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May 24, 2014

Giugliano Wins Wet World Superbike Superpole At Donington Park

eni FIM World Superbike Superpole winner Davide Giugliano (second from left), second-best qualifier Leon Haslam (far left), third-fastest qualifier Marco Melandri (second from right) and former Superbike World Champion Carl Fogarty (far right).

eni FIM Superbike World Championship

Donington Park, England

May 24, 2014

Qualifying Results (all on Pirelli tires):

From Superpole Knockout Session One (wet conditions, top two advance to Superpole Two):

1. Toni ELIAS, Spain (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:49.026

2. Ayrton BADOVINI, Italy (Bimota BB3), EVO, 1:49.267, crash

3. Christian IDDON, UK (Bimota BB3), EVO, 1:49.541

4. Claudio CORTI, Italy (MV Agusta F4 RR), 1:49.961

5. Alessandro ANDREOZZI, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:50.509

6. Niccolo CANEPA, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), EVO, 1:51.062, crash

7. David SALOM, Spain (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:53.656

8. Leon CAMIER, UK (BMW S1000RR), EVO, no time recorded, crash

9. Fabien FORET, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, no time recorded

10. Jeremy GUARNONI, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, no time recorded, crash

From Superpole Knockout Session Two: 

1. Davide GIUGLIANO, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:44.903, crash

2. Leon HASLAM, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:45.009

3. Marco MELANDRI, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:45.111

4. Alex LOWES, UK (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:45.258

5. Sylvain GUINTOLI, France (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:45.839, crash

6. Loris BAZ, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:46.058

7. Tom SYKES, UK (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:46.241

8. Jonathan REA, UK (Honda CBR1000RR),  1:46.306, crash

9. Toni ELIAS, Spain (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:46.326

10. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:47.963

11. Chaz DAVIES, UK (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:50.099

12. Ayrton BADOVINI, Italy (Bimota BB3), EVO, no time recorded 

Combined Qualifying Results:

1. 1. Davide GIUGLIANO, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:44.903

2. Leon HASLAM, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:45.009

3. Marco MELANDRI, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:45.111

4. Alex LOWES, UK (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:45.258

5. Sylvain GUINTOLI, France (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:45.839

6. Loris BAZ, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:46.058

7. Tom SYKES, UK (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:46.241

8. Jonathan REA, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:46.306

9. Toni ELIAS, Spain (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:46.326

10. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:47.963

11. Chaz DAVIES, UK (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:50.099

12. Ayrton BADOVINI, Italy (Bimota BB3), EVO, no time recorded

13. Christian IDDON, UK (Bimota BB3), EVO, 1:49.541

14. Claudio CORTI, Italy (MV Agusta F4 RR), 1:49.961

15. Alessandro ANDREOZZI, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:50.509

16. Niccolo CANEPA, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), EVO, 1:51.062

17. David SALOM, Spain (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:53.656

18. Leon CAMIER, UK (BMW S1000RR), EVO, no time recorded

19. Fabien FORET, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, no time recorded

20. Jeremy GUARNONI, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, no time recorded

21. Romain LANUSSE, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:32.032

22. Sheridan MORAIS, South Africa (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:32.064

23. Imre TOTH, Hungary (BMW S1000RR), 1:32.339

24. Aaron YATES, USA (EBR 1190 RX), 1:32.615

25. Geoff MAY, USA (EBR 1190 RX), 1:34.194

26. Peter SEBESTYEN, Hungary (BMW S1000RR), EVO, 1:34.519

27. Bryan STARING, Australia (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:35.916

More, from a press release issued by Dorna WSBK:

Giugliano wins second career Tissot-Superpole

Donington (Great Britain), Saturday 24 May 2014 -The Tissot-Superpole sessions ahead of tomorrow’s fifth round races for the 2014 eni FIM Superbike WorldChampionship 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 lapping the Leicester track in 1’44.903. Joining the Italian rider on the front row in both races tomorrow will be Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) and Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team).

Row two comprises Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) and Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team). In the session Guintoli, Rea and Giugliano all crashed and remounted after posting their fastest times.

Making it through from Superpole 1, Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) and Ayrton Badovini (Team Bimota Alstare) joined the already seeded riders after the combined Free Practices. Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia) and Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) both crashed out unhurt at the fast Starkeys section of the track before posting a time. The pair were joined by an unlucky Badovini who also fell spectacularly at the end of the session on the fast uphill left hander, resulting in him not being able to take part in the second session. Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) had a slow speed crash at the Melbourne Hairpin while Fabien Foret (Mahi Team India Kawasaki) elected not to ride in the session.

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).

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Baz Starts Donington SBK Races From Row Two

Loris Baz was the highest placed Kawasaki rider after a fully wet Superpole 2 qualifying session, with sixth place putting him on the second row of the grid. In seventh place on the grid his KRT team-mate Tom Sykes will start from the third row in each 23-lap race on Sunday.

The fully wet weather that had threatened the first day of qualifying eventually arrived for the second and final day, with Superpole 1 and Superpole 2 both held in soaking conditions.

Baz and Sykes had qualified for Superpole 2 directly after the first day of action but the Kawasaki Racing Team’s SBK Evo class rider, David Salom, only made it to Superpole 1 initially and could not get into Superpole 2. He finished up 17th and will now start from the sixth row of the grid.

In dry conditions Sykes and Baz are genuine race winning contenders after going first and fourth respectively in the first day qualifying sessions. Salom was 15th after day one and all in the KRT squad are hoping for a dry raceday to maximise the full potential of their Friday performances in more predictable conditions.

In the wet in Superpole Baz found real improvements compared to some recent experiences, while Sykes knows that he can improve his wet performance in real race conditions compared to his post-Superpole ranking. He also knows that as the fastest qualifier in the three dry sessions on Friday he is particularly well-placed to have a strong weekend at his home round.

Baz, a former BSB competitor, is a big fan of racing in the UK and hopes he can have another two positive raceday experiences to let him challenge for his first race win of the 2014 season.

Loris Baz: “It was very slippery but I think this was the best bike set-up I have had in the wet since 2012. We have been struggling a bit in the wet sometimes even though people think we should be the favourites in these conditions, but we also had some problems this year on a wet track. My crew chief Pere found some good things in the space between free practice and Superpole and that helped me a lot. I hope it is dry tomorrow but if it is wet have improved our pace and I hope we can improve our settings even more. Now I am confident whatever the conditions are - I am a lot more confident than I was this morning.”

Tom Sykes: “We just ran out of time in Superpole 2. In wet conditions the Donington Park track surface holds a lot of water. I am on the third row but our situation is not as bad as it looks. I was at least a couple of laps behind my competitors in Superpole because I had to come in and make a change to the set-up. We made it and improved the bike but because we came into the pits the tyres got very cold. I just needed on more lap in Superpole 2 to make more progress on the times. I only did five laps but some riders made eight. Track time is all we needed and the setting on the bike was a little bit closer to where I needed to be for these conditions. I am disappointed to be on the third row but I know there is more in the package.”

David Salom: “It was very slippery and very difficult in this track in these conditions. In Assen it was not so good for us in the wet and now here I have more of a feeling from the bike but I need more confidence in wet conditions, I do not know if it will be wet or dry tomorrow but I hope it will be dry! My hand is OK because in the wet it is less important, but it is not as good as I thought it would be in dry conditions. When I arrived here I had a lot of pain from it. Three qualifying sessions on Friday did not help me either.”

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:




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.”

More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

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.”

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

Lowes leads the second row for home race at Donington

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki racer Alex Lowes almost clinched pole position for his debut home race in the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Donington Park in the UK, eventually qualifying fourth at the end of today’s Superpole.

Eugene Laverty and his local teammate Lowes got down to business with their respective Yoshimura-powered machines at 12:25hrs local time, on a very wet Leicestershire circuit. A tentative start saw riders carefully judging the track conditions, but with seven minutes to go the times began to come. Lowes initially took second position as the countdown struck five minutes but with two minutes to go the British racer set the fastest time of the day so far, to hold provisional pole. Bettering his lap again on his next attempt, but with other riders still on track, Lowes just missed the opportunity for a final flying lap. Finishing the session with a time of 1’45.258, he lines up at the front of the second row, in fourth position, for tomorrow's two races.

Having felt confident with his Suzuki machine in the morning’s free practice session, Laverty struggled to replicate the feeling for the afternoon’s Superpole, preventing him getting the best out of his GSX-R1000 in the wet conditions. The Irishman concluded the qualifying session frustrated with 10th place, but determined to make it count come race day.

With just 15 minutes of track action the focus of the day, incessant rain greeted the riders for Superpole’s qualifying session. Ducati’s Davide Giugliano clinched the pole position, breaking the 1’44 barrier, with local rider Leon Haslam next in line.

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki‘s race day begins at 09:00hrs local time for tomorrow’s morning warm up at Donington Park. The first slice of Sunday’s action is scheduled for 12:00hrs, with the second race being held at 15:00hrs. The team is hoping the strong support from the home crowd will spur it on for a successful showing at the Leicestershire track.

Alex Lowes:

“It was a tricky session with the wet conditions today. Obviously I’m disappointed not to be on the front row for my home race but I’ve been pretty good all weekend and the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki has been working well. I’m looking forward to tomorrow whatever the conditions. Hopefully we can keep improving ready for the races and challenge at the front.”

Eugene Laverty:

“The bike felt ok in the wet session this morning but I had no feeling in the rear for Superpole, right when it counts the most. It looks like it could be a dry race tomorrow and the Suzuki GSX-R felt good in the dry on Friday. It will be tough starting from the fourth row but I will give it my all!”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“I’m very happy for Alex and his crew to perform so strongly, not only today in the wet but all weekend so far. Fourth on the grid is a great position to start but he just got a little bit unlucky in getting the chequered flag while he was in pole position, with three of the fast guys still being out there improving their times. There is no question Alex could have found that extra three tenths to be on pole given one more lap but overall we’ve still got to be very pleased with the performance and wet or dry, we’re looking forward to tomorrow. Eugene has got a lot of work to do from the fourth row, but I really think he has the capability to get in the battle with the front guys. He is frustrated with the result today and as a team we will try and turn that frustration into positive energy tomorrow and get the best result we possibly can.”

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

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.

More, from a press release issued by Alstare Bimota:


Both Team Bimota Alstare riders Ayrton Badovini and Christian Iddon defied difficult conditions today, putting on their best performances of the season so far, finishing 1st and 2nd quickest in the EVO class in Superpole. At one stage in this morning’s free practice, which took place on a half dry, half wet track, Christian and Ayrton surprised their rivals by topping the leaderboard. At the end of this morning’s 30-minute practice, Ayrton finished 2nd and Christian 5th.

Both had already easily qualified for Superpole 1 and things were looking good during the 15-minute session, despite the heavy rain on the 4.023 kilometre circuit. Christian led for a while, but then Toni Elias took over, leaving the rest to fight over the remaining place in Superpole 2. Ayrton then put in a superb lap of 1: 49.267, to take second spot, but then fell off in the slippery conditions. Although Ayrton got back to the pitbox in time to take part in Superpole 2, his bike did not and so he was unable to progress any further.

Ayrton Badovini - 12th - 1stEVO CLASS

“I am happy because this was my best ever result in qualifying and I am sorry for the team because of the crash. The conditions were treacherous out there and my crash was a funny one because it took a long time and I really thought I’d saved it until the bike once again changed direction. The bike ended up on my right leg with the clutch lever digging into my calf muscle and it felt quite painful for a while. The marshals came and lifted the bike off my leg and fortunately I was able to walk away OK. I got back to pits without a problem and was ready to take part in Superpole 2, but unfortunately the bike didn’t get back in time to put in any laps and so I ended 12th. This is the problem with the one bike rule and I hope they change it in the future because I don’t think it is good for the show.

But these things happen and, as I am pretty happy with my set-up in the dry, I do not mind what the conditions are tomorrow. This track has some very slippery parts (the run down to Craner Curves for example) and you have to be very careful. I hope that it will either be dry or wet, because it is very hard to race when the conditions are neither one thing nor the other.”

Christian Iddon - 13th- 2nd EVO CLASS

“I’m happy because I managed to keep the bike on two wheels despite the tricky conditions – and that wasn’t easy. Sometimes it was more luck, than judgement, but it was very slippery out there today. I had a lot of ‘moments’ and almost managed a handstand on the bike once or twice. This morning’s session was dry/wet and we didn’t manage to collect a lot of data, so hopefully tomorrow will be one or the other – not both!

It was good to see my name at the top of the time sheets for a while and my aim was to get into Superpole 2. But, I just missed out right at the end. I’m not bothered about the conditions tomorrow – it will be the same for everybody and we will just have to manage them. At the moment, we need to find out what’s happening to the rear in the wet, because I could’ve gone faster if my feeling for the rear had been better.”

Francis Batta (Team Manager)

“It was a very difficult day and I am very happy with the performance of both riders. It was a shame that Ayrton’s bike did not get back in time for Superpole 2, because he’s normally very good in the wet. But the crash ruined everything and he couldn’t do the session. The good news is that he wasn’t injured, though I’m sure he’ll be a bit sore tomorrow morning.

Christian also had a tough day – as did all the riders - but he kept the bike upright in the wet and was one of the fastest in Superpole 1 and in this morning’s mixed conditions. Tomorrow will be very interesting – especially if there are mixed conditions – but I think the best thing for the fans will be if it is dry.”

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