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Sepang (Malaysia), Saturday 7 June 2014 – Despite today’s extreme track and weather conditions, Davide Giugliano and the Ducati Superbike Team put in an impressive performance in Superpole, earning a front row start, third, for tomorrow’s races. Eighth place for Chaz Davies.
In the third and final practice session, which took place on a slightly cooler track with respect to yesterday (40°C), all of the Superbike riders were able to improve on their best times set in the previous sessions. Both Chaz and Davide made a step forward in the early stages of the 45-minute session, with the Italian rider making another jump towards the end, recording a fastest time of 2’04.332 to propel himself into overall second position. Chaz’ best lap, a 2’04.967, meant that he secured final seventh position and safe passage to Superpole 2, together with his teammate.
Superpole 2 – Riders were in for an action-packed and extremely hot Superpole 2, with an air temperature of 35°C and a track temperature in the region of 60°C. Davies and Giugliano made only one lap each on the race tyre before heading straight back out on the qualifier, with 5 minutes still on the clock. Davide put in an extremely fast time – 2’03.137 – which assured him of a place on the front row of tomorrow’s race grid, in third position. Chaz, suffering from some understeer with the qualifying tyre, closed eighth with a best time of 2’04.343. He will therefore line up on row three for tomorrow’s 16-lap races.
Quotes after the day’s sessions:
Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 3th (2’03.137)
“To be honest it wasn’t exactly the Superpole I was expecting – I knew that other riders could be really fast and I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to make that kind of lap. But of course I’m really pleased to have scored another important front row start. We still have work to do because we need to improve in terms of race consistency but to start from the front row is of course nice, as well as an advantage. It’s not an easy track for Ducati, there are two long straights and it’s very fast, so that’s not ideal for our bike but I was nevertheless able to take a good result today, so I’m pleased.”
Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 8th (2’04.343)
“Superpole didn’t go well for me. With the qualifying tyre I struggled to turn the bike, it seemed like there was less grip rather than more, so the opposite of what I expected really. So I’m a bit disappointed with the qualifying result. We’ve probably made a small step forward today in terms of tyre consistency but it will be difficult tomorrow I think. I can’t make predictions, also because from what I’ve seen, no-one has made long-runs with consistently fast times. We’ve worked hard but we’ll have to wait and see what we are able to do tomorrow.”
Weekend schedule (CET +6):
9.30 – 9.45 – SBK Warm-up
13.30 – SBK Race 1
16.30 – SBK Race 2
Source: Ducati Superbike Team