the tyre wear and we’ve seen that we’re a bit on the limit from the 13th or 14th lap onwards, so we are working on that. We need to continue to prepare for the races, whatever the weather conditions might be. We have a high-performing bike and I’m feeling fairly comfortable in all sectors of the track with no particular problems; now we just need to focus on tyres and race distance.”
Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 10th (1’28.947)
“Luckily I didn’t hurt myself in the crash, I just lost grip at the front, nothing serious. We made a lot of progress throughout the day, especially between sessions two and three. The bike felt a lot better in the final session, even if lap times didn’t necessarily reflect that. We’re still losing a bit too much time in the second sector, in the fast section of the track, so that’s something we’ll continue to work on tomorrow. We’ll be pushing hard tomorrow, whether it’s wet or dry, and are aiming to qualify inside the first two rows of the grid.”
Weekend schedule (CET-1):
9.30 – 10.00 – SBK Free Practice
12.00 – 12.15 – Superpole 1
12.25 – 12.40 – Superpole 2
9.00 – 9.15 – SBK Warm-up
12.00 – SBK Race 1
15.00 – SBK Race 2