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Apr 25, 2014

Giugliano Sets Best Time Then Crashes During World Superbike FP2 At Assen (Updated)

Davide Giugliano (34).

eni FIM Superbike World Championship

Assen, Netherlands

April 25, 2014

Free Practice Two Results (all on Pirelli tires):

1. Davide GIUGLIANO, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:35.396, crash

2. Jonathan REA, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:35.880, crash

3. Tom SYKES, UK (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:36.146

4. Alex LOWES, UK (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:36.219

5. Chaz DAVIES, UK (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:36.417

6. Loris BAZ, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:36.449

7. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:36.467

8. Sylvain GUINTOLI, France (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:36.670

9. Marco MELANDRI, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:36.697

10. Leon HASLAM, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:36.709

11. Niccolo CANEPA, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:37.042, EVO

12. Leon CAMIER, UK (BMW S1000RR), 1:37.139, EVO

13. Toni ELIAS, Spain (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:37.240

14. Ayrton BADOVINI, Italy (Bimota BB3), 1:37.436, EVO

15. Sheridan MORAIS, South Africa (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:37.638, EVO

16. Christian IDDON, UK (Bimota BB3), 1:37.876, EVO

17. Fabien FORET, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:38.113

18. Claudio CORTI, Italy (MV Agusta F4 RR), 1:38.122

19. David SALOM, Spain (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:38.128, EVO

20. Jeremy GUARNONI, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:38.264, EVO

21. Luca SCASSA, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:38.296, EVO

22. Michel FABRIZIO, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:38.550, EVO

23. Kervin BOS, Netherlands (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:39.411, EVO

24. Alesssandro ANDREOZZI, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:39.594, EVO

25. Imre TOTH, Hungary (BMW S1000RR), 1:40.189

26. Aaron YATES, USA (EBR 1190 RX), 1:41.209

27. Geoff MAY, USA (EBR 1190 RX), 1:42.180

28. Peter SEBESTYEN, Hungary (BMW S1000RR), 1:42.863, EVO

Other Americans in action at Assen:

Josh Day, riding an Argo-On Wil Racedays Honda CBR1000RR, was 12th in 1000cc Superstock Free Practice One and 16th in Free Practice Two. there are 27 riders entered in the class.

CADS Racing's Alex Wisdom was 17th out of 23 riders in Pata European Junior Cup provisional qualifying. 

More, from a press release issued by Dorna WSBK Press Office:

Giugliano blitzes the field on opening dayAssen (the Netherlands), Friday 25 April 2014 - With the earlier overcast conditions burned away, the sun was shining for today’s second free practice at Assen ahead of the 3rd round races on Sunday.

With almost everyone improving courtesy of the warmer temperatures it was Italian Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) who goes into tomorrow with the accolade of holding the overnight fastest time despite a late surge from reigning Champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), and fellow Brits Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team) and Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike).

Giugliano would eventually end the day in the gravel after losing the front into the final chicane in the last minute of the session. Unhurt, he will be ready to fight for the Tissot-Superpole tomorrow.

Behind Giugliano, Rea was classified 2nd ahead of Sykes and Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) who also fell in the final few minutes.

Davies was eventually classified 5th ahead of Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) and the Aprilia Racing Team pairing of Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri who put in several long runs during the afternoon session. Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) grabbed the final spot in the top ten.

Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) was once again the fastest rider within the EVO category ahead of Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia) and Ayrton Badovini (Team Bimota Alstare) who continues to impress this weekend on only his second ride for the returning Italian manufacturer.

If it rains, as expected tomorrow, the final place in the Tissot-Superpole will be Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki), although all riders will be hoping for a repeat of today’s weather to allow them a fighting chance to make it through.

Times: 1. Giugliano(Ducati) 1'35.396 average 171.403 kph;2. Rea(Honda) 1'35.880;3. Sykes(Kawasaki) 1'36.146;4. Lowes(Suzuki) 1'36.219;5. Davies(Ducati) 1'36.417;6. Baz(Kawasaki) 1'36.449;7. Laverty(Suzuki) 1'36.467;8. Guintoli(Aprilia) 1'36.670;9. Melandri(Aprilia) 1'36.697;10. Haslam(Honda) 1'36.709;11. Canepa(Ducati) 1'37.042;12. Camier(BMW) 1'37.139;13. Elias(Aprilia) 1'37.240;14. Badovini(Bimota) 1'37.436;15. Morais(Kawasaki) 1'37.638;16. Iddon(Bimota) 1'37.876;17. Foret(Kawasaki) 1'38.113;18. Corti(MV Agusta) 1'38.122;19. Salom(Kawasaki) 1'38.128;20. Guarnoni(Kawasaki) 1'38.264;21. Scassa(Kawasaki) 1'38.296;22. Fabrizio(Kawasaki) 1'38.550;23. Bos(Honda) 1'39.367;24. Andreozzi(Kawasaki) 1'39.594;25. Toth(BMW) 1'40.189;26. Yates(EBR) 1'41.209;NC. May(EBR) 1'42.180;NC. Sebestyen(BMW) 1'42.863.

More, from a press release issued by Pata Honda Superbike Team:

Rea puts Pata Honda ‘in the ball park' at Assen

Jonathan Rea sits in a provisional front row position after today’s opening free practice sessions for the two third round races of the 2014 World Superbike championship at Assen in the Netherlands on Sunday.

The Pata Honda rider lapped the 4.542km Dutch circuit in a time of 1m35.880s in warm sunshine this afternoon after topping this morning’s opening free practice, which was held in cool, overcast conditions after overnight rain.

Rea’s Pata Honda team-mate Leon Haslam was tenth fastest today, as Italian rider Davide Giugliano took provisional pole position. The 30-year-old British rider is confident of improvement in tomorrow’s practice sessions ahead of the afternoon’s Superpole to determine final grid positions for Sunday’s two 21-lap races.

Jonathan Rea - P2, 1m35.880s

It’s been a dry, sunny afternoon at Assen, which we needed because the forecast is saying the weather is going to be changeable over the weekend, so it’s good to get some dry laps under our belts. The CBR has moved on a lot since last season and we arrived here with a set-up from Aragon; but I suffered a bit from a lack of front-end feeling and the bike felt quite foreign. We’ll go back to more of a front set-up from last year’s race which I was quite comfortable with. On the engine brake side we still need to make some progress because in the later stages of my runs I was getting pushed into the corners a bit. We’ll check the data tonight to see if that’s coming from the electronics or the chassis but for day one I think we can be quite satisfied. We’re on the pace but we can st ill improve the bike. I hope the weather conditions stay stable for the weekend, as much for the fans as for us. We’re expecting a lot of home support for the Pata Honda team so we’ll aim for the front row tomorrow, while working on a good race set-up.

Leon Haslam - P10, 1m36.709s

We started with quite a different engine brake strategy this morning because it was too inconsistent at Aragon. It took quite a bit of setting up and we’re still getting used to it a bit. It’s not working too bad but when we put a new tyre in it didn't feel quite right. I’m not sure if that was a bad tyre or we just couldn’t maximise what we had, so we’ve still got a few things to sort out. We’ve made a few changes to the chassis today, but it’s interfering with what we’re trying to get from the electronics, so there’s more to do there tomorrow, as well. There’s still a way to go but we’re not a million miles away and we’re making progress.

Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator

It’s been quite a successful day for Jonathan – first this morning and second this afternoon. We’ve got some work to do and some things to sort out, but it’s looking OK for now. Leon’s start was quite difficult this morning, but we made some progress with him this afternoon. We’re still not there but I’m confident that tomorrow we can find some things so he can improve. Hopefully the weather will stay dry and we’ll see what comes.

More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Giugliano and the Ducati Superbike Team close day one at Assen in first position!

Assen (The Netherlands), Friday 25 April 2014 – The third round of the Superbike World Championship got underway today at the Assen TT Circuit, with the Ducati Superbike Team and rider Davide Giugliano making the best possible start to proceedings. The Italian rider closed day one of action in first place overall, his teammate Chaz Davies concluded fifth.

The first session of timed practice took place this morning in dry conditions albeit under cloudy skies (air temperature 16°C, track 18°C). Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano worked methodically throughout the session, gradually improving on their lap times especially in the final stages. Giugliano concluded the session third, with a fastest lap of 1’36.8, while Davies recorded a best of 1’37.6, closing in eleventh position.

In the afternoon session, the times of almost all of the Superbike riders dropped on the warmer track (33°C). Already in his first exit, Giugliano was able to improve by three tenths on his best time recorded during the morning’s session, but his fastest lap came in the final minutes when he put in an extremely impressive 1’35.3 which projected him to the top of the standings, half a second ahead of second-placed rider Rea. Davide suffered a small crash in the final seconds, as he headed into the final chicane, but was fortunately unhurt. Chaz also continued to improve during the afternoon, taking a significant step forward in the final stages and lowering his best time set in the morning by over a second. The British rider closed in overall fifth position thanks to a fastest lap of 1’36.4.

Quotes after the day’s sessions:

Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 1st (1’35.396)

“The warmer track temperature this afternoon helped us to pick up the pace but it was mainly down to the work we put in throughout the day. We’ve worked a lot on my bike, carrying out a general check this morning before testing a few electronic updates that Ducati has provided us with this weekend. The bike is working really well and I’m really pleased with the progress we’ve made today, except for the small crash that is – I was pushing too hard going into the chicane but luckily I didn’t hurt myself.”

Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 5th (1’36.417)

“Today hasn’t been too bad. We improved the bike quite a lot this afternoon but we still have a lot to do tomorrow. The bike seems to be lacking stability through the fast sections and so we need to work on that, continuing to make the kind of progress we made today again tomorrow. The chances are it’ll rain at some point tomorrow so we may well have to start over and work out which direction to take with a wet set-up.”

Ernesto Marinelli – Ducati Superbike Project Director

“We’ve made a positive start to the weekend. Davide was immediately at ease today, demonstrating his fast pace this afternoon which is very encouraging. Chaz has improved a lot this afternoon too, though he is still having a few difficulties through the bumpy sections which seem to destabilize the bike more than they should. There’s still more to do tomorrow and we need to see what the weather will bring – forecasts indicate that we may have to swap over to a wet set-up tomorrow… It’s nevertheless very nice to be back at the front and this spurs us on for the rest of the weekend.”

More, from a press release issued by Althea Racing:

First day of SBK practice for team Althea Racing at the legendary Assen circuit

Team Althea Racing is taking part in round three of the World Superbike Championship this weekend at the historic Assen TT Circuit in The Netherlands. Two weeks after the last races at Motorland Aragon, Niccolò Canepa took part in the first timed practice session this morning on a dry track and under cloudy skies. The Italian rider began working with his technicians to adapt his 1199 Panigale to the Dutch track. Canepa made a great start to the weekend, closing the session in ninth place; thanks to a fast time of 1’37”584, he closed the session first among the Evo riders.

In the second session that took place later in the day, Niccolò improved on his best time and with a fast lap recorded in 1’37”042 he concluded today’s sessions in eleventh position, once again at the head of the Evo pack. A very positive day for the Althea Racing team that will continue to work tomorrow to confirm its place at the head of the Evo standings, in both the final timed practice and the Superpole.

Niccolò Canepa: “Today we’ve worked really well. This afternoon I improved by half a second compared to this morning and if I hadn’t come across traffic during my fast laps I could have done even better. We’re first among the Evo riders, but our rivals are extremely close. I think I can get into the first ten and if it doesn’t rain tomorrow I will be doing my best to qualify directly for Superpole 2. We’re working on the electronics side and on the set-up of my Panigale, while we already have a clear idea regarding tyres. Tomorrow we’ll make a few changes to the suspension because the bike is not stable on entering the corners but overall I’m satisfied and confident for tomorrow and race day.”

More, from a press release issued by Voltcom Crescent Suzuki:

Sunshine for Voltcom Crescent Suzuki as Lowes holds top four on Assen day one

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki racer Alex Lowes leaves Assen’s ‘Cathedral of Speed’ with the fourth fastest time at the end of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship’s first day in the Netherlands.

Lowes ran a consistent pace at the Dutch circuit throughout both Friday sessions on the Yoshimura-powered GSX-R, briefly holding the top spot with less than 10 minutes to go in the afternoon practice, with a time of 1’36.219. The Englishman’s time was enough for fourth fastest in the combined standings having circulated well within the top eight for the duration of the day. A small crash in the last two minutes of the second session saw Lowes unscathed and positive ahead of the remainder of the weekend.

Eugene Laverty finished the day with a fastest lap of 1’36.467, holding seventh in the tightly contested times. Confident with the changes made to the Suzuki GSX-R1000 since Aragon two weeks ago, Laverty is looking forward to tomorrow’s Superpole qualifying and the subsequent races on Sunday.

An unexpectedly warm and sunny Assen TT Circuit saw temperatures reach 24°C for the afternoon’s second practice session, after an overcast morning had threatened to retain its cool and blustery conditions. Ducati’s Davide Giugliano posted the fastest time of the day of 1’35.396.

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki is confident the pace shown across the two practice sessions can be improved upon for tomorrow’s final timed free practice at 09:45hrs local time (08:45BST) ahead of Superpole qualifying at 15:00hrs local time (14:00BST) and will allow them to challenge with the front runners on race-day.

Alex Lowes:

“I’m happy enough, we did some longer runs and then one shorter today on the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki which felt pretty good, but there is plenty to improve on. It’s nice to be at a track that I know, and because of that I can relax a bit and enjoy it a lot more. It’s been a mega first day and we’re not too far away. I’m looking forward to making a couple of changes and also improving myself to adjust where this bike is better on the track compared to what I’ve been used to in the past.”

Eugene Laverty:

“The first practice we were really strong, not quite as strong in the warmer afternoon practice so we still need to improve. I’m struggling with corner-entry grip but the Suzuki GSX-R has definitely improved a big step compared with Aragon, I’m much happier with the character and I think we can be really strong here and be in contention for the podium.”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“The first day here at Assen has been very positive, not least that the expected rain stayed away and it was an enjoyable day to be at this fantastic racetrack. The team’s done a very good job to make quite a fundamental change to the GSX-R since Aragon - back at the workshop in the UK - which has given both the riders better front feeling and more immediate confidence in the bike, and that’s reflected in the consistency and lap times. Wet or dry we are looking forward to being competitive over the rest of the weekend. Obviously we are very glad that Alex is 100% ok after his crash at the end of the second session and we live to fight another day tomorrow.”

More, from a press release issued by Team HERO EBR:

Mixed Opening Day At Assen For Team Hero EBR

It was a mixed day for Team Hero EBR at Assen today with Aaron finishing the two free practice sessions in 26th position, with Geoff just outside the 107% limit despite also improving significantly in the afternoon’s warmer session.

This morning was as ever an exploratory session for both guys with neither of them having ridden at the legendary Dutch track before and despite the overcast and cold conditions, both were able to provide feedback ahead of the next on track outing.

With temperature’s higher in the latter session, it was unsurprising to see almost everyone improve. Both riders improved and the whole team continues to work step by step to close the gap to the front.

As always the weather is unpredictable at Assen, and the team are keeping everything crossed for some further dry track times tomorrow.

Geoff May - “Assen is a physical circuit and I’m not able to wrestle the bike like I want to. We will make some adjustments overnight and I hope the weather is still dry tomorrow to give us a chance of making the races on Sunday. The team are, as always, working well so thanks to them for another good job today.”

Aaron Yates - “I had a pretty solid day. Like most tracks, it’s my first time here but I feel like I got the track down pretty quickly this morning. Overnight we need to study the data and I’ve got couple tenths at least still to find in a couple of sectors so we are optimistic of improving. It seems like I am saying the same thing but this is our reality. It’s disheartening to see our positions on paper considering the progress we are making but we doing an immense amount of work behind the scenes. The guys are awesome and giving 100% so a big thanks to them.”

Tomorrow sees a final free practice session at 0945 local time before the Tissot-Superpole qualifying sessions for those riders within the top 20 in the practice classification.

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:


Assen, 25 April 2014 - First practice sessions at Assen, third round of the 2914 World Superbike season. Favoured by the good weather conditions, the factory derivative riders engaged in a close battle on the track that is confirmed by the rather similar times all the top riders in the class put on the boards.

For Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli it was a day marked by hard work on tyre longevity and finding the best setup solutions. The areas they need to focus on are primarily going into turns and consistency, essential characteristics on a flowing track like the Dutch one.

Eighth in the combined standings of the two sessions today, Sylvain Guintoli is focused first and foremost on working in view of the races, concentrating on tyre wear and understanding how they perform as conditions vary. The characteristics of the Dutch track, basically divided into two completely different sections, require fine tuning of both the electronics package and the chassis setup.

Sylvain Guintoli: "We did quite a bit of work today. Assen is not an easy track to interpret. You have to get a clear understanding of where you need to control power and where you can push it to the limit. This is a process that takes time in order to fully understand how the tyres work and to act accordingly. It looks like the conditions for the first session tomorrow will be similar to those for Race 1. We'll have to take advantage of that so we can be ready on Sunday".

The expected variable weather doesn't particularly worry Marco Melandri (in ninth place), confident that he has identified the points he needs to work on with his mechanics.

Marco Melandri: "We have a lot of work left to do tomorrow but we have a clear idea of which areas we need to improve. Especially going into turns and braking the bike is very twitchy and we need to work on that. I would like to be able to get some more laps in to work toward finding a solution".

More, from a press release issued by Bimota Alstare Team:


Team Bimota Alstare made a steady and very positive start to the first day of practice in Assen today.

At only their second WSBK outing, the team ended the day just over half a second outside the top ten.

Ayrton Badovini - 14th, 1:37.346 - 3rd EVO Class

“I am both happy and unhappy today. I am not happy because we had a small problem with the front end (braking) and because of that I didn’t have a lot of feeling there. But, I am happy because the bike is getting better all the time and, if we can find a good setting, I am sure we can improve a lot. I am looking forward to more progress tomorrow.”

Christian Iddon - 16th, 1:37.876 - 5th EVO Class

“Generally today was pretty good. I like the track and feel comfortable riding it. The chassis feels very strong and stable and my only real problem today was getting the right setting for the rear shock. It’s not a big problem, but if we can get that sorted out, then I will be able to go a lot faster. I am very happy with all the work the team has done today and we’re definitely progressing for sure. I haven’t a lot of experience on a Superbike, so I have to learn how to ride it - as well as learn a new bike. At my last exit, I think I was a bit too aggressive and that is not the way to get round this track fast. You need to be smooth here and then the lap times will fall."

Francis Batta (Team Manager)

“There’s a lot of work to be done, but I am happy with what we are doing and the progress we are making all the time. We knew this job was going to be hard, but we’re really enjoying the challenge and we’re determined to give it everything we’ve got. Hopefully, Ayrton and Christian will get good bike set-ups and then we will see how competitive they will be.”

More, from a press release issued by Alex Wisdom's publicist:

Up & Down Sessions For Alex Wisdom On Assen Opening Day

CADS Racing’s Alex Wisdom suffered his first fall of the 2014 season in today’s opening qualifying session at the historic Assen circuit in the Netherlands after lapping nearly two seconds faster than last year in the earlier free practice session.

Wisdom who scored his best ever results in both qualifying and the race in Spain a fortnight ago was on track for at least 12th on the provisional grid when an unfortunate collision along the main straight between himself and a fellow racer sent the American teen sliding to earth, thankfully without injury.

Despite being frustrated and obviously angry, Alex was able to return to the paddock area on foot and after a careful inspection of his CBR 500cc Honda machine is now focusing his attention on tomorrow afternoon’s all important final qualifying session.

Alex Wisdom – 17th position on the provisional grid: “I’m disappointed more than angry now that I have had chance to calm down. Crashing is part of racing but there are no prizes in qualifying and to be taken out the way I was is just crazy. Thankfully the bike is ok and I am not hurt so after some great work by my dad, Frank and the CADS team I will be back on track and giving it my all tomorrow. I think we can certainly improve if the rain holds off.”