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Rea wins Tissot-Superpole at Imola
Imola (Italy), Saturday 10 May 2014 - Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) has taken Pole Position for tomorrow's two 19 lap races after a thrilling Tissot-Superpole session kept the large crowd thoroughly entertained. This is the first Tissot-Superpole win for Rea this year, the third so far in his WSBK career and the 45th for Honda in the series.
In Superpole 1, Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) and Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia) emerged as the fastest two riders and progressed into Superpole 2 with the ten riders that were automatically seeded after Free Practice.
The final 15 minute session, held in blisteringly hot conditions eventually saw Rea come out on top after several riders took their turn to head the standings. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) and Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) will line up alongside Rea with other factory Ducati rider Chaz Davies, Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) and reigning Champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) completing the second row.
After progressing courtesy of being in the top two in Superpole 1, Canepa was the fastest EVO rider today, making it onto row 3 in 9th position after a solid performance this afternoon.
Times: 1. Rea (Honda) 1'46.289 average 167.182 kph; 2. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'46.554; 3. Giugliano (Ducati) 1'46.555; 4. Davies (Ducati) 1'46.678; 5. Melandri (Aprilia) 1'46.740; 6. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'46.767; 7. Baz (Kawasaki) 1'47.014; 8. Laverty (Suzuki) 1'47.715; 9. Canepa (Ducati) 1'48.240; 10. Haslam (Honda) 1'48.242; 11. Camier (BMW) 1'48.371; 12. Lowes (Suzuki) 1'48.196; 13. Goi (Ducati); 14. Salom (Kawasaki); 15. Elias(Aprilia); 16. Badovini (Bimota); 17. Scassa (Kawasaki); 18. Morais (Kawasaki); 19. Iddon (Bimota); 20. Fabrizio (Kawasaki).
Rea takes pole position in Italy
Pata Honda's Jonathan Rea will start tomorrow's two fourth-round World Superbike championship races from pole position after setting the fastest time in today's Superpole sessions at Imola in Italy.
The British rider powered his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP around the 4.936km Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in a time of 1m46.289s, almost three tenths of a second ahead of Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli and Davide Giugliano of Italy, who completes the front row.
It is Rea's fourth career pole position, the last occasion being at Portimao in Portugal in 2011. He received his trophy today from 15-time world champion Giacomo Agostini and the 27-year-old is also confident of his race for tomorrow's two 19-lap outings at Imola.
His Pata Honda team-mate, Leon Haslam, will start the races from tenth place on the grid after some problems in today's practice sessions. The 30-year-old crashed early in Free Practice 4 after being one of the front runners in the morning session.
Haslam was unable to maximise the additional grip from Pirelli's qualifying tyre in Superpole, but he is determined to mount two strong challenges in tomorrow's two races, the first of which goes at 10.30am local time.
Jonathan Rea - P1
Honestly, I didn't really expect that! I knew we had really good pace and we were working towards the race tomorrow. But this pole position lark doesn't really have my name on it so I'm really happy. The lap was really good but I just want to thank all the guys in my box who've been working incredibly hard. They're making the CBR better and better and to do it in Pata's back yard here in Italy is just great. I'm looking forward to two strong races tomorrow and hopefully we can get some good results then.
Leon Haslam - P10
Yeah, it was a pretty rubbish afternoon. I felt we were making some good progress up until the second session today when I had a problem with the shifter on the outlap which caused a bit of a highside. I couldn't quite get the gear and it threw me off and we lost the whole session. I had a familiar problem in Superpole with the extra grip from the qualifer and ended up going slower than I did on the race tyre. We'd made some good progress this weekend, but had a bad afternoon.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
Pole position for Jonathan, and his last one was a very long time ago! Well done to him and his team. There are four or five riders who can be fast in the race and will be battling it out tomorrow, but no-one is outstandingly strong and I think he is one of the contenders. After a good morning session Leon unfortunately had a crash in FP4. Luckily he wasn't hurt but it put his progress on hold a bit. He had some problems with the qualifier too so we'll have to see how he can do tomorrow.
A positive qualifying day at Imola for the Ducati Superbike Team
Imola (Italy), Saturday 10 May 2014 - An extremely hard-fought Superpole this afternoon at the Imola circuit brough very positive results for the Ducati Superbike Team and its riders Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies, who qualified third and fourth for tomorrow's fourth round of the 2014 Superbike World Championship.
In the final timed practice session held in warm conditions this morning (air temperature 24°C, track 42°C), both Chaz and Davide were able to further improve on yesterday's performances. Thanks to a fastest time of 1'47.511, an impressive eight tenths of a second quicker than yesterday and only three tenths away from the lap record, Giugliano closed the practices in overall first position, while Davies finished in sixth place with a best of 1'48.136, an improvement of almost half a second on his time set yesterday afternoon. Both Ducati Superbike men therefore qualified directly for Superpole 2.
The early afternoon's free practice session gave the team a chance to make final adjustments ahead of the Superpole. In this short 30-minute session, Davies finished first, Giugliano sixth, both demonstrating good pace.
Superpole 2 - Both riders went straight out on a race tyre and Davide in particular was able to record an extremely fast lap (1'47.172) that allowed him to take an early lead. The Ducati Superbike pair then returned to the track with the qualifying tyre. Both Davide and Chaz pushed hard to make a flying lap and lower their times. While Giugliano closed with a best time of 1'46.555, Davies recorded a fastest lap of 1'46.678. Giugliano concluded the Superpole in third place (missing out on second position by just one thousandth of a second!) and Davies in fourth. Thanks to these results, the Ducati Superbike team will line up on the first and second row of the race grid tomorrow, clearly a strong result for the entire team in front of the home crowd.
Quotes after the day's sessions:
Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) - 3rd (1'46.555)
"Superpole went really well. We recorded a good time but I'm particularly pleased with my lap time on the race tyre at the start of the session. Of course it's great to be able to start on the front row of the grid for tomorrow's races here in Imola, it gives me personal satisfaction and is also great for the many Ducati fans here at the track. Tomorrow the races will surely be difficult, there are at least five riders who can fight for the podium. The temperatures will also play an important part, both physically and on the tyres but it will be like that for everyone, so we're feeling confident."
Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) - 4th (1'46.678)
"Today has gone well and we've taken another step forward. This morning we had really good pace and although there is still room for improvement I'm happy with how things have been going. The Superpole was also positive and finishing fourth is our best result so far, a result that gives me confidence, coming after some bad luck in previous Superpoles. Tomorrow I'm expecting two tough races, it will be difficult but today I was able to do race distance with the tyre and our pace wasn't bad. We're confident and ready to race here tomorrow."
FIRST AND SECOND ROW FOR THE APRILIA SUPERBIKES AT IMOLA.
GUINTOLI TAKES A SPOT ON THE FRONT ROW WITH THE SECOND BEST TIME
IT'S THE SECOND ROW FOR MELANDRI AND THE FIFTH BEST TIME
Imola, 10 May 2014 - Starting from the front was essential in the races tomorrow at Imola, the fourth round of World Superbike which promises to be heated down to thousandths of a second, and Aprilia Racing Team hit a bullseye, placing both riders on the first and second row.
Qualifying easily among the top 10 who are automatically admitted to the second decisive session and key players during all the timed practice sessions - as well as in the last free practice sessions prior to Superpole - Melandri and Guintoli never stopped working on race pace, searching for the best setup for tomorrow's races which, with the standings up for grabs, promise to be extremely heated with numerous contenders for the final victory, a fact which is clearly demonstrated by the narrow gaps that separate the top riders.
Concrete and efficient as always, Sylvain Guintoli seemed to be in his team mate's shadows during the sessions prior to the decisive fifteen minutes which would establish the starting grid. In all actuality, however, the Frenchman had focused his work on the races, not falling short when he attacked in Superpole, on the track until just a few moments from the end. The second place he took in the end left the Frenchman completely satisfied: "Another Superpole for us and the starting position here is important since it is quite a twisty track where it is difficult to overtake, so you need to set your pace straight way from the first laps. As always we worked a lot on our race pace, but many of the other riders did the same, so tomorrow should be quite interesting. I want to do my best for Aprilia and for my team. We are in Italy so that pumps me up even more."
Marco Melandri had two positive days of testing which led him to finding a good feeling on his RSV4. These are good sensations that Marco had all the way through to the decisive Superpole session where he battled with his usual quality, putting the second best time on the boards at one point and then finishing with the fifth best time which places him a the centre of the second row on the grid. The narrow gap of just 45 hundredths behind the first place finisher is an indicator of the balance between the top contenders and Marco's competitiveness.
"The second row is OK. I am gaining confidence in Superpole as well. Even if I made a few mistakes in my good lap which cost me a couple tenths of a second I am still very pleased with the result. It is a good period for us. Starting from the front tomorrow will be important because there are several riders here with a good pace. The races won't be easy for anyone. The true difference will be made after the tenth round. As for our race pace, we have done some good work so after all our efforts we are ready to give it our all down to the end."