World Superbike: Davide Giugliano Wins Superpole At Imola

Davide Giugliano continued his remarkable return to racing with a Superpole-winning performance on Saturday at Imola. The Italian hit the track on yellow-striped Pirelli qualifying rubber with five minutes remaining in the session already at the top of the leader board. He immediately laid down a 1:46.382, 0.401 seconds shy of Tom Sykes’ lap record.

“I knew that I could put in a fast lap,” Giugliano said. “That’s one of my strengths. Tomorrow will be more difficult. I’m not physically fit, and think I’ll struggle a bit in the races. Maybe adrenalin will help me. For now, I’ll celebrate the Superpole with my team, and tomorrow we’ll have to see.”

The 25-year-old Roman will be joined Sunday on the front row by Kawasaki teammates Sykes and Jonathan Rea. Giugliano also led the third and fourth practices, posting a best lap of 1:47.116, followed by the Kawasaki duo.

“It was a shame to miss out on the pole position,” Sykes said. “Pole does not, however, give me 25 points. Our main target was the front row, and it was really nice to see Davide come back from such a potentially serious injury to take Superpole.

“Marcel Duinker, my crew chief, has been cracking the whip this weekend trying to get information for us to use on race day. It has been unusual for us to drop our pace after 12 laps or so in the previous two events.” Sykes has two podium finishes thus far this season and sits fourth overall in points.

Imola Davide Giugliano Ducati Superpole

“Today was a great day for Davide,” Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali said, “To see him so psyched up and so motivated, with all his talent, is fantastic.”

Last year, Rea won both races at the iconic Italian circuit. “I made a little mistake in the first sectors and that carried on through for a few corners,” he said. “I was happy with my lap in general, especially the second half. To qualify on the outside of row one is a little bit of a handicap as you almost start on a corner.

“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.”

Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari is 3.06 miles in length with nine rights and 13 lefts, and is one of the few tracks that runs counterclockwise. Most of the circuit was repaved in 2011. Temperatures on Saturday were warmer than on Friday, 81 degrees Fahrenheit ambient and 115 on track.

In addition to the standard SC0 and development SC1 T1392 rear tires used at rounds three and four, Pirelli brought a new, third choice to Imola: T0611. According to Pirelli, this tire “uses a very soft compound, which can provide excellent performance with high temperatures of the asphalt.” Each rider is allotted 34 fronts and 34 rears during the race weekend.

Chaz Davies, on the second factory Ducati, was briefly on pole and is gridded fourth. “We’ve made several changes,” he said, “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.”

Aprilia’s Leon Haslam, currently second overall in the title chase, crashed with 10 minutes remaining in Superpole. The Brit will start fifth, middle of the second row. Sixth went to Jordi Torres on the second Red Devils Aprilia.

“I’m still struggling in the chicanes,” Haslam said. “That’s why I crashed. Thanks to the team, I was able to put in a good time anyway on the qualifier tire, even if the handlebar was a bit bent and kept me from being at 100 percent.”

In World Supersport qualifying, American PJ Jacobsen (Kawasaki) qualified fourth behind Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta), Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki), and Marco Faccani (Kawasaki). Jacobsen heads into Sunday’s race second overall in the championship.

Davide Giugliano continued his remarkable return to racing with a Superpole-winning performance on Saturday at Imola. The Italian hit the track on yellow-striped Pirelli qualifying rubber with five minutes remaining in the session already at the top of the leader board. He immediately laid down a 1:46.382, 0.401 seconds shy of Tom Sykes’ lap record.

“I knew that I could put in a fast lap,” Giugliano said. “That’s one of my strengths. Tomorrow will be more difficult. I’m not physically fit, and think I’ll struggle a bit in the races. Maybe adrenalin will help me. For now, I’ll celebrate the Superpole with my team, and tomorrow we’ll have to see.”

The 25-year-old Roman will be joined Sunday on the front row by Kawasaki teammates Sykes and Jonathan Rea. Giugliano also led the third and fourth practices, posting a best lap of 1:47.116, followed by the Kawasaki duo.

“It was a shame to miss out on the pole position,” Sykes said. “Pole does not, however, give me 25 points. Our main target was the front row, and it was really nice to see Davide come back from such a potentially serious injury to take Superpole.

“Marcel Duinker, my crew chief, has been cracking the whip this weekend trying to get information for us to use on race day. It has been unusual for us to drop our pace after 12 laps or so in the previous two events.” Sykes has two podium finishes thus far this season and sits fourth overall in points.

Imola Davide Giugliano Ducati Superpole

“Today was a great day for Davide,” Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali said, “To see him so psyched up and so motivated, with all his talent, is fantastic.”

Last year, Rea won both races at the iconic Italian circuit. “I made a little mistake in the first sectors and that carried on through for a few corners,” he said. “I was happy with my lap in general, especially the second half. To qualify on the outside of row one is a little bit of a handicap as you almost start on a corner.

“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.”

Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari is 3.06 miles in length with nine rights and 13 lefts, and is one of the few tracks that runs counterclockwise. Most of the circuit was repaved in 2011. Temperatures on Saturday were warmer than on Friday, 81 degrees Fahrenheit ambient and 115 on track.

In addition to the standard SC0 and development SC1 T1392 rear tires used at rounds three and four, Pirelli brought a new, third choice to Imola: T0611. According to Pirelli, this tire “uses a very soft compound, which can provide excellent performance with high temperatures of the asphalt.” Each rider is allotted 34 fronts and 34 rears during the race weekend.

Chaz Davies, on the second factory Ducati, was briefly on pole and is gridded fourth. “We’ve made several changes,” he said, “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.”

Aprilia’s Leon Haslam, currently second overall in the title chase, crashed with 10 minutes remaining in Superpole. The Brit will start fifth, middle of the second row. Sixth went to Jordi Torres on the second Red Devils Aprilia.

“I’m still struggling in the chicanes,” Haslam said. “That’s why I crashed. Thanks to the team, I was able to put in a good time anyway on the qualifier tire, even if the handlebar was a bit bent and kept me from being at 100 percent.”

In World Supersport qualifying, American PJ Jacobsen (Kawasaki) qualified fourth behind Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta), Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki), and Marco Faccani (Kawasaki). Jacobsen heads into Sunday’s race second overall in the championship.

Imola Davide Giugliano Ducati Superpole pit lane

“We can only be pleased with this result,” Davide Giugliano said, “and I think it’s a nice reward not only for myself but also for the team, the sponsors, and all my fans.”

Imola Tom Sykes Kawasaki Superpole action

“I was relatively happy with my Superpole lap,” Tom Sykes said, “but it was a shame to miss out on the pole position.”

Imola Jonathan Rea Kawasaki head shot

“The Ninja ZX-10R has been giving me some good starts recently,” Jonathan Rea said, “so I hope I can make a clean getaway and settle into my pace.”

Imola Chaz Davies Ducati Superpole action

“I don’t really feel that we made a lot of progress today,” Chaz Davies said, “although things were a little better in Superpole.”

Imola Leon Haslam Aprilia action

“We have been working well,” Leon Haslam said, “in spite of the fact that it has been quite a demanding weekend for us.”

Imola Michael van der Mark Honda Superpole action

“Superpole 1 for me was pretty good,” Michael van der Mark said, “and I had a strong feeling with the qualifier to get through to Superpole 2. Unfortunately, the second Q tire just did not work like the first one, and that was quite disappointing.”

Imola Sylvain Guintoli Honda Superpole pit box

“You don’t need me to tell you that the position is really not where I want to be,” Sylvain Guintoli said, “but we’ve had some problems in getting the bike stopped and turning this weekend.”

Imola Alex Lowes Suzuki Superpole action

“We have suffered with big inconsistencies in the engine braking strategy,” Alex Lowes said, “and as a result, the bike was tough to ride today, as Imola is a really technical track with lots of critical braking areas.”

Imola Davide Giugliano Ducati Superpole parc ferme

Davide Giugliano celebrates his Superpole win at Imola with Ducati’s Paolo Ciabatti.

Imola Davide Giugliano Ducati Superpole

“Today was a great day for Davide,” Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali said, “To see him so psyched up and so motivated, with all his talent, is fantastic.”

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