Portimao (Portugal), Sunday 6 July 2014 – The Ducati Superbike Team celebrated its first ‘double podium’ of the season at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal today, when factory riders Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies crossed the line in second and third place respectively in this afternoon’s second Superbike race.
Race 1 – Cloudy skies and lower temperatures with respect to yesterday, with a track temperature of 28°C for race 1. From third on the grid, Davies was lying fourth through the first corners. Lapping in sixth position for the best part of ten laps, the British rider was hot on the heels of Guintoli and Rea. He had just passed Rea to move into fifth place on lap twelve when contact with Haslam unfortunately resulted in a crash for both riders. Chaz returned to the garage to repair the footpeg and handlebar that were damaged in the crash. The Ducati Superbike rider then returned to the track for the final laps to check that there were no further problems resulting from the collision, concluding therefore in final eighteenth position.
Giugliano, eighth on the grid, dropped a couple of positions through the first corners. Pushing hard to make up lost ground during the initial stages, he battled with Laverty, passing him on lap four to move into eighth place. In the second half of the race he fought hard against Laverty and Lowes, moving up to sixth position before conceding one place in the final stages, to cross the line seventh.
Race 2 – The day’s second race, run in the rain, was shortened to 18 laps due to full wet conditions. The Ducati Superbike pair held their starting positions through the first couple of laps, lying third (Chaz) and eighth (Davide). In the first half of the race, Davide gradually increased his pace and was able to pass first Haslam and then teammate Davies to take fifth by lap seven. Continuing to gain confidence in the tricky conditions, he began to close the gap between himself and Sykes, passing the Kawasaki rider only a couple of laps later. Lapping in fourth place by lap twelve, a collision between the two Aprilia riders meant that Giugliano moved up to second place. He managed the final phase of the race perfectly, crossing the line second and taking his second podium finish of the 2014 season.
In the opening laps, Chaz battled against the two Aprilias but lost a few positions towards the mid-race point, lying seventh on lap nine. During the second half of the race the British rider was able to get into a good rhythm and particularly enjoyed the final hard-fought laps, in which he battled it out with Lowes and Haslam, passing both to move into third place three laps from the end. Lapping a few seconds behind his teammate, Chaz pushed hard, maintaining third position to the line while also recording, on the very last lap, the fastest lap of the race, in 1’54.118.
The last time two Ducati riders took to the podium together was in 2012, at Misano, when Giugliano closed third behind then teammate Carlos Checa, second.
As round 8 draws to a close, Davies is in sixth position in the general standings, with 159 points, while Giugliano follows, seventh, with 140 points. Ducati lies fourth in the manufacturer’s classification with 207 points.
Quotes after the races:
Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 7th, 2nd
“I’m really pleased. After race one I was confident that I could make a strong second race, also if it were dry, inside the top five at least. After a few problems in warm-up this morning, in race 1 we worked out what we needed to do for race 2 and although that race then turned out to be wet, that turned out to be ok too. You always have to be a bit careful in the wet of course, so I took it easy through the opening laps, it was tough because visibility wasn’t great. Then I started to get into a rhythm and pass a couple of riders. In the final stages I eased off a little, as I didn’t want to make any mistakes. I’m really happy to have closed second, and also very pleased for Ducati, my technicians here at the track but also everyone working back in Borgo Panigale, thanks everyone!”
Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 18th, 3rd
“It really means a lot to get a podium in the wet, something I’ve not achieved before, not in Superbike nor Supersport, and for Davide to be there too is really an important result for Ducati today. Race 1 wasn’t easy, I didn’t feel that the bike was quite right. Things were beginning to improve though, and got interesting right when the incident with Leon took place. It was simply a racing incident, I was slightly wider than usual and he saw the gap and went for it… We’d planned to make changes for race 2 if it had been dry, but in the end those changes worked in the wet. It was going ok in the early stages, I struggled a little before starting to build my pace. After the Aprilias went down, I just put my head down and went after the podium. I really enjoyed the final lap, though I was truly on the limit - it also turned out to be the fastest lap of the race. We will definitely go to Laguna Seca in high spirits now.”
Ernesto Marinelli (Ducati Superbike Project Director)
“We’re extremely pleased with this double podium, something we’ve not seen since 2012. I think it’s a nice gift to the Ducatisti who never stopped believing in us, even when things were not going so well. This is another sign of our growth, and crowns the hard work of all of our guys in Ducati, the team and riders who always give their all. This weekend we’ve introduced several components, including new ECU software. All of the material has worked well and both Chaz and Davide are pleased, a sign that the work carried out by our development team and test rider Matteo Baiocco at home is going in the right direction. The result helps and we’ve collated a lot of data that means we will be even more determined when we arrive in Laguna Seca next week.”
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The Ducati Superbike Team will be waiting for you at World Ducati Week at Misano from 18-20 July, click on http://wdw.ducati.com for further information.