Superbike fans are by now used to the exciting spectacle of the Superpole and today’s session at the German Nürburgring did not disappoint. After a close battle, the Althea Racing team and riders Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano qualified sixth and ninth for tomorrow’s twelfth round of the Superbike World Championship.
Team Althea Racing’s riders were on track this morning for second qualifying. In similarly sunny conditions to yesterday both Carlos and Davide were able to improve slightly on yesterday’s already extremely fast times.
While the current champion shaved a further tenth of his time towards mid-session, Davide managed to lap four tenths quicker with respect to his best tim set yesterday. Considering that the times of all of the top riders dropped in the final stages this morning, the Althea flagbearers closed the session in fourth (Carlos – 1m55.2) and sixth (Davide – 1m55.3) position once the results of the two qualifying sessions were combined. Both therefore qualified without difficulty for this afternoon’s Superpole.
Superpole 1: in the first Superpole phase both riders were out on track on race tyres. The session was briefly interrupted when a crash for Salom left the track covered in gravel. Once it was cleaned up riders returned to the track and Carlos recorded a fast lap of 1m54.8 that put him in sixth place. Davide’s best lap, 1m55.5 recorded in the final seconds assured him of twelfth place and safe passage to phase two.
Superpole 2: this time Carlos improved by half a second on his time set in phase one, recording a 1m54.3 in the opening stages, enough to assure him of fourth position at the session’s end. The 1m54.5 recorded by Davide was not enough for a top eight position and unfortunately there was no time to make a second exit and improve further. The Italian rider therefore closed in final ninth position.
Superpole 3: in this final phase, and with a qualifying tyre still available, Carlos made two fast laps, the first of which proved to be his best (1m54.3). This time signifies that he will line up on the second row of tomorrow’s race grid, in sixth position.
Carlos Checa: “Although we were not able to match the pace of the leading riders in the Superpole, I think that we will have the chance to be with them in the race. We’ve seen that the rear tyre performance drops after some laps and so we’ll need to try and manage that situation. We expect hot races and I think riders will start to suffer with the tyres after about the tenth lap. Overall we have been working well in the sessions and have recorded some good times both in practice and qualifying and I think we have a good race package – the target tomorrow will be to stay in the front group.”
Davide Giugliano: “After our performance in the earlier sessions I thought we could do a bit better in the Superpole. The interruption in phase one didn’t help and after that, though I was doing my best, I wasn’t able to make the most of the qualifier or make the fast lap that we needed. So we will start from the third row from where I hope to be able to make a strong start and stay with the leading group. The good work we’ve done so far this weekend gives me confidence for the races.”
Genesio Bevilacqua, General Manager of Althea Racing: “It was quite a good Superpole although we expected a little more, especially for Carlos because we were confident that we could do a little better with respect to last year’s times. I don’t want to keep coming back to the same topic but we are not as competitive as we were last year; the four cylinders have progressed and that’s that. This is perhaps the track where the gap was going to be least felt – however the gap remains and we have not closed it as much as we had hoped to. As far as Davide is concerned, unfortunately it was a difficult session because the interruption of the Superpole meant that we had already wasted one tyre at the start and this had an effect. In any case, he has shown that he is fast, with a solid race pace and so despite starting from the third row I believe that he can ride a strong race, with the leaders.”
TIMES (Superpole): 1. Biaggi (Aprilia) 1’53.8; 2. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’53.9; 3. Melandri (BMW) 1’53.9; 4. Laverty (Aprilia) 1’54.1; 5. Rea (Honda) 1’54.3; 6. Checa (Ducati) 1’54.3; 7. Camier (Suzuki) 1’55.1; 8. Baz (Kawasaki) 1’55.7; 9. Giugliano (Ducati) 1’54.5; 10. Davies (Aprilia) 1’54.8
Source: Althea Racing
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