Losail (Qatar), Sunday 2 November 2014 – The final round of the 2014 Superbike World Championship took place today at the Losail International Circuit, with the evening`s races proving positive for the Ducati Superbike Team. Chaz Davies crossed the line in fifth and seventh position, Davide Giugliano fifth and eighth.

Race 1 – The first of the evening`s races got underway on the floodlit track at 7pm local time and in slightly cooler conditions than yesterday (air temperature 27°C, track 30°C). Starting from pole position, Giugliano got off the line well but lost a few positions through the first turn, lying sixth by the first split, positioned just behind his teammate Davies, in fifth place. Both were able to get into a strong rhythm and soon got caught up in something of a battle with each other, oscillating between fifth and seventh position for almost the entire duration of the 17-lap race. Giugliano got past Davies during the course of lap ten, and was then able to pass Elias and Melandri in the final stages to cross the line in final fifth position. Davies concluded the evening`s first race in seventh place.

Race 2 – Conditions were similar for the second race, which took place at 10pm local time. A strong start for Giugliano positioned him third through the opening laps. Davies was seventh during the first laps and while he gave chase to Melandri immediately ahead of him, Giugliano moved in on leaders Guintoli, Sykes and Rea. On lap eight, Chaz and Davide found themselves together again, sixth and seventh, and enjoyed another battle as in race 1. At about six laps from the end of the race, the two Ducati men were part of a group of five riders all lying within a second of each other. Unfortunately, a drop in rear tyre grip for Giugliano in the final laps prevented him from doing more and he concluded in eighth position. Davies, pushing hard, passed Elias a couple of laps from the line before getting into a battle with Melandri that went all the way to the line. The Ducati man finished the final race of the season in fifth place, just 85 thousandths of a second behind Melandri.

The 2014 World Superbike season thus concludes with Chaz Davies on 215 points, taking overall sixth position in the final standings, and Davide Giugliano closing in final eighth place (181 points). In the manufacturer`s championship, Ducati concludes in fourth position with a total of 291 points. During the season the team has made constant progress, achieving two pole positions, six fastest laps and a clutch of six podium finishes.

Although the 2014 season has now come to a close, the Ducati Superbike Team will return to the racetracks on 17 and 18 November, when its winter testing programme will commence at the circuit of Aragon, Spain.

Quotes after the races:

Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 7th, 5th
“In race 1, from the mid-race point, I was constantly on the verge of losing the front. It seemed like the tyre dropped off and then continued to get worse through the final stages. We changed a few things for race 2 and tyre behaviour went back to normal, as it had been in practice. Race 2 was a good battle, one of the most fun races of the year I think. Although I was losing along the straight to Marco and Toni, I tried to make up for it in other areas and we had good pace throughout. It`s a positive note on which to end the season, at a track at which is difficult for us on paper. This gives us confidence going into winter, and we will continue to build on what we`ve got right now.”

Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 5th, 8th
“Race 1 went really well. I think we made a very good race considering that before the start we had no idea what we would be able to do today. So the result was clearly positive. In the second race we struggled a bit more. We opted for the same tyre but there was a big drop in performance from mid-race onwards. It was a pity because I`d started strongly and was able to stick with the leaders through the initial stages. I hoped I could do more towards the end but it was impossible. Anyway, we`ve finished the season by bringing home two good results, I also battled hard with my teammate Chaz and I`m pleased with the outcome; I think it`s a good base from which to start next year`s work.”

Ernesto Marinelli (Ducati Superbike Project Director)
“After having achieved pole yesterday evening, these final two races of the season did not go as well as we`d hoped. We knew that this track was not particularly favourable for us, with it being difficult to pass anywhere other than along the straight. But in analyzing the data, the lap times of both Davide and Chaz show that the podium was within reach, we were just missing a little consistency. If we consider the entire season, I`m pleased with the work we`ve completed, despite not having brought home a race win, which is our objective. The team has worked hard and we have two riders who have grown significantly together with the bike and the team. This cohesion is extremely important as we begin our winter testing, in preparation for next season.”



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