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A disappointing outcome for the Ducati Superbike Team on race day at Laguna Seca

Monterey (USA), Sunday 13 July 2014 – a very difficult day for the Ducati Superbike Team and riders Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies today at Laguna Seca. Giugliano earned good points in race 1 thanks to a fourth place finish but he then crashed in the second. After a crash for Davies in the first race, he was declared unfit to participate in race 2.

Race 1 – Giugliano did not make the best start from fourth on the grid but quickly made up for lost time, passing a couple of riders during the opening lap to position seventh at the end of lap one. He quickly moved up the field to fourth position, after passing both Haslam and Rea and was closing in on the leading group when a braking issue began to affect the Italian rider’s lap times, meaning that he was unable to maintain contact with the leading group. He nevertheless held on to the fourth spot from lap four onwards, crossing the line just behind the podium sitters and taking some valuable points in the process.
Davies, from third on the grid, got away well and was lying fourth through the opening lap. Immediately up with the leading three riders, he was pushing hard when on lap 2 he suddenly suffered a highside out of turn 6 that threw him and his bike into the gravel. The British rider was transported to the circuit’s medical centre for checks. With Davies having taken a blow to the head, and despite the fact that he felt able to race, the medical team carried out a further examination prior to race 2 and decided that it was too risky to allow the Ducati rider to participate in race 2.

Race 2 – This second race was halted twice with red flags after crashes for riders Lowes and Barrier. In the end, the Superbike riders completed a second race comprising just seven laps, with Giugliano lining up in sixth place on the grid, according to the standings at the moment in which the previous race had been stopped.

Sixth through the first corners, the Ducati rider passed Rea and Elias and was lying third by lap two. Lapping with a very strong pace, which enabled him to record the best lap of race 2 (1’23.403), he went to make a move on Sykes who was just a few metres ahead of him. Unfortunately however, on entering the Corkscrew a small mistake forced him to take more of an inside line than usual, causing him to touch the kerb in the process. Giugliano unfortunately crashed as a result, and his race ended there.

At the end of this ninth championship round, Davies is in sixth position in the general standings, with 159 points, while Giugliano is seventh with 153 points. Ducati lies fourth in the manufacturer’s classification with 220 points.

Quotes after the races:

Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 4th, DNF
“Race one went quite well but unfortunately I wasn’t able to keep pace with the guys ahead of me. We had a small problem during braking, and I made a lot of mistakes because I didn’t have the right feeling when braking and this meant that I was going long in certain places. I lost some time because of this but final fourth place was not bad.

We were lucky that race 2 was stopped for the first time as we were having problems with the rear tyre that wasn’t giving me the usual level of grip. After the second restart I was catching up fast – I was the fastest guy on track and knew I had a chance to win. I reached Tom, and wanted to attack him through the Corkscrew but, to avoid contact with him mid-corner I had to go right over on the inside, touching the kerb which caused me to crash. A real pity, I thought we’d be able to do a lot more today.”

Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – DNF, DNS
“It was a strange crash as I didn’t feel like I was doing anything different to normal. The rear just came around on me and I fell awkwardly on my head. It seems as if the doctors made a decision based on the fact that I was dizzy and disorientated. A huge disappointment because I feel ok and wanted to race of course. Anyway it’s ultimately the doctors decision but a really disappointing end to what started out as such a positive weekend.”

Ernesto Marinelli (Ducati Superbike Project Director)
“Unfortunately today was a very difficult day. After two positive days we had very different expectations for today’s races. But this is racing and the important thing is that neither rider suffered any serious injury as a result of the crashes. Both Chaz and Davide had the potential to do well, and with this knowledge we will continue to work and prepare as well as possible for Jerez. The Team has worked well, we have to concentrate on improving off the line because we cannot allow ourselves to lose positions at the start. This weekend did not go as we had hoped but we will definitely not stop trying.”