Losail (Qatar), Friday 31 October 2014 – With Davide Giugliano concluding in first position and Chaz Davies seventh, the Ducati Superbike Team is pleased with the positive results obtained in today`s opening sessions of the final round of the 2014 World Superbike Championship, which took place this evening at the Losail International Circuit.

In a change to the usual Friday schedule, all three of the timed practice sessions took place this evening on the floodlit track, a first for the World Superbikes in Qatar. In the opening session, which took place shortly after the sun went down (air temp 29°C, track temp 35°C), riders Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano took time to refamiliarise themselves with a track at which neither of them has ridden for a number of years. The two Ducati factory riders positioned eleventh (Davide) and twelfth (Chaz) at the end of the first session.

Later in the evening, riders returned to the track for the second timed practice, but unfortunately a technical problem for Davide early on in the session relegated him to the garage and caused him to sit out the remainder of the session. Chaz made substantial progress throughout second practice, before taking a significant step in the final minutes. On his last exit and using a fresh tyre, he was able to stop the clock at 1`58.583, almost three seconds faster than his best time of session one, to set the second fastest time of this session.

The third and final timed practice session, which concluded at midnight (local time), saw Giugliano determined to do well, with his team having resolved the problem of the previous session. Pushing hard, and lapping with continuously fast times, the Italian rider closed with a best of 1`57.876, an impressive time which remained the fastest of the day, and only six tenths from the current `best lap`, set by Spies back in 2009. Giugliano thus obtained provisional pole, qualifying first for tomorrow evening`s Superpole 2. Davies was unable to further improve on his best time but thanks to his fastest lap of the second session, he closed day one in seventh position overall, also gaining entry to Superpole 2.

Quotes after the day`s sessions:

Davide Giugliano – (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 1st (1`57.876)
“Today has been a difficult day but when you`re able to lap fast, as I did in the final session, then you can only be pleased. It`s really exciting to ride here at night and I`ve had fun, especially in the third session, having resolved the earlier problems. To be honest, I didn`t have too much trouble getting to grips with the `unusual` conditions and although I expected the track conditions to worsen later on they remained pretty good throughout all three sessions. So I`m pleased with today`s result but now we have to see what we can do tomorrow – we`d like to make the bike a little more fluid and we also need to work on race pace…”

Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 7th (1`58.583)
“It`s been something of a mixed day. We took our time a little in session one, before taking a step forward in the second session and then making some changes in the last session, in which we didn`t improve further. But anyway, I`m generally happy and don`t think we`re too far away from where we need to be. We`re trying to improve rear stability and tyre life, but are not having any particular problems. I`m enjoying the experience of riding at night, it definitely took me some time to adjust in the first practice but I got used to it and was able to do more in the second session. Track conditions aren`t as bad as I thought they might be either which is good. Now we`ll see how we can improve further tomorrow.”

Weekend schedule (CET +2):

18.00 – 18.30 – SBK Free Practice
21.00 – 21.15 – Superpole 1
21.25 – 21.40 – Superpole 2

17.15 – 17.30 – SBK Warm-up
19.00 – SBK Race 1
22.00 – SBK Race 2



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