DONINGTON, Great Britain – The Tissot-Superpole sessions ahead of Sunday’s fifth round races for the 2014 eni FIM Superbike World Championship were held in cold and wet conditions at Donington Park on Saturday. At the checkered flag it was Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) who claimed his second career pole position, by lapping the Leicester track in 1:44.903.
“I would like to dedicate this, the second pole of my career, to my whole team but also to the family of Andrea Antonelli,” Guigliano said. “My first Superpole came in Moscow last year but was followed by the tragic accident, so I therefore wish to dedicate this to Andrea’s family.
“That said, I’m really pleased with today’s result and thank my entire team; we’ve worked well all weekend and I had a really good feeling all day today. Tomorrow’s races won’t be easy, regardless of whether conditions are wet or dry. My rivals are strong here so I think we’re in for two hard-fought races.”
Joining the Italian rider on the front row in both races on Sunday will be Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) and Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team).
“Since breaking my leg last year we haven’t had the best of times or been where we want to be in terms of results, so for me it’s a good start to my season to get on the front row,” Haslam said. “We’ve still got a little bit more work to do for the dry set-up but I had a good feeling with the bike in the rain at Assen and we’ve made a lot of steps over the winter. Fingers crossed I can get the start that’s needed and we can be in there with the front guys tomorrow.”
Row two comprises Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) and Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team).
In the session Guintoli, Jonathan Rea and Davide Giugliano all crashed and remounted after posting their fastest times.
Making it through from Superpole 1, Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) and Ayrton Badovini (Team Bimota Alstare) joined the already seeded riders after the combined Free Practices.
Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia) and Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) both crashed out unhurt at the fast Starkeys section of the track before posting a time. The pair was joined by an unlucky Badovini, who also fell spectacularly at the end of the session on the fast uphill left hander, resulting in him not being able to take part in the second session.
Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) had a slow speed crash at the Melbourne Hairpin while Fabien Foret (Mahi Team India Kawasaki) elected not to ride in the session.
The World Supersport qualifying session at Donington Park was held in tricky conditions as the rain that had been falling steadily for several hours began to fall more heavily as the green flag indicated the start of the encounter.
At the flag and after an exciting yet crash filled session it was Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) that claimed Pole Position ahead of Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Team India Kawasaki) and Kev Coghlan (DMC-Panavto Yamaha) for Sunday’s 20-lap race.
PJ Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpress), Marco Bussolotti (Lorini Honda) and Alessandro Nocco (San Carlo Puccetti Kawasaki) will make up row 2.
Local rider Josh Harland (Josh Harland Racing) has claimed the pole position for Sunday’s 10-lap Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda race. The young Brit, who clocked in 1:47.965s in Friday’s first qualifying session, will be joined on the front row of the grid by Spaniards Javier Orellana (Europ Food SL) and Marc Miralles (Construccions Miralles). Points leader Augusto Fernandez (WIL Sport) ended up fourth.
World Superbike Qualifying Times
1.Davide Giugliano (Ducati) 1:44.903 (138.059km/h)
2. Leon Haslam (Honda) 1:45.009
3. Marco Melandri (Aprilia) 1:45.111
4. Alex Lowes (Suzuki) 1:45.258
5. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) 1:45.839
6. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 1:46.058
7. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1:46.241
8. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:46.306
9. Toni Elias (Aprilia) 1:46.326
10. Eugene Laverty(Suzuki) 1:47.963
11. Chaz Davies (Ducati) 1:50.099
12. Ayrton Badovini (Bimota)
13. Christian Iddon (Bimota)
14. Claudio Corti (MV Agusta)
15. Alessandro Andreozzi (Kawasaki)
16. Niccolo Canepa (Ducati)
17. David Salom (Kawasaki)
18. Leon Camier (BMW)
19. Fabien Foret (Kawasaki)
20. Jeremy Guarnoni (Kawasaki)
–From World SBK Press Office