Assen (The Netherlands), Sunday 27 April 2014 – at the end of a day conditioned by bad weather, Ducati Superbike rider Davide Giugliano scored his first podium of the season in race 2 at Assen today, while Chaz Davies concluded the day’s races in seventh and eighth position.
Race 1 – in a first race that took place in dry conditions despite threatening clouds, Chaz got away very well from twelfth on the grid and was up into seventh through the first corners. He lost a couple of positions through the opening stages before pushing to move into sixth position by lap eight. The British rider battled with Melandri, managing to pass him only for the Italian to get back past him once again. Unfortunately the red flag was waved on lap 17, after another rider suffered a technical fail, and the race was brought to a premature end. Chaz therefore closed in final seventh position.
Lining up in sixth position on the grid, Giugliano got away well and held that position through the first corners. Unfortunately a small mistake caused him to go wide, where he slipped on a wet point of the track and crashed. His race unfortunately ended there.
Race 2 – the race, reduced to 15 laps having been declared ‘wet’, got started in heavy rain but was stopped on lap three when Guintoli, leading at the time, raised his hand. After a delay of an hour, the race got underway once more, reduced now to only ten laps. Davide was fifth through the initial laps, behind Lowes and Melandri while Davies was in seventh, behind Baz. Giugliano pushed to catch and pass first Lowes and then Melandri, moving into third position on lap seven. Davide managed the final part of the race perfectly and crossed the line in third position, scoring the first podium of the season for the Ducati Superbike team! Davies, separated by several seconds from both those riders immediately ahead of him and those behind, concluded in final eighth place.
At the conclusion of this third championship round, Giugliano lies sixth in the general standings, with 59 points, while Davies is seventh with 47 points. Ducati places fifth in the manufacturer’s classification with 73 points.
Quotes after the races:
Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – DNF, 3rd
“A very difficult race day. I could have done really well in the dry, we’d been fast all weekend but unfortunately the crash in race 1 conditioned things somewhat, also physically-speaking. Then the rain conditioned race two. It was difficult to maintain concentration after all that had happened and after the delay but in the end it all worked out well. We needed a podium, it was important for the team, for the sponsors, for the fans – it’s good for morale. Now we head to Imola, one of my favourite tracks, where I think we can do well.”
Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 7th, 8th
“It’s not been an easy weekend, we had a few chattering issues at the front of the bike throughout the entire weekend. In race 1 we used the soft tyre, which behaved well despite the low temperatures but by the final stages I’d lost some traction. Rain then conditioned race 2, though it didn’t feel too bad, it was more a case of confidence. It’s the first race I’ve completed with this bike in the wet and I need more time to understand the limit.”
Ernesto Marinelli – Ducati Superbike Project Director
“This first podium is very important because it is the culmination of the great effort and hard work that the guys in Ducati Corse are putting in around the clock. Davide made a very balanced second race, in difficult conditions, while also pushing hard. It was a pity that the small mistake in race 1 cost him dear. The Team has worked hard and has been able to be competitive also here at Assen, a sign that the direction we are taking is the right one. The first podium of 2014 has finally arrived and we must continue to work even harder to improve further.”
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