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Davies and the Ducati Superbike Team qualify third for tomorrow’s SBK races at Portimao

Portimao (Portugal), Saturday 5 July 2014 – Chaz Davies and the Ducati Superbike Team are very pleased to have earned a place on the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s SBK races at Portimao. An impressive lap for the British rider in this afternoon’s Superpole means that he will line up in third position for the two races that make up Round 8 of the 2014 Superbike World Championship; his teammate Davide Giugliano has qualified eighth.

The third timed practice session took place this morning in warm and sunny conditions (air temperature 24°C, track 36°C). Davies and his technicians continued to proceed in the right direction today, with the rider able to improve by a full second on his best time set yesterday. Despite the fact that he continued to lose a couple of tenths through the final long turn, Davies closed in fifth position with a best time of 1’43.287, just over one tenth of a second from leader Rea. Giugliano, continuing to work on set-up with his squad, dropped his time by 1.5 seconds. The progress made during the session, that resulted in a best lap of 1’43.441, placed him tenth at the session’s end, though only three tenths of a second from Rea. Both Ducati Superbike riders therefore qualified directly for Superpole 2.

Superpole 2 – having completed two laps each on the race tyre, both Ducati Superbike men quickly returned to the track with the qualifying tyre. Davies immediately put in a solid 1’43.463 but still unsatisfied, and aware that he had made a couple of small mistakes during the lap, the British rider pushed to make a second lap on said qualifier, getting everything he could out of it and projecting himself into third position by setting an extremely fast lap time of 1’42.924. Thanks to this performance, Chaz earned himself a spot on the front row of tomorrow’s race grid, his first front row start of the season.
Giugliano was only able to complete one fast lap with the ‘Q’, with the resulting lap time – 1’43.317 – placing him eighth at the conclusion of the Superpole. The Italian rider will therefore start on the third row of tomorrow’s race grid.

Quotes after the day’s sessions:

Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 3rd (1’42.924)
“It’s been a strange day. We made a few changes and switched engines as we normally do on Saturday but in the free practice we had a few problems, after a good timed practice earlier in the morning. Anyway, we improved a lot for qualifying. On the first lap with the qualifier, I made a little mistake here and there and got caught out a bit by the wind, but then I was able to do a solid second lap, which I hoped would be good enough for a second row start. It actually puts me on the front row so I’m really pleased with that. Overall I think we’re starting to see the fruits of Ducati’s labour, the updates mean we’re starting to see improvement. As far as the races are concerned, it’s meant to be a little cooler tomorrow which might help and then I just need to get off the line well and see what I can do.”

Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 8th (1’43.317)
“We’ve made many changes during today’s sessions and although we’ve seen a definite improvement, it’s still not enough to be able to fight for the front positions. We’ve struggled a bit to be honest; we did our best in the Superpole but today out best was eighth. I tried to make a second lap with the qualifying tyre but it was no good, the rear tyre was pushing hard on the front and the bike wheelied a lot, which penalizes us on an undulating track like Portimao. I can only do better tomorrow…”

Weekend schedule (CET -1):

Sunday
9.00 – 9.15 – SBK Warm-up
12.00 – SBK Race 1
15.00 – SBK Race 2

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