- The Italian rider scores the third fastest time of the day aboard his 1199 Panigale
- Chaz Davies victim of a crash during the second practice session
Phillip Island (Australia), Friday 21 February 2014 – Bad weather conditioned the first day of track action for the Ducati Superbike Team today at Phillip Island. The two riders, Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies, were unable to make use of session one due to rain, but in the afternoon session Giugliano powered his 1199 Panigale into third position while Davies closed ninth, victim of a crash, though without physical consequences, towards the session’s end.
The first practice session took place this morning in wet conditions (air temperature 19°C, track temperature 18°C) and the Ducati Superbike men, along with most of the other SBK riders, decided to sit out the session and wait for conditions to improve this afternoon. At the close of this first 45-minute session, only six riders had made timed laps.
Conditions picked up considerably in time for the afternoon session. On a completely dry track, Davies and Giugliano went straight out, ready to make the most of the 45-minute session, having lost out on valuable track time this morning. Giugliano made some fast laps in the first phase but put in his best lap in the final seconds of the session, moving up into third position thanks to a lap time of 1’31.2, just one tenth of a second from today’s leader Alex Lowes. His team-mate Davies improved towards mid-session but unfortunately his session came to a premature close after a highside at Turn 9 ten minutes before the end of the practice. The British rider, despite the bad crash, fortunately didn’t suffer any serious injury and closed the session in ninth position, with a best time of 1’31.7. Chaz will participate in tomorrow’s sessions.
This season a rule change means that times from Friday’s two free practice sessions and Saturday morning’s practice are combined to establish who qualifies for Saturday afternoon’s Superpole 1 and 2.
Quotes after the day’s sessions:
Davide Giugliano – Ducati Superbike Team #34
“It’s gone quite well this afternoon. We’ve had to try various things, considering how different track conditions were today compared to testing earlier this week. We worked on different bike set-ups and I’d say that we’re at a good point. We also tested the new tyre compound; it was a little difficult to find a good feeling with it but once we went back to the tyres that we had used during testing things improved greatly and everything worked well. For now I’m fairly pleased but there’s more work to do tomorrow of course.”
Chaz Davies – Ducati Superbike Team #7
“It’s been quite a difficult day with very different conditions with respect to what we saw during testing. We lost time this morning because of the bad weather and so we needed a good session this afternoon. It was a pity about the crash because up until that point I felt that times were coming fairly easily. I hit my head but, after resting up tonight, I’ll be ready to get back on track tomorrow and continue working with my team to find the best set-up for my Panigale at this track.”
Weekend schedule (CET +10):
9.45 – 10.30 – SBK Free Practice 3
12.30 – 13.00 – SBK Free Practice 4
15.00 – 15.15 – Superpole 1
15.25 – 15.40 – Superpole 2
9.20 – 9.35 – SBK Warm-up
12.00 – SBK Race 1
14.40 – SBK Race 2
News and high-resolution photos are available at: www.ducatipress.com