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Extreme weather conditions for the Ducati Superbike Team today at Jerez

Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), Friday 5 September 2014 – Day one of the World Superbike weekend at the Jerez circuit was conditioned by extremely hot conditions. The Ducati Superbike Team, with riders Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies, worked hard today to finish the opening timed practice sessions in fifth and seventh place.

The Ducati Superbike Team made a strong start to proceedings in the first timed practice session of the weekend, which took place in hot and sunny conditions (air temperature 29°C, track 46°C). Davies was immediately able to get into a good rhythm and was one of the fastest on track until two thirds of the way through the session when he unfortunately suffered a small crash. Chaz was not injured in the fall, and despite missing out on the final phase of track action, the Ducati rider nevertheless closed the opening session in third position, with a best of 1’42.916, two tenths of a second behind Melandri. Taking a methodical approach towards the set-up of his 1199 Panigale along with his technicians, Giugliano’s fastest lap, a 1’43.192, positioned him seventh at the session’s end.

All of the Superbike riders had more trouble in the afternoon, due to much higher track temperatures (60°C). Davide, making a step forward in the final stages, pushed hard to improve both his time and position, closing this first day of action in fifth place, thanks to a best lap completed in 1’42.896. Chaz unfortunately suffered another small crash in the early stages, probably caused by the hotter and therefore more slippery track conditions. Luckily the Ducati rider was able to return to the garage with his bike and then get back out on track soon after. Despite being unable to improve on his best time set in the morning, he was nevertheless satisfied with the bike’s performance in the tough conditions.

Quotes after the day’s sessions:

Davide Giugliano – (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 5th (1’42.896)
“Today was a fairly difficult day as these extreme conditions have been putting us to the test. We worked very hard and have been trying various things. It’s not too much for a surprise that there is very little grip in these very hot conditions. But step by step we’re getting closer to those in front. We started out a little cautiously but already this afternoon we’ve improved. We need to continue to work in the same direction and focus on Sunday’s races that will undoubtedly be difficult.”

Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 7th (1’42.916)
“To be honest the bike has behaved well and my feeling is generally good. We just seem to have had some issues with traction that caused me to lose the front unexpectedly on two occasions. On this track, and in these hot conditions, this is not a positive because I don’t really know where the limit is. Apart from that, the bike is working well and so I don’t want to change too much. Overall I generally feel like I can complete fast laps quite easily. We just need to work on the front end to give me more of a margin.”