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Chaz Davies sets the fastest time on Friday in Qatar, Davide Giugliano is 13th

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The first day of practice of the 13th and final round of the 2016 WorldSBK championship, held under floodlights in Qatar, saw the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team claim the top of the time sheets with Chaz Davies. The Welshman rider, who has won five out of the last six races scoring back-to-back double wins, confirmed his top form also on the Losail track to post the provisional fastest time with a 1:57.712. Starting off on the right foot in FP1, closed in second position, Davies worked on his race pace with encouraging results and then made the decisive step forward in the final minutes on fresh tyres.

Davide Giugliano, on the other hand, faced a more difficult day. Eighth after FP1, the Italian rider didn’t find the optimal feeling on his Panigale R and, despite taking about half a second off his best lap times throughout the day, had to settle for 13th position. The particularly narrow gaps in the combined time sheets, however, leave him hopeful ahead of Superpole 1.

The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team will resume action tomorrow at 15:30 local for the third and last free-practice session ahead of Superpole and Race 1.

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) 1st
“It seems that we hit the ballpark right after unloading the bike from Jerez. We’re carrying on that good feeling, and we’ve been quite competitive in the same conditions that theoretically should characterize tomorrow’s race, so I’m happy overall. The track progressively improved throughout the day, and towards the end we actually weren’t able to do a perfect lap with a bit of extra grip, but it was good enough. The package is strong overall and our pace is quite solid, but we can still try to grab a couple of tenths overnight. We’ve also done our homework with the tyres, and we made our choice for the race.“

Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #34) 13th
“Unfortunately we had a bit of a difficult day. FP1 wasn’t so bad overall, even if we still had to tailor the setup to my exact needs. In FP2, however, we weren’t able to find the best feeling and, due to different issues, we couldn’t do many laps. The narrow gaps also didn’t help us. We surely won’t give up though, and we’ll analyze the data in detail to make the right changes ahead of tomorrow. Physically I feel better, and I’m determined to give my best to climb the rankings and make the most of our potential.”