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|07-19-2015, 02:20 PM||#1|
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World Superbike Laguna Seca Superpole: Davies takes pole
Ducati's last one-two in a WSBK qualifying session dates back to 2012, with Carlos Checa and Jakub Smrz in Miller Park. The U.S. are apparently a lucky charm for the Borgo Panigale manufacturer, which placed its factory riders Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano in first and second position respectively in Laguna Seca's Superpole. A promising result ahead of tomorrow's races, for which Ducati can also count on another friendly stat: with 10 wins to its tally, the Italian brand is the most successful in WSBK's history in California.
“I ride better when I am off,” commented Davies, who lost his typical cool with Niccolò Canepa a couple of corners before posting a flying lap (1:22.101) that granted him his first ever WSBK pole position. “It's not the first time it happens, he's been looking for tows all weekend and I got a little tired, but in the end it worked to my advantage. I could have lapped in the 1:21 mark, but the track has been slippery all weekend and I made a mistake in Turn Four that cost me a couple of tenths. This track is special, I really hope to make the most of it tomorrow.”
Giugliano (0.196 seconds behind his teammate) also did not enjoy a straight path toward first row, but not because of other riders. “During my first lap on the Q tire, I lost the front at the Corkscrew,” he commented. “It tucked throughout the first part, and I managed to save it by using my left knee slider as a lever and then hammer on the gas to pick up the bike, but I also lucked out. Anyhow, I had the fastest pace during FP4 and Chaz is in great shape as well. I really hope it goes down to the wire between the two of us. Fighting against your teammate is even more fun.”
In third place on the grid, Jordi Torres became the first rookie in the history of WSBK to qualify in first row at the peculiar California track. “I won in Laguna Seca playing all the videogames possible, but this result feels like a dream,” commented the Aprilia rider who, reminded by a fan of his resemblance with Elvis Presley, captivated the applause of the public by making an impression of the “King” during the press conference. “This circuit particularly suits my riding style, and I hope to finally be able to see the top riders throughout the races tomorrow. The first corner will be a mess. I just need to stay calm and don't try anything fancy to stay within the lead group.”
After taking FP3 and FP4 with Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea respectively, Kawasaki was surprisingly out of contention during the qualifiers. The two factory riders ended in fourth (+0.425 secs) and fifth (+0.753 secs) position, but both are optimistic ahead of the races.
“The track has been slippery since the first session, but in Superpole it was my mistake,” admitted Sykes. “The Q tire offered much more grip, but I didn't find the limit quickly enough and, on such a short track, it cost me, so I apologize to my team. Anyhow, to start from second row is not the end of the world.”
“Points are only given on Sunday, and we worked hard for the races,” added Rea, who completed an 18-lap simulation in the morning. “We're competitive both in terms of pace and tire wear, so I just need to get a good start and stay close to the front. In the second half of the race, we can make a difference.”
Everyone's plans, however, may be disrupted by the rain (there is a 50 percent chance). Even with perfect weather, anyhow, race day already seems unpredictable enough.
World Superbike Laguna Seca Superpole results:
1. Chaz Davies (GBR) Aruba.it Ducati 1:22.101
2. Davide Giugliano (ITA) Aruba.it Ducati 1:22.297
3. Jordi Torres (SPA) Aprilia Racing/Red Devils 1:22.414
4. Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki Racing 1:22.526
5. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki Racing 1:22.854
6. Leon Haslam (GBR) Aprilia Racing/Red Devils 1:22.991
7. Niccolò Canepa (ITA) Althea Racing Ducati 1:23.256
8. Alex Lowes (GBR) Voltcom Crescent Suzuki 1:23.285
9. Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) Pata Honda 1:23.406
10. Leon Camier (GBR) MV Agusta 1:23.990
11. David Salom (SPA) Team Pedercini Kawasaki 1:23.998
12. Ayrton Badovini (ITA) BMW Motorrad Italia 1:24.663
13. Matteo Baiocco (ITA) Althea Racing Ducati 1:24.146
14. Leandro Mercado (ARG) Barni Racing Ducati 1:24.166
15. Michael Van der Mark (NET) Pata Honda 1:24.461
16. Román Ramos (SPA) Team Go Eleven Kawasaki 1:24.619
17. Randy De Puniet (FRA) Voltcom Crescent Suzuki 1:24.771
18. Christophe Ponsson (FRA) Team Pedercini Kawasaki 1:24.485
19. Gábor Rizmayer (HUN) BMW Team Toth 1:25.489
20. Santiago Barragán (SPA) Grillini SBK Kawasaki 1:26.968
21. Gianluca Vizziello (ITA) Grillini SBK Kawasaki 1:27.480
22. Imre Toth (HUN) BMW Team Toth 1:28.254