Misano Adriatico (Italy), Sunday 22 June 2014 – The Ducati Superbike Team and riders Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano experienced a more difficult race day than they had perhaps expected today at the Misano World Circuit. After strong performances by both riders throughout the practice and qualifying sessions, Davies closed race 1 fourth before retiring from race 2 after a crash, while Giugliano battled his way to eighth and ninth position.
Race 1 – Conditions were warm and dry for the first race with a track temperature of roughly 38°C. Giuugliano, starting from second place, was lying fifth through the opening corners, with teammate Davies hot on his heels in sixth. After only a few laps the Ducati Superbike pair swapped place, with Chaz able to increase his pace through the central phase of the races. Davide, held back by bike vibration issues, maintained sixth place for the best part of the race, but from the fifteenth lap onwards the problems became more difficult to manage and, also due a drop in rear grip in the final stages, the Italian rider was passed by two riders to cross the line in final eighth position.
Chaz, fifth at lap seven, pushed hard to reach Melandri, managed to get to within 0.2 of a second within the space of only a few laps. He did all he could to pass him but had to settle for fourth position in the end.
Race 2 – the track temperature had risen to 44°C for race two. Having changed tyre, Giugliano got off the line extremely quickly to position first. Unfortunately he then received a ‘ride through’ penalty as his start was considered to be a jump start by Race Direction. As a result the Ducati man went from first to seventeenth after completing the ride through on lap five. He immediately fought back, pushing to move through the field and was up to thirteenth by lap nine and ninth by lap twelve. Unfortunately the gap between him and the eighth placed rider was too large and although he did his best to reduce the distance, he was unable to gain any more positions, therefore closing in final ninth position. Chaz too started fast and was lying fifth by lap four. Unfortunately he then suffered a small crash at Turn 4 when, pushing on entry, he lost the front of his bike. Although he was able to return to the track without issue, he was down in 24th position. The British rider decided to remain out on track, in case something happened to cause a race restart, but once he’d completed fifteen laps, two thirds of the race distance, the rider returned to the garage.
After seven of fourteen scheduled rounds, Davies holds sixth position in the general standings, with 143 points, while Giugliano is seventh with 111 points. Ducati lies fourth in the manufacturer’s classification with 178 points.
Quotes after the races:
Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 4th, DNF
“Fourth in race one wasn’t bad. In the final stages I was riding at the limit and although I got close to Marco at one point, he was able to pick up the pace at the end and I couldn’t match that. I’m a bit frustrated about the time I lost at the start when Elias ran off track – he was right in front of me and I was forced to brake.
In race two I had a bit of a strange feeling with the front of the bike right from the start. We hadn’t made any big changes between race 1 and 2, but I guess the higher temperatures caused the change in feeling. The problem is that you need to get away strong and stick with the front guys – if instead you have to push to make up lost ground the tyre deteriorates more quickly. I also had a damaged footpeg after the crash but I stayed out until we were two thirds of the way through the race, just in case there was a red flag for any reason. After 15 laps I decided to come in, also because coming in meant the engine did a few laps less.”
Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 8th, 9th
“It was a tough day. In practice we hadn’t tried the other rear tyre, the one that many of the other riders used, because the lap times recorded on the used tyre were consistently good in the practices. Unfortunately it was a very difficult race, I had a lot of vibration at the rear and the grip really dropped off in the second half. Then in race 2 I made a mistake – in trying to start as well as possible I did too much and made a jump start. I wanted to get away as fast as possible and not get trapped in traffic like in race 1, and from the pace I had through the first laps I know I could have done that. A pity, as the tyre was working well and I was happy with the bike. I’m sorry for both me and the team, especially on a weekend in which we were constantly fast in every session. We are continuing to improve and I’m certain that it’s only a question of time before we are able to bring full satisfaction to the team, Ducati and all of our supporters and fans.”
Ernesto Marinelli (Ducati Superbike Project Director)
“The weekend definitely didn’t end as we had hoped but unfortunately this is racing and it’s important that we react in a constructive and determined way. We nevertheless achieved good results in practice and in race 1 Chaz again just missed out on the podium. Davide was constantly fast but unfortunately in race 1 an unexpected problem at the rear slowed him down significantly. In race 2 he got away fast but the error off the line was identified by race direction who rightly applied a ride through penalty. Chaz’s crash then ended our chances. Our work continues and we have more data to analyse. We will do all we can to improve for the next races.”