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Chaz Davies tops Friday’s free practice sessions in Imola, Davide Giugliano in ninth position

Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team_042916

The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team kicked off the fifth round of the WorldSBK championship in style in Imola, topping the time sheets with Chaz Davies, who posted the provisional best time during the Friday’s free practice sessions. After taking the lead in the morning, Davies confirmed his competitiveness during FP2, improving his lap times by almost four tenths of a second and clocking 16 laps with an encouraging pace in race configuration. Davies finished day one with a personal best of 1:47.014, 0.333 seconds faster than his closest opponent Tom Sykes.

Davide Giugliano’s campaign started more a few more difficulties than expected. The Italian posted the ninth best time with a 1:48.384, 1.370 seconds behind his teammate. Giugliano, who only used one rear tyre until the half-way point of FP2 to optimize the work on the race setup, could not find the anticipated improvements on fresh tyres after clocking the fifth best lap in FP1. Both riders gained direct access to Superpole 2, scheduled for 10:55 (CET) Saturday.

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) – 1:47.014 (1st)
“Given that this is only day one, we certainly can’t compain about our performance. I felt comfortable on the Panigale R since the very first exit, and the bike has been immediately more competitive on this track than last year. In the afternoon, we worked on the gearbox and managed to make further improvements, and I was also able to make a couple of longer runs with a quite constant rhythm. I tried two rear-tyre options, both of which seem to work. The choice will depend on the strategy one wants to adopt during the race. Anyways, it’s only Friday and we need to keep working. There are still a few tenths of a second up for grabs out there.”

Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #34) – 1:48.384 (9th)
“This track has suited me well in the past, but unfortunately we weren’t able to make the necessary steps forward today. I still can’t ride the way I want to, but for sure we’re not giving up, as we know we have the necessary tools to climb back. We simply have our work cut out for us. Unfortunately we won’t have much time to evaluate further changes before the race but, together with the team, we’ll think of all options, leaving no stone unturned. It will be very important to start strong tomorrow during FP3 to make a good Superpole, then anything can happen during the race.”