The first SBK practice and qualifying sessions of the tenth round of the Superbike World Championship took place today at the Silverstone circuit in typically mixed conditions. Althea Racing rider Carlos Checa was pleased to close first qualifying in second position while his team-mate Davide Giugliano was victim of a crash this morning, closing afternoon qualifying in nineteenth place.
Black clouds were looming but the track was dry as Carlos and Davide went out for first practice this morning. Carlos went straight to the top of the timesheets after two laps, setting a series of fast times, the best of which remained the quickest time of the entire session. Towards mid-session rain started to fall and this unfortunately prevented the riders from making further improvement.
Carlos thus closed in first place, with a time of 2m06.3, ahead of Sykes and Smrz. Davide unfortunately crashed during his first exit and, having injured his hand in the fall, made a visit to the Clinica Mobile. His mechanics meanwhile worked to repair the damaged bike but a combination of the rain, and the time needed to fix Davide’s 1198, prevented him from returning to the track. Having completed just one lap early on, Giugliano closed in 20th position.
The afternoon qualifying session got underway on a damp track that continued to dry out during the 45-minutes available. Lap times therefore began to drop in the later stages and Carlos’ very last lap was his fastest of the session (2m06.1) and this ensured him of final second place at the session’s end.
As a result of this morning’s crash Davide and his technicians lost valuable time and consequently the young rider had difficulty recording the times needed to close inside the top sixteen. He finished in final nineteenth place with a time of 2m07.8. He therefore has everything to play for tomorrow morning, considering that only the first sixteen riders will participate in the Superpole.
Carlos Checa: “In the end qualifying went well for us, despite the fact that certain sections of the track were damp. Luckily the fastest parts of the track were dry and this allowed us to make a fast time. We’re happy in terms of time but there’s still work to do on the setting. We need the best possible setting and best possible grip to have a fighting chance. If it’s wet tomorrow everything becomes more unpredictable, but I feel that I also have good chances of success in wet conditions.”
Davide Giugliano: “Unfortunately the crash this morning meant that we lost the way a little this afternoon. My right hand is hurting but it wasn’t just that, I was having trouble in general really and couldn’t put together the kind of lap I needed. We absolutely need to fight back tomorrow morning and I’m just hoping it stays dry for second qualifying, or we won’t have the opportunity to take part in the Superpole.”
TIMES (Qualifying): 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 2’06.1; 2. Checa (Ducati) 2’06.1; 3. Guintoli (Ducati) 2’06.5; 4. Camier (Suzuki) 2’06.6; 5. Davies (Aprilia) 2’06.6; 6. Smrz (Ducati) 2’06.7; 7. Laverty (Aprilia) 2’06.8; 8. Zanetti (Ducati) 2’06.8….. 19. Giugliano (Ducati) 2’07.8
Source: Althea Racing
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