An emotional and tricky Superpole for Althea men Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano today at the Brno circuit. Davide suffered a crash during the all-important session, caused when a stone punctured his bike’s radiator. Despite this set back, the young Italian qualified fourth for tomorrow’s races. Current world champion Carlos lapped three tenths faster than his team-mate to qualify in second place, behind polesitter Sykes.
Dry conditions this morning for the second qualifying session. Carlos and Davide, on board their 1198 bikes, dominated almost the entire session. The two Althea Riders recorded the second (Carlos) and third (Davide) fastest times of the session.
Taking advantage of the wider tyre solution that he did not have chance to test yesterday, the Spanish rider was able to improve on his best time set yesterday by four tenths of a second, recording a fastest lap of 1’59.7. The young Italian rider on the other hand, having finished first yesterday, was unable to improve on that time but once the times of the two qualifying sessions were combined, Giugliano nevertheless qualified for this afternoon’s Superpole in second position, with Checa closing in fifth place.
The Althea pairing made the most of the early afternoon’s final practice session, making some final changes to the set-up in preparation for the all-important Superpole. At the end of the practice, Davide was in first position with a best time of 1m59.5, while Carlos finished second with a fastest lap of 1m59.6.
Superpole 1: both Carlos and Davide made a first exit with a race tyre, immediately recording what would be the second (Carlos) and eighth (Davide) final fastest times of the session. Thanks to these results, there was no need for the Althea men to continue on track, and both returned to the garage, having already done enough to qualify for phase 2.
Superpole 2: This time both riders decided to go out with a qualifying tyre. Unfortunately as Davide lapped, a stone hit the radiator, causing his bike to lose oil. The oil on track led to the session being red-flagged. Giugliano then crashed, injuring his left forearm. In the space of fifteen minutes Davide’s technicians, with the help of the technicians on Carlos’ side, were able to do an impressive job of fixing his 1198, allowing him to participate in what remained of the Superpole.
The session was subsequently restarted though was declared ‘wet’ after a light shower just minutes before the start (the track was in reality only damp in certain sections). Back on track after a stop of almost one hour, Carlos recorded a very fast time of 1’58.7 almost immediately. A few minutes later he went one better and shaved another three tenths of that time, to close today’s Superpole with the second fastest time overall (1’58.4). Giugliano used his first exit to build his confidence back up, before registering a clean, fast lap during a second exit which was good enough to ensure him of a front row start. He will therefore line up in fourth place for tomorrow’s race, alongside his team-mate Carlos.
Carlos Checa: “We’ve been working well all weekend. We identified a good set-up at Aragon and, having continued the work here, I’d say we’re at a good point now. What happened to Davide was a real shame but in the end we were both able to take strong results, despite the threat of rain in that last Superpole session. I think this is already a significant result for the team, as our performances prove that we can be competitive at this track. Tomorrow we’ll be fighting hard – I’m feeling confident that we can do well.”
Davide Giugliano: “First of all I want to say that I’m really sorry for what happened and for the fact that it affected other riders’ Superpole performance. I heard something hit my bike but I didn’t immediately notice that I was losing oil. I hurt my left forearm in the crash but it’s nothing serious I don’t think. It was great to see Carlos’ technicians come and help my guys to get the bike fixed in time – I therefore want to thank the entire team for giving me the chance to go back out in the last session. It was a hard and emotional day but we can be satisfied with the final result I think. This is the first time I’ve been able to interpret this track so well. Now I will rest up to be in the best possible condition for tomorrow’s races.”
TIMES (Superpole): 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’58.0; 2. Checa (Ducati) 1’58.4; 3. Laverty (Aprilia) 1’58.7; 4. Giugliano (Ducati) 1’58.7; 5. Melandri (BMW) 1’58.8; 6. Rea (Honda) 1’59.5; 7. Haslam (BMW) 1’59.5; 8. Fabrizio (BMW) 1’59.6
Source: Althea Racing
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