Dorna WSBK Press
Giugliano edges Haslam to claim first pole of the season
Donington (Great Britain), Saturday 24 May 2014 - The Tissot-Superpole sessions ahead of tomorrow's fifth round races for the 2014 eni FIM Superbike World Championship were held in cold and wet conditions at Donington Park. After yesterday's dry free practices the FP4 session this morning proved to be all important ahead of the two grid deciding sessions this afternoon. At the second chequered flag it was Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) who claimed his second career pole position, by... (read more)
Davide Giugliano: "I would like to dedicate this, the second pole of my career, to my whole team but also to the family of Andrea Antonelli. My first Superpole came in Moscow last year but was followed by the tragic accident, so I therefore wish to dedicate this to Andrea's family. That said, I'm really pleased with today's result and thank my entire team; we've worked well all weekend and I had a really good feeling all day today. Tomorrow's races won't be easy, regardless of whether conditions are wet or dry. My rivals are strong here so I think we're in for two hard-fought races."
Leon Haslam: "Since breaking my leg last year we haven't had the best of times or been where we want to be in terms of results, so for me it's a good start to my season to get on the front row. We've still got a little bit more work to do for the dry set-up but I had a good feeling with the bike in the rain at Assen and we've made a lot of steps over the winter. Fingers crossed I can get the start that's needed and we can be in there with the front guys tomorrow."
Times: 1. Giugliano (Ducati) 1'44.903 average 138.059 kph; 2. Haslam (Honda) 1'45.009; 3. Melandri (Aprilia) 1'45.111; 4. Lowes (Suzuki) 1'45.258; 5. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'45.839; 6. Baz (Kawasaki) 1'46.058; 7. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'46.241; 8. Rea (Honda) 1'46.306; 9. Elias (Aprilia) 1'46.326; 10. Laverty(Suzuki) 1'47.963; 11. Davies (Ducati) 1'50.099; 12. Badovini (Bimota); 13. Iddon (Bimota); 14. Corti (MV Agusta); 15. Andreozzi (Kawasaki); 16. Canepa (Ducati); 17. Salom (Kawasaki); 18. Camier (BMW); 19. Foret (Kawasaki); 20. Guarnoni (Kawasaki).
The World Supersport qualifying session at Donington Park was held in tricky conditions as the rain that had been falling steadily for several hours began to fall more heavily as the green flag indicated the start of the 45 encounter. Jack Kennedy fell victim to the conditions on his first flying lap, losing control of his CIA Insurance Honda at McLeans corner but was able to remount and return to the garage... (read more)
Times: 1. Vd Mark (Honda) 1'46.220 average 136.347 kph; 2. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 1'46.983; 3. Coghlan (Yamaha) 1'47.932; 4. Jacobsen (Kawasaki) 1'48.158; 5. Bussolotti (Honda) 1'48.515; 6. Nocco (Kawasaki) 1'48.635; 7. Zanetti (Honda) 1'49.102; 8. Cluzel (MV Agusta) 1'49.579; 9. Russo (Honda) 1'49.702; 10. Hornsey (Triumph) 1'49.909; 11. Leonov (MV Agusta) 1'50.150; 12. Gamarino (Kawasaki) 1'50.150; 13. Tamburini (Kawasaki) 1'50.152; 14. Wilairot (Honda) 1'50.336; 15. Rolfo (Kawasaki) 1'50.371; etc.
European Junior Cup
Local rider Josh Harland (Josh Harland Racing) has claimed the pole position for tomorrow's 10 lap Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda race. The young Brit, who clocked in 1'47.965s in yesterday's first qualifying session Donington Park, will be joined on the front row of the grid by Spaniards Javier Orellana (Europ Food SL) and Marc Miralles (Construccions Miralles). Points leader Augusto Fernandez (WIL Sport) ended up fourth.
Times: 1. Harland 1'47.965 average 134.143 kph; 2. Orellana 1'48.142; 3. Miralles 1'48.735; 4. Fernandez 1'48.904;5. Soomer 1'49.061; 6. Hubner 1'49.247; 7. Licciardi 1'49.316; 8. Hill 1'49.324; 9. Fernandez 1'49.371; 10. Grassia 1'49.545; etc.
Giugliano and the Ducati Superbike Team score first pole of the season today at Donington Park!
Donington Park (UK), Saturday 24 May 2014 - a fantastic performance for Davide Giugliano and the Ducati Superbike Team in today's fifth Superpole of the 2014 Superbike season at Donington Park as, in wet conditions, Davide Giugliano snatched his first pole of the season! Having suffered an electric problem in the final stages, his teammate Chaz Davies qualified eleventh for tomorrow's races.
This morning's free practice was held in wet conditions, with the team using the 45-minute session to adapt its 1199 Panigale bikes to the slippery track ahead of the Superpole. Thanks to yesterday's timed practice results, both Ducati Superbike men qualified directly for today's second Superpole session.
Superpole 2 - today's Superpole took place in cold and very wet conditions (air temperature 14°C, track 13°C). Giugliano stayed out on track for the entire session and was gradually able to increase the pace with his 1199 Panigale. His penultimate lap proved to be the fastest of them all, a 1'44.903 that projected him to the top of the timesheets. The Ducati Superbike man then crashed in the final seconds but none of his rivals were able to beat his impressive time and he was fortunately unhurt. Thanks to his impressive performance today, Giugliano thus qualifies in first place for tomorrow's races, earning his first pole of the season (and second of his career).
Chaz also opted to remain out on track for the duration of the session and was improving his rhythm when an electric problem regarding the gear sensor caused a malfunction which got increasingly worse in the final minutes. As a result of this technical problem, Davies will line up on the fourth row of the grid, eleventh, for his ?home' races tomorrow.
Quotes after the day's sessions:
Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) - 1st (1'44.903)
"I would like to dedicate this, the second pole of my career, to my whole team but also to the family of Andrea Antonelli. My first Superpole came in Moscow last year but was followed by the tragic accident, so I therefore wish to dedicate this to Andrea's family. That said, I'm really pleased with today's result and thank my entire team; we've worked well all weekend and I had a really good feeling all day today. Tomorrow's races won't be easy, regardless of whether conditions are wet or dry. My rivals are strong here so I think we're in for two hard-fought races."
Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) - 11th (1'50.099)
"I used the first couple of laps to try and get comfortable and the idea was to stay out for the entire session. Unfortunately on perhaps my second fast lap I started having problems with the shifter and it got worse from then on, until it wasn't working at all. It was a pretty difficult situation to manage and seems to have been caused by a small electronic part that failed. A little frustrating and it makes it difficult for tomorrow, starting from eleventh; I'd prefer two dry races but we'll be doing our best either way."
Front row for Haslam at home
Pata Honda rider Leon Haslam will start tomorrow's two fifth-round World Superbike championship races at Donington Park in the UK from the front row of the grid after setting the second-fastest time in today's Superpole.
The 30-year-old, who lives just half-an-hour's drive from the 4.023km circuit set a time of 1m45.009s, just 0.1s from pole-setter Davide Giugliano, after heavy and persistent rain had left Donington wet and slippery.
Haslam's Pata Honda team-mate Jonathan Rea crashed out in the wet conditions at Donington's Melbourne hairpin after looking comfortable for a front row start for tomorrow's two 23-lap races.
The 27-year-old from Northern Ireland had been in a provisional front row slot and was on target to set the fastest time before sliding off with just three minutes of the session remaining.
Leon Haslam - P2
Since breaking my leg last year we haven't had the best of times, or been where we want to be in terms of results, so for me it's good to get my season started on the front row here at Donington. We've still got a little bit more work to do for the dry set-up but I had a good feeling with the bike in the rain at Assen and we've made a lot of steps over the winter. Fingers crossed I can get the start that's needed and we can be in there with the front guys tomorrow.
Jonathan Rea - P8
It was a tough Superpole for me to finish up eighth, and I don't think we've started from the third row this season. So a really good couple of starts have to be on the menu tomorrow for me to get away with the front guys. I made a really costly mistake in the latter stages in a pivotal moment in the session, just when everybody was starting to go really fast. I was feeling really comfortable and setting a really good pace. I'm quite happy with our bike in the rain conditions like we had but with the weekend schedule we've really struggled with dry time. With three dry sessions on the bounce we weren't able to spend the evening analysing data from the day to come back strong. I think we're a little under prepared for the race tomorrow but I have confidence that my guys will give me a C BR to battle at the front tomorrow, regardless of the conditions.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
Jonathan was riding really well in the wet and was the fastest guy on track until his small crash. That left him in eighth because the others were able to continue to improve. For tomorrow, we have a plan for the dry and he's next to Tom Sykes on the grid so I'm sure he'll not let Tom get away! I'm really happy that Leon kept it together during the wet session and ended just a tenth off pole. After a long struggle, everything has come together and it's fantastic to see him at the front. He has a confidence boost in case it's dry too, but to see him starting from the front row is inspiring and I wish him two good races.
APRILIA RACING WSBK - TWO RSV4s ON THE FIRST TWO ROWS AT DONINGTON
FRONT ROW FOR MARCO MELANDRI
GUINTOLI ON THE SECOND ROW DESPITE A SLIDING CRASH
Donington (UK), 24 May 2014 - The wet Superpole on Saturday placed the official Aprilia Racing RSV4s on the first two rows and ensured that Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli will be key players in the races tomorrow.
The rain which had been forecasted for the past few days finally arrived to dampen the beautiful English track at Donington and to nullify all the work the teams had done during Friday practice. The extreme conditions - it is also quite cold - enhanced Marco Melandri's riding quality as he rode his Aprilia to just two tenths of a second off the top time, taking a spot on the front row of the starting grid with the third best time.
Marco Melandri: "Today's result was important. I want to thank the guys on the team because they are really working hard. Superpole was hard. The first part of the track - the fastest part - was slippery and then the last long braking sections were quite difficult in the wet. It was hard to find the limit, so tomorrow we'll have to see first of all how the weather shapes up and then we'll prepare as best as possible for the races."
Sylvain Guintoli, a specialist in the wet, started off strong, firmly establishing himself in the top positions and even taking first, but a sliding crash in the second part of the session (without consequences for the Frenchman), forced him to come into the pits, keeping him from defending his top time. Once back on the track with time for only one more lap, Guintoli in any case was able to improve on his time, taking a spot on the second row with the fifth best time.
Sylvain Guintoli: "As always a wet Superpole makes a mess of things. I felt good, but I slowed down for a lap and the tyre probably cooled down so I took a slide. I was able to get back on the track and take a flying lap even though the bike wasn't performing at 100%. It could have gone better but in these conditions there is always a risk and second row is fine to get off to a good start tomorrow."