Monterey (USA), Saturday 12 July 2014 – great results for Davies, Giugliano and the Ducati Superbike Team in today’s ninth Superpole of the 2014 Superbike season, which took place this afternoon at the Californian circuit of Laguna Seca; British rider Davies qualified third, earning a place on the front row of tomorrow’s race grid, followed by teammate Giugliano, fourth.
During the morning’s free practice session, Giugliano continued to work with his team to resolve the problems he was experiencing yesterday; by the end of the session he had found a set-up that he was more comfortable with, and which enabled him to lap with a consistently fast pace. By the end of the session he had moved up into second place thanks to a best time of 1’23.242. Davies replicated yesterday’s strong performance, using the 30-minute session to work with his technicians and make final refinements to his 1199 Panigale ahead of the Superpole. With a fastest time of 1’23.318 he finished the session third.
Back on track for Superpole 2, which took place at 1.25pm local time, Davies made two initial laps on the race tyre. After returning to the pits to put in the qualifying tyre, the British rider was able to complete two flying laps, the second of which was the fastest, in a time of 1’22.384. This impressive lap time (well inside last year’s lap record) placed him third at the end of the hard-fought session. Giugliano also completed a lap on race rubber and then, once back out on the ‘Q’, he was able to record a very similar time to Chaz, with a 1’22.422 that assured him of final fourth position. The Ducati Superbike team will therefore line up on the front row of the grid tomorrow, in third with Davies, and the second row, with Giugliano taking the fourth slot.
Quotes after the day’s sessions:
Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 3rd (1’22.384)
“I’m pleased to secure another front row start, two in a row is a bit unusual for me but it’s especially important at a tight track like Laguna, so I’m very happy and am looking forward to two good races. We have good race pace I think, although there are maybe six riders who are looking strong so it won’t be easy, we’re all so close in terms of times. I’ll be aiming to get off the line as quickly as possible and push for the podium. The weekend has been going to plan so far, so we’ll be doing all we can to continue the positive trend tomorrow.”
Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 4th (1’22.422)
“Today has gone quite well, we’ve improved a lot compared to yesterday and that’s important. I’m pleased with fourth position even though I made a couple of errors during my flying lap that caused me to lose a couple of tenths. Our race pace is good anyway and I’m able to be fast and consistent even on used rubber. This gives me confidence ahead of tomorrow because the races will be hard-fought. There are maybe five of us with strong pace and I expect the final part of the race to be crucial once the grip begins to drop. It’s important to be fast on used tyres in order to fight for the podium or perhaps even something more.”