Press releases from the series organizer and from some of the teams after qualifying for Sunday's World Superbike and World Supersport races at Imola:
Giugliano grabs emotional Tissot-Superpole at Imola
Sykes and Rea complete the front row ahead of Davies and Haslam.
Today’s Tissot-Superpole qualifying sessions at the 4.9km Imola circuit was scintillating, with Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team) securing the 4th Pole Position of his WorldSBK career, the 166th for Ducati in the series, thanks to a 1.46.382s lap time and despite a near crash at “Variante Bassa” while changing direction. For Giugliano today’s result marked an emotional return to the series following his injury at the official pre-season test in Australia last February.
The Kawasaki Racing Team duo of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea will join the Italian rider on the front row of the grid tomorrow in what are shaping up to be two very unpredictable races as the top-5 on the grid are separated by a mere 0.472s.
Row two will comprise Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team), Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils), despite a small crash in the session and the second Aprilia RSV4 RF machine of Jordi Torres.
Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing Ducati) heads the third row with his so far best ever qualifying performance in the series, he will be joined by Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia) and Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team), while David Salom (Team Pedercini), Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) and Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) will start from row 4.
Camier was unable to take part in the final Pole Position shootout after suffering a technical problem in the closing minutes of the opening Superpole session.
Michel Fabrizio, his Althea Racing team mate Matteo Baiocco, reigning World Champion Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) complete the top 15 riders on the grid ahead of tomorrow’s two 19-lap races.
Both KRT WSB Riders On The Imola Front Row
Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea scored front row qualifying positions after Superpole 2 at the classic Imola circuit, with Sykes second and Rea third on the grid.
Regular qualifying for the top few riders was close all through the weekend but in Superpole that competitiveness notched up another level as Sykes was only 0.084 seconds from pole and Rea only 0.121 seconds behind the fastest lap.
Sykes’ Superpole lap of 1’46.466 was only half a second from the track best despite a host of technical regulation changes brought in for the 2015 season, designed to reduce top end performance.
Superpole was won at Imola by local rider Davide Giugliano, taking part in his first WSB race weekend since fracturing two vertebrae in a testing crash in Australia in mid-February.
Imola has been experiencing a warm and dry period, allowing Sykes and Rea to make their preparations for Sunday’s two 19-lap races with a relatively consistent track surface to work on.
The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R has a positive recent race record at this undulating 4.936km circuit and both Sykes and Rea are now well placed to take advantage of their strong starting positions.
The first race will get underway at 10.30 on Sunday and race two is scheduled to begin at 13.10.
Tom Sykes: “I was relatively happy with my Superpole lap but it was a shame to miss out on the pole position. Pole does not give me 25 points, however. For me our main target was the front row and it was really nice to see Davide Giugliano come back from such a potentially serious injury to take Superpole. Marcel, my crew chief, has been cracking the whip again this weekend trying to get information for us to use on raceday. It has been so unusual for us to drop our pace after 12 laps or so in the previous two events. That is something we are not used to so it is something we have worked on this weekend.”
Jonathan Rea: “My best Superpole lap was good but not perfect. I made a little mistake in the first sectors and that carried on through for a few corners. I was happy with my lap in general, especially the second half, which I felt was really good and strong. To qualify on the outside of row one is a little bit of a handicap as you almost start on a corner. The Ninja ZX-10R has been giving me some good starts recently, so I hope I can make a clean getaway and settle into my pace. Hopefully I can stay in the 1’47s in the races because in the sessions today that is where I have been able to put my bike, but there are some other strong guys in there as well. It will be a tough 19-laps in each race and the temperatures are high. I think in the afternoon, when the temperature is hotter, our bike works a bit better.”
David Salom (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) was tenth in Superpole 2 and is therefore tenth on the grid for Sunday’s races, while Roman Ramos (Go Eleven Kawasaki) was 16th in Superpole.
HASLAM CRASHES IN THE IMOLA SUPERPOLE, RESTARTS AND TAKES A HEROIC FIFTH PLACE ON THE STARTING GRID
GREAT PROGRESS FOR JORDI TORRES FOR HIS DÉBUT ON THE ITALIAN CIRCUIT AND SIXTH PLACE IN QUALIFYING
Imola, 9 May 2015 – The Superpole held today at Imola had the Team Aprilia Racing – Red Devils garage on the edge of their seats. Easily qualifying for the final session, Leon Haslam and Jordi Torres took all their determination to the track, in the end bringing home two spots on the second row of the grid.
But the biggest result for both of them goes beyond the times they put on the sheets. Haslam, improving consistently, started with a race tyre when the lights turned green. As always the goal was to gain confidence with the bike and track before putting on the special soft tyre in search of the best possible time. Unfortunately the plans that Leon and the team had made were changed by a crash on the Variante Alta, fortunately without any harm to the rider. It was the Brit's RSV4 RF that paid the price, with the mechanics managing to get it back on the track in record time, but with an abnormal slant on the right semi-handlebar.
Despite the problem, Leon was still able to put in a flying lap that will place him on the fifth spot on the starting grid for the races tomorrow.
Leon Haslam: “My general feeling is really good, although I'm still struggling in the chicanes. That's why I crashed, fortunately without doing any damage. We have been working well, in spite of the fact that it has been quite a demanding weekend for us. Thanks to the team I was able to put in a good time anyway on the qualifier tyre, even if the semi-handlebar was a bit bent and kept me from being at 100%. On a particularly difficult track for us we were still able to achieve the best possible result and we'll be trying hard tomorrow as well.”
The nice surprise of the day was Jordi Torres' improvement, on his absolute maiden ride on this circuit which puts even the most expert riders in difficulty. The Spaniard took full advantage of the Pirelli soft tyre on his flying lap, placing behind his team mate on the second row straight away. This is a respectable result for a rider who has already demonstrated his skill setting a good race pace.
Jordi Torres: “Looking at the times from yesterday and today I'd say we took a big step forward. The track is complicated with a lot of asphalt changes and the chicanes that break up the pace. For me it isn't so much the single lap that's difficult, but just avoiding making any mistakes. Here if you miss your braking spot by a metre it costs you a lot of time. I owe Leon a lot of thanks. Riding ahead of me on the track he showed me how to take on every turn and chicane. I'm pleased with my Superpole placing. I think tomorrow there will be a pack of very fast riders, whereas I'll be able to do battle with the followers who more or less have my pace. Staying behind Leon would be a great result for me, but I think he still has just a bit more than I do.”
Back after a four-round absence and it’s pole position for Giugliano and the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team!
Imola (Italy), Saturday 9 May 2015 – A ‘red hot’ Superpole for Davide Giugliano and the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team at Imola today: Giugliano, returning after having missed the first four championship rounds due to injury, laps fastest of all to score pole position for tomorrow’s races! Chaz Davies qualifies fourth.
In this morning’s final timed practice session, Davide was once again able to improve on his fastest time, by an impressive four tenths, to set a best of 1’47.116 and conclude the combined practices in first position as a result. Chaz, who spent the session making some refinements to the set-up of his Panigale R, retained fourth place thanks to his best time set yesterday (1’47.686), meaning that both factory riders therefore qualified comfortably for the afternoon’s second Superpole.
Superpole 2: after making an initial lap on race rubber, the two riders headed straight back out on track with the qualifying solution. Davide completed two flying laps but the first, despite a small mistake in the final section, was to prove decisive. Stopping the clock at 1’46.382, the Roman rider's time was to remain the fastest of the entire session! Giugliano thus earned pole position for tomorrow’s races, a truly impressive feat coming on the back of three months of inactivity, due to the bad accident he suffered in Phillip Island. Chaz, completing two fast laps, recorded a best of 1’46.672 that positioned him fourth at the session’s end. The Welshman will therefore line up on the second row of tomorrow’s grid.
Quotes after the day’s sessions:
Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 1st (1’46.382)
“I knew that I could put in a fast lap – that’s one of my strengths. We can only be pleased with this result and I think it’s a nice reward not only for myself but also for the team, the sponsors and all my fans. Tomorrow will be more difficult; I believe that we’re in a good place as far as set-up is concerned, and we’ve already chosen the tyres, but I’m not physically fit and think I’ll struggle a bit in the races. Anyway, that said, never say never, maybe adrenalin will help me! For now I’ll celebrate the Superpole with my team, and tomorrow we’ll have to see…”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 4th (1’46.672)
“I don’t really feel that we made a lot of progress today, although things were a little better in Superpole. We’ve made several changes but they’ve probably taken us in the wrong direction. The bike is still not working as I’d really like, and I’m still looking for that solution that helps me with the turning. Superpole itself wasn’t too bad, and we’ll try to go a little more in that direction for tomorrow’s races.”
Claudio Domenicali - Ducati CEO -
“Today was a great day for Davide, returning after a four-round absence. To see him so psyched up and so motivated, with all his talent, is fantastic. I’m really pleased with this result, even though tomorrow will probably be a lot tougher for him. In any case we have two strong and determined riders in the top four, given that Chaz too is fast.”
Challenging Superpole for Voltcom Crescent Suzuki at Imola
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes secured a fourth row start for Sunday’s Italian races at the Imola Circuit after a demanding Superpole saw him place 11th this afternoon.
The early progress shown with his Yoshimura-powered Superbike as the weekend began had buoyed the British rider, however, the complexity of the new system combined with the legendary technical track and the rising Italian temperatures created obstacles as the second day of action developed. Qualifying directly into Superpole 2 after the morning’s final timed free practice session, Lowes’ best lap of 1’48.730 on the qualifying rubber this afternoon sees him line up in the middle of the fourth row for tomorrow’s contests.
Randy de Puniet continued his development with the Suzuki GSX-R1000 by improving on his weekend’s best as his familiarity with the Imola circuit progressed after his 16-year absence. The Frenchman, still battling with underlying engine brake issues, set a 1’50.378 in the opening Superpole session, placing him 17th on Sunday’s grid.
The jubilant crowd watched as returning ‘Roman’ Davide Giugliano secured pole position for Ducati’s home race – after his pre-season accident had seen him sit out of the opening four weekends – with the Kawasaki pairing of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea rounding out the front row.
Tomorrow’s main event will see Lowes and de Puniet take to the grid at 10:30hrs local time (09:30BST) and 13:10hrs (12:10BST) respectively for the two 19 lap races around the iconic Imola Circuit.
“We came in to the weekend thinking we had broken the back of the development work, but disappointingly it seems that it has not translated to the Imola Circuit. We have suffered with big inconsistencies in the engine braking strategy and as a result the bike was tough to ride today, as Imola is a really technical track with lots of critical braking areas. It is frustrating as I know we have the potential to challenge but we will continue to work hard, step-by-step and come out fighting as always on Sunday.”
Randy de Puniet:
“Another difficult day for me as we are struggling to find the solution I need with the GSX-R’s new electronics. The team are working hard to resolve the problem and we will continue to focus on this overnight, push hard and see what we can achieve in the races tomorrow. Imola is also a new track for me and this doesn’t help, but we need some steps tomorrow to be more confident.”
Paul Denning - Team Manager:
“There is no hiding from the facts and today’s qualifying result, combined with the continued struggle to find the right solutions with the Marelli ECU and new hardware, is of course very disappointing. The base yesterday was better than today, but the team have now hopefully uncovered a problem which has been masking the required setting changes. There is also a greater sense of frustration, as the development work completed since Assen appeared to be very successful. The lack of performance at this track means that we have to revisit every area of that work and effectively start again. However, there is no chance of us ‘giving up’ and we will keep working to achieve our goals.”
Third row for van der Mark in Italy
Michael van der Mark will start tomorrow’s two fifth-round World Superbike championship races from the third row of the grid after setting the ninth fastest time in this afternoon’s Superpole at Imola in Italy, where local rider Davide Guigliano took pole position.
The 22-year-old Dutch ace qualified fastest from Superpole 1 after finding a much-improved setting on his Pata Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machine. However, lower grip levels in Superpole 2 did not allow van der Mark to match his SP1 time or take a higher grid position for tomorrow’s two 19-lappers at the 4.936km Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari.
Before this afternoon’s Superpole qualifying, van der Mark’s Pata Honda team-mate Sylvain Guintoli had not found the ideal setting for his own CBR at Imola, and had been working hard with his crew on corner-entry and the rapid direction changes that are required for Imola’s three chicanes.
Despite more positive lap times on race rubber in Superpole 1, however, Guintoli suffered a sensor problem after he went out on his qualifier, which affected the electronics systems on his machine and restricted him to 15th place on tomorrow’s grid.
Michael van der Mark - P9, 1m48.225s
I’m quite happy with today because we found a big improvement this morning and then another in FP4. It’s good that we were able to make this progress but, to be honest, we are still too far off the front guys. But we found more than a second from yesterday so that’s very positive. Superpole 1 for me was pretty good and I had a strong feeling with the qualifier to get through to Superpole 2. Unfortunately, the second Q tyre just did not work like the first one and that was quite disappointing. But compared to yesterday I’m happy and looking forward to tomorrow’s races.
Sylvain Guintoli - P15, 1m48.567s
You don’t need me to tell you that the position is really not where I want to be but we’ve had some problems in getting the bike stopped and turning this weekend. We’ve tried a lot of different solutions but none of them gives me a better feeling with the bike so we were struggling before we went into the first Superpole. Things were a little better on the race tyre but, when we put the qualifier in the bike we had a small technical problem which caused some electronics issues.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
We’ve been changing the bike a lot for Sylvain but we didn’t really find a direction that made him more comfortable. For Superpole we changed it again and he was able to improve his laptime. But when he was on his qualifying tyre, a sensor popped off and that disturbed the electronics and left him 15th. We are sorry for that and not happy about it of course because everyone in the team, including Sylvain, is working really hard to improve things. With Michael we made some good steps today and we improved the lap times which brought us a lot closer to the top five. In Superpole 1 he did a 47.7, which was faster than he could manage in Superpole 2. When we checked the data we saw that the second qualifier had a little less grip than the first and left us with ninth place. But race pace has improved a lot and I& rsquo;m quite confident that he can find a good rhythm in warm-up tomorrow and, I believe, still fight for a top five in the race.
The Althea Racing Team riders will line up on the fifth row of the grid for tomorrow’s World Superbike races taking place at the 'Enzo e Dino Ferrari' circuit of Imola.
At a circuit at which he has already won in 2009, Michel Fabrizio, riding here as a substitute for Nico Terol, had a positive qualifying day and although he just missed out on entry to Superpole 2, he continues to show progress on the Ducati Panigale R, a bike that he is riding after a long break and that he still needs time to learn. Despite this, he has worked well with the team, managing to drop his lap times dramatically and, although he will start thirteenth in tomorrow’s races, he has a strong chance of being able to score two great results.
Michel Fabrizio: “I’m sorry because looking at the times of the first seven, we only just missed out on top ten. Tomorrow morning during the warm-up we’ll carry out some final checks to see if everything’s set for the races. I really want to do well and though the top guys have stronger pace, I’m sure that I can fight for the positions that count. I would like to drop my time of today by at least another half second and complete two top-level races.”
Matteo Baiocco and the team worked hard during every session, reaching the Superpole in ideal conditions to be able to score an important results. Baiocco made a solid lap with the qualifier that put him into second position with a chance to enter the second phase of the Superpole but while he was attempting to further improve on his time, he was momentarily distracted by a pit board signaling a technical problem for another rider and made a small error as a result in the final section of the track. This prevented him from improving further and he missed the chance to work towards a better grid position. The progress made between the first session and now nevertheless bodes well for tomorrow’s races.
Matteo Baiocco: “I don’t like to talk about bad luck, but today’s episode where I saw the board signaling a problem for another rider, and thought it was referring to me, was bad luck. As a result I lost focus right while I was making my best lap which would probably have put me into Superpole 2. I had the potential to start inside the top eight and due to an unlucky episode I was unable to do so. Starting further back will be a big disadvantage but I’ll do my best because I know I can do it.”
The qualifying session closed positively for the Superstock 1000 riders, with Raffaele de Rosa scoring second place on the grid while Luca Salvadori will start from row three, in ninth position.
Raffaele De Rosa was able to find the feeling that he was missing in previous sessions. On pole until the final lap, he unfortunately crashed while pushing to improve on his time, preventing him from fighting for first place. Fortunately he was unhurt in the crash and will start tomorrow’s race from the front row. His aim tomorrow, and one that is well within his reach, is to go for the win.
Luca Salvadori, after an unlucky Assen race, is not only back to full fitness but is also more sure of himself, something he was perhaps lacking. He closed the final qualifying session very positively, in ninth place. Third row for him, having proved that despite his young age and limited experience in this category he can score important results for himself and for the team.
Raffaele De Rosa: “I’m quite pleased because after the first practices I wasn’t very comfortable on the bike, but gradually lap after lap I built confidence and continued to improve. I held pole almost until the end and then during what would have been my fast lap I met a slower rider, made a small mistake and crashed. These things happen but I’m sure I’ll be able to complete a great race tomorrow.”
Luca Salvadori: “I’d say qualifying went well, being only the third of the season. We’re making great progress and after the Assen crash we needed a good result. I was able to duck under 1’51 and am quite pleased. Tomorrow I’ll start from the third row and if I can make a good start and stick with those in front I think I can complete a great race.”
Sofuoglu Second On The Grid With Faccani Alongside
Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) took his Ninja ZX-6R to the second fastest time at Imola after the regulation single 45 minute qualifying session. Rookie full season WSS rider Marco Faccani (San Carlo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) rode to third best time and joins Sofuoglu on the front row.
With Sofuoglu and Faccani on the first row of the grid the second row was headed by PJ Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) making it three Kawasaki riders inside the front four places after qualifying.
Sofuoglu had been in a strong position all through qualifying but lost his chance of pole when Jules Cluzel set a lap only 0.037 seconds faster than Sofuoglu right at the end.
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) lost some practice time today and ended up 11th on the grid. Christian Gamarino (Team Go Eleven Kawasaki) went 14th fastest in qualifying for his home race, which is scheduled to be 17-laps long, on Sunday 10th May.
Kenan Sofuoglu: “Qualification was not a reference for us because we had a very good morning practice session, we did a lot of fast laps and then showed some very good race pace. I know in qualification some of our competitors can do one quick lap but I am not a one lap rider, I am a racer, and I am ready for the race tomorrow. I am just waiting for the green light.”
Marco Faccani: “I am very happy for this qualifying performance and the team worked well with me as normal. I hope for a strong race on Sunday and I think we can do some good work then.”
Cluzel takes fourth Pole Position of the year
Sofuoglu and Faccani on front row, Jacobsen fourth on the grid.
Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) his fourth Pole Position of the 2015 World Supersport championship, finishing the 45-minute qualifying session only 0.037s ahead of current series leader Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), who claimed second place on the grid for tomorrow’s 17-lap encounter after heading most of the session. Marco Faccani (San Carlo Puccetti Racing) will join the duo on row one, the young Italian who won last year’s STK600 crown claiming a maiden WSS top-3 race start.
Despite a technical problem in the final 4 minutes American PJ Jacobsen (Kawasaki Ponyexpres Intermoto) will head row 2 while last year’s race winner Lorenzo Zanetti (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) is in contention and will start 5th alongside former podium finisher Alex Baldolini who is enjoying a strong start to 2015. The Italian completes row 2 with his privately entered Race Department ATK#25 MV Agusta.
Gino Rea (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda), Ratthapark Wilairot (CORE Motorsport Thailand), Riccardo Russo (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) and Kyle Smith (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) complete the top ten.
Top ten for Smith after Imola qualifying
Pata Honda rider Kyle Smith will start tomorrow’s fifth-round World Supersport championship race from the fourth row of the grid after setting the tenth-fastest time in this afternoon’s qualifying session at Imola in Italy.
Smith has been working hard with his team to improve the front-end grip on his Pata Honda CBR600RR race machine and they were able to help him improve his lap time by almost one second compared to yesterday’s free practice sessions at the 4.936km Imola circuit.
Although Smith has not yet been able to match the time of pole position man Jules Cluzel, he and his crew know that race day usually brings another level of performance from the 23-year-old British rider.
Kyle Smith - P10, 1m52.295s
It’s been a difficult weekend so far because we were way off the pace yesterday. We have worked hard on the bike set-up and not quite found the right way to go. Also, I’ve been struggling a bit with the track and probably pushing too hard because nothing has clicked properly yet. We went the opposite way for qualifying and it looked like a positive move because the lap time improved; but when I put the new tyre in I made a few mistakes and couldn’t make the most of it. I could put a few splits together but the lap didn’t quite come. I’m quite close to the times ahead of me though, and I’m usually a bit more relaxed on race day, so hopefully the pace will come a bit more easily tomorrow.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
It was not an easy day yesterday and we kept changing the bike. In this afternoon’s qualifying session we found a better way and Kyle broke into the 52s so we were quite happy. But when we put in a set of new tyres, he couldn’t quite get a lap together and that left us with 10th position. We have another go in warm-up tomorrow to try to get a rhythm, with race pace looking better and close to last year’s times. Getting to the top three again will be difficult but nothing is impossible!
Jezek takes STK1000 Pole Position in emphatic style
Ondrej Jezek (Triple M by Barni) secured Pole Position for tomorrow’s FIM Superstock 1000cc Cup race in emphatic style by smashing his own outright circuit best lap, set earlier in the weekend, to take top spot by 0.331s. Last year’s winner has been fast all weekend and will be hoping for back to back wins at the Italian venue come race time tomorrow.
Raffaele de Rosa (Althea Racing Ducati) moved into provisional Pole before crashing his Ducati. The Italian will start 2nd with Roberto Tamburini (Team Motoxracing BMW), the winner of the opening race of 2015 completing the front row.
Row 2 will see championship leader Lorenzo Savadori (Nuova M2 Racing Aprilia) and team mate Kevin Calia start from 4th and 5th positions respectively, Calia falling without injury during the session. Kev Coghlan (MRS Yamaha) will start 6th.
Florian Marino (MRS Yamaha), Fabio Massei (EAB Racing Team Ducati) and Luca Salvadori (Althea Racing Ducati) round out the first three rows on the grid.
Razgatlioglu remains unbeaten after Italian STK600 triumph
Round 4 of the FIM Europe Superstock 600cc Championship was decided in favour of after a race long dual saw Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) pip wildcard entry Roberto Mercandelli (Roberto Mercandelli Team Yamaha) to victory by 4 seconds at the conclusion of an epic 12 lap encounter.
The Turk who extends his lead in the series after his fourth victory of the year, set a new lap record as he gave chase to Federico Caricasulo (Pata Honda Junior Team), the Italian crashing out on the final lap after swapping places several times with Toprak.
Mercandelli benefited from the mistake to grab 2nd ahead of fellow Italian Andrea Tucci (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) who took the final place on the podium at the end of an action packed race. Nicola Morrentino jr (Berclaz Racing Team Kawasaki), Stefano Casalotti (Team Rosso e Nero Yamaha) and Luca Vitali (G.A.S Racing Team Kawasaki) completed the top six.
The unfortunate Michael Ruben Rinaldi (San Carlo Team Italia) had been running strongly until he collided with the back of Razgatlioglu’s Kawasaki. With nowhere to go, the Italian fell from 2nd position. He remounted but retired a lap later.
Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing Yamaha) was lucky to escape injury after sliding out of 3rd on lap two. The Finnish rider will have to wait until the next round to show his true potential.In the championship, Razgatlioglu now holds a commanding 55-point advantage over his nearest rival meaning he could mathematically wrap up the title at the next round in Portimao on 6th June.
Saturday's Words & Pictures
Davide Giugliano #34 - Aruba.it Racing - Ducati SBK
Tissot-Superpole – 1st
Facebook Page: Davide-Giugliano
“I knew that I could put in a fast lap – that’s one of my strengths. We can only be pleased with this result and I think it’s a nice reward not only for myself but also for the team, the sponsors and all my fans. Tomorrow will be more difficult; I believe that we’re in a good place as far as set-up is concerned, and we’ve already chosen the tyres, but I’m not physically fit and think I’ll struggle a bit in the races. Anyway, that said, never say never, maybe adrenalin will help me! For now I’ll celebrate the Superpole with my team.”
Tom Sykes #66 - Kawasaki Racing Team
Tissot-Superpole - 2nd
Facebook page: Tom-Sykes-66
“I was relatively happy with my Superpole lap but it was a shame to miss out on the pole position. Pole does not give me 25 points, however. For me our main target was the front row and it was really nice to see Davide Giugliano come back from such a potentially serious injury to take Superpole. Marcel, my crew chief, has been cracking the whip again this weekend trying to get information for us to use on raceday. It has been so unusual for us to drop our pace after 12 laps or so in the previous two events. That is something we are not used to so it is something we have worked on this weekend.”
Jonathan Rea #65 - Kawasaki Racing Team
Tissot-Superpole – 3rd
“My best Superpole lap was good but not perfect. To qualify on the outside of row one is a little bit of a handicap as you almost start on a corner. The Ninja ZX-10R has been giving me some good starts recently, so I hope I can make a clean getaway and settle into my pace. Hopefully I can stay in the 1’47s in the races, but there are some other strong guys in there as well. It will be a tough 19-laps in each race and the temperatures are high. I think in the afternoon, when the temperature is hotter, our bike works a bit better.”