Portimao (Portugal), Friday 4 July 2014 – Round 8 of the World Superbike championship got underway today at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal, and the Ducati Superbike Team and riders Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano were able to improve slowly but surely throughout this first day of track action.
In the morning’s first timed practice session Davies got straight to work with his technicians, using the session to test a few new components on his 1199 Panigale including new software for the ECU. He closed the 45-minute session in ninth place, having concentrated on the new anti-spin and engine brake settings. Giugliano unfortunately lost most of the session due to an electric problem that kept him in the garage. His team worked hard to resolve the issue as quickly as possible but the Italian rider was only able to join his teammate on track for the final ten minutes of the session, to finish nineteenth.
In hotter conditions in the afternoon, with a track temperature of almost 50°C, both Davies and Giugliano made progress, improving on the times and positions set in first practice. By the session’s end Chaz was up into fifth place, thanks to a best time of 1’44.273. Davide, having lost almost an entire session today, got started with testing the new electronic settings and identifying the best set-up of his bike, closing this first day of action in tenth place with a fastest lap of 1’44.862. Both Ducati Superbike riders are confident that there is room for further improvement tomorrow.
Quotes after the day’s sessions:
Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 5th (1’44.273)
“It hasn‘t been too bad today. The new electronics worked well and this morning we were out on the hard tyre to learn a few things about the bike and then switched to what will probably be the race tyre this afternoon. We’ve found a few things that can help but we’re struggling in the final sector where I’m having trouble with the gearing so we’ll need to work on that overnight. We’ve improved this afternoon in trickier conditions so that’s not bad, I’m just a little disappointed with our performance through that last section of the track.”
Davide Giugliano – (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 10th (1’44.862)
“This morning we lost almost the entire session due to a technical issue with a cable. Unfortunately, though we resolved this problem, the work we needed to get done in the morning was postponed to the afternoon and there wasn’t time, with only 45 minutes available, to get everything done. We’ve had some small problems, which are probably normal with the new things that we’re trying here. We just need a little more time to refine the set-up of the bike; tomorrow we’ll do better for sure.”
Weekend schedule (CET -1):
9.45 – 10.30 – SBK Timed Practice 3
12.30 – 13.00 – SBK Free Practice
15.00 – 15.15 – Superpole 1
15.25 – 15.40 – Superpole 2
9.00 – 9.15 – SBK Warm-up
12.00 – SBK Race 1
15.00 – SBK Race 2