World Superbike: Davide Giugliano Impresses In Return From Injury

Davide Giugliano Friday Practice Imola

After three months of inactivity, Davide Giugliano was in the top three during both practice sessions.

Davide Giugliano made a stunning return to action on Friday at Imola, posting the second- and third-quickest lap times as the World Superbike regulars got up to speed in nearly perfect weather conditions.

Giugliano suffered a lower-back injury during preseason testing at Phillip Island in Australia. The factory Ducati rider was replaced initially by three-time series champion Troy Bayliss and, later, by Xavier Fores.

“I think I needed to ‘exorcise’ what happened to me at Philip Island,” Giugliano said, “and so I decided that giving 100 percent of myself today would be the best way to do that. The great thing is that I enjoyed myself and found a highly performing bike—very different to the one I last rode in winter testing. Having said that, today is only Friday, and we’ve only completed a few laps.”

Giugliano’s teammate, Chaz Davies, led opening practice, while Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea, the current points leader, was quickest in the second session with a 1:47.344 around the 3.06-mile track. Rea’s teammate, Imola lap-record-holder Tom Sykes, was second by just 0.172 seconds.

Davide Giugliano Ducati pit box Imola

Ducati’s Gigi Dall’Igna (right) was on hand for Giugliano’s return from injury at Imola.

In World Supersport, American PJ Jacobsen posted the second- and fourth-best lap times during the two sessions on his Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki. MV Agusta-mounted Jules Cluzel had the quickest time of the day, a 1:51.552.

Off the track, words were flying over the recent Team Hero EBR shutdown. “I’m really disappointed,” former Team Hero EBR coordinator Claudio Quintarelli said in a release. “After almost two years spent giving my contribution to the Erik Buell brand into the Superbike World Championship, I saw my effort completely thrown to the wind without even a thank you.”

Quintarelli claimed team manager and co-rider Larry Pegram told him, “We would finish the season, either with the support of our title sponsor Hero Motor Corp. or with the support of some American sponsors.

“Unfortunately, on April 28, I had to face the fact that the material of EBR and part of my own personal material disappeared from my racing department in Verdello. When I asked about this incident, Pegram told me that the things belonging to EBR had been required by some US banks in charge of handling the failure of EBR and that the material of my property had been taken away by mistake.

“Since Pegram was the man who spoke with these banks, I immediately asked him how to get back my property. Sadly, I never received an official reply.”

Pegram’s teammate, Niccolo Canepa, was caught in the middle of the controversy. “I never imagined that my adventure with Erik Buell Racing could end this way,” he said. “I knew it would be a year of development on the bike and great sacrifices, far from the top positions and with the only goal of developing the bike.

“I gave my best, as shown by my results. In the end, I found myself with no bike and no team, and without a minimum notice by my team. I want to thank all the sponsors who supported me and continue to do so.”

At Imola, Canepa made his debut with the Grillini team, finishing 15th and 16th, respectively, in practice on a Kawasaki ZX-10R. In the first four rounds of the series, Canepa and Pegram each earned two championship points.

Larry Pegram Assen 2015

American Larry Pegram in action on the Team Hero EBR at Assen.

Pegram responded with a statement of his own. “Pegram Racing was hired by EBR to turn around the dismal performances of the previous year’s team. We were accomplishing great things this season. All involved, including Mr. Quintarelli, were doing a great job.

“Unfortunately, EBR filed for bankruptcy, and we all are now experiencing great loss, no one more than the dedicated employees of EBR and Pegram Racing. To make accusations or assess blame is useless. Pegram Racing would be racing this weekend, and the remainder of the season, if not for the bankruptcy. Only property of Pegram Racing and or property for which that they were responsible, was returned to the US. Nothing owned by Mr. Quintarelli was removed.

“We want to thank all involved with the team this year, as the failure to continue was certainly not from a lack of hard work, only the financial decisions of EBR and Hero Motor Corp.”

Qualifying for Sunday’s Superbike double-header begins Saturday afternoon.

Davide Giugliano Friday Practice Imola

After three months of inactivity, Davide Giugliano was in the top three during both practice sessions.

Davide Giugliano made a stunning return to action on Friday at Imola, posting the second- and third-quickest lap times as the World Superbike regulars got up to speed in nearly perfect weather conditions.

Giugliano suffered a lower-back injury during preseason testing at Phillip Island in Australia. The factory Ducati rider was replaced initially by three-time series champion Troy Bayliss and, later, by Xavier Fores.

“I think I needed to ‘exorcise’ what happened to me at Philip Island,” Giugliano said, “and so I decided that giving 100 percent of myself today would be the best way to do that. The great thing is that I enjoyed myself and found a highly performing bike—very different to the one I last rode in winter testing. Having said that, today is only Friday, and we’ve only completed a few laps.”

Giugliano’s teammate, Chaz Davies, led opening practice, while Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea, the current points leader, was quickest in the second session with a 1:47.344 around the 3.06-mile track. Rea’s teammate, Imola lap-record-holder Tom Sykes, was second by just 0.172 seconds.

Davide Giugliano Ducati pit box Imola

Ducati’s Gigi Dall’Igna (right) was on hand for Giugliano’s return from injury at Imola.

In World Supersport, American PJ Jacobsen posted the second- and fourth-best lap times during the two sessions on his Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki. MV Agusta-mounted Jules Cluzel had the quickest time of the day, a 1:51.552.

Off the track, words were flying over the recent Team Hero EBR shutdown. “I’m really disappointed,” former Team Hero EBR coordinator Claudio Quintarelli said in a release. “After almost two years spent giving my contribution to the Erik Buell brand into the Superbike World Championship, I saw my effort completely thrown to the wind without even a thank you.”

Quintarelli claimed team manager and co-rider Larry Pegram told him, “We would finish the season, either with the support of our title sponsor Hero Motor Corp. or with the support of some American sponsors.

“Unfortunately, on April 28, I had to face the fact that the material of EBR and part of my own personal material disappeared from my racing department in Verdello. When I asked about this incident, Pegram told me that the things belonging to EBR had been required by some US banks in charge of handling the failure of EBR and that the material of my property had been taken away by mistake.

“Since Pegram was the man who spoke with these banks, I immediately asked him how to get back my property. Sadly, I never received an official reply.”

Pegram’s teammate, Niccolo Canepa, was caught in the middle of the controversy. “I never imagined that my adventure with Erik Buell Racing could end this way,” he said. “I knew it would be a year of development on the bike and great sacrifices, far from the top positions and with the only goal of developing the bike.

“I gave my best, as shown by my results. In the end, I found myself with no bike and no team, and without a minimum notice by my team. I want to thank all the sponsors who supported me and continue to do so.”

At Imola, Canepa made his debut with the Grillini team, finishing 15th and 16th, respectively, in practice on a Kawasaki ZX-10R. In the first four rounds of the series, Canepa and Pegram each earned two championship points.

Larry Pegram Assen 2015

American Larry Pegram in action on the Team Hero EBR at Assen.

Pegram responded with a statement of his own. “Pegram Racing was hired by EBR to turn around the dismal performances of the previous year’s team. We were accomplishing great things this season. All involved, including Mr. Quintarelli, were doing a great job.

“Unfortunately, EBR filed for bankruptcy, and we all are now experiencing great loss, no one more than the dedicated employees of EBR and Pegram Racing. To make accusations or assess blame is useless. Pegram Racing would be racing this weekend, and the remainder of the season, if not for the bankruptcy. Only property of Pegram Racing and or property for which that they were responsible, was returned to the US. Nothing owned by Mr. Quintarelli was removed.

“We want to thank all involved with the team this year, as the failure to continue was certainly not from a lack of hard work, only the financial decisions of EBR and Hero Motor Corp.”

Qualifying for Sunday’s Superbike double-header begins Saturday afternoon.

Loading...