Team Althea Racing secured two places on the second row of tomorrow’s SBK race grid at Silverstone. Riders Davide Giugliano and Carlos Checa both crashed during this afternoon’s Superpole but despite these difficulties managed to record the fifth and seventh fastest lap times respectively.
Conditions were cloudy but dry for the start of the second qualifying session this morning. Both Althea Racing riders went straight out on track and for Davide it was especially important that he record a fast time in order to qualify for Superpole after yesterday’s results.
Fortunately, conditions allowed almost all riders, Davide included, to improve on their best times set yesterday. Towards mid-session, the young Italian went well over a second quicker than he did in first qualifying, registering a best of 2m06.4 which put him in twelfth for the Superpole.
Carlos recorded the tenth fastest time of the morning but the aggregate results of both qualifying sessions meant that he qualified in overall fifth position for today’s Superpole.
Superpole 1: today’s Superpole was declared wet after heavy rain fell just moments before the session opened. Checa was pushing hard right from the start, lowering his times with the passing of each lap. In the final stages he made further improvement, consolidating his position at the top of the timesheets with a best time of 1m22.5.
Giugliano made constant progress throughout the session before making a big step up in the final minutes, with a time of 2m22.9 which took him from twelfth to second position, just four tenths of a second behind team-mate Carlos’.
Superpole 2: the rain returned between the first and second sessions but this did not prevent Giugliano from recording a very fast time, projecting himself into first place with a lap time of 1m21.9.
Unfortunately, pushing perhaps a little too hard in the final stages caused the Italian to crash and he lost out on a front row start as a result, closing in final fifth position. Almost immediately Carlos, lying in third, also crashed when he touched the slippery white line.
As a result he too missed out on an almost certain front row position, losing a few positions in the final minutes and qualifying in eventual seventh place for tomorrow’s races.
In the end two Ducatis ended up on the front row but neither were of the Althea variety. Jakub Smrz took his second Superpole of the session on his Liberty Racing Effenbert Ducati whilst former team mate Sylvain Guintoli was 3rd fastest on his Pata Ducati debut.
Carlos Checa: “In the Superpole I went long and didn’t expect the white line to be so slippery – there was no way I could avoid the crash. It was a pity because I know I could have made a good lap and a good result. So that’s that, we lost the front row, but at least we know that we have a pretty strong pace in all conditions, whether wet or dry. We’ve worked hard all weekend and I’m confident. Two dry races would be preferable for us riders and for the fans I think but from what we’ve seen so far it’s all a big unknown as far as racing conditions are concerned.”
Davide Giugliano: “The weekend hasn’t been easy for us at all, what with the crash yesterday and then some small problems with the bike. I haven’t been able to put together all of the necessary elements. In the Superpole I had quite good feeling in the wet and if it hadn’t been for the crash I could definitely have been on the front row, perhaps even in pole. But anyway, we are tough and we go on. We’ll see what we can do tomorrow. One positive thing to come out of the Superpole is that we’ve shown that we have pace in the wet, so if conditions are similar tomorrow I think our chances are good.”
TIMES (Superpole): 1. Smrz (Ducati) 2’20.8; 2. Camier (Suzuki) 2’20.8; 3. Guintoli (Ducati) 2’21.3; 4. Haslam (BMW) 2’21.6; 5. Giugliano (Ducati) 2’21.9; 6. Melandri (BMW) 2’21.9; 7. Checa (Ducati) 2’23.3; 8. Sykes (Kawasaki) 2’24.0
Source: Edited Althea Racing Releasing
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