Thanks to a very fast lap time recorded with a qualifying tyre, Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) finished today’s Superpole in overall second position, meaning a well deserved spot on the front row for the Spanish rider in tomorrow races at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao.
His team-mate Davide Giugliano will start from row three, in tenth position. Having finished yesterdays’ qualifying session in eighth (Checa) and fifteenth (Giugliano) position, the two Althea riders returned to the track this morning for the second official session. On a slightly cooler track (30 ̊C), Giugliano’s times dropped progressively and he was able to improve on his best time set yesterday by over a second, recording a best of 1m43.558 in the final stages.
Checa too went faster than yesterday, shaving another four tenths of his time to register a fastest lap – 1’43.568 – that was almost identical to team-mate Davide’s best. By closing qualifying in overall ninth (Giugliano) and tenth (Checa) position, the pair easily qualified for the penultimate Superpole of the season.
Superpole 1: in this first phase the two riders went out on track confident that they could make a fast time on race rubber. Carlos recorded a 1m42.9 which was enough to place him eighth at the end of the phase. Davide made two laps, the second of which was his quickest (1m43.1) and he closed in tenth place as a result of this time.
Superpole 2: Davide went straight out on a qualifying tyre but was unable to make the most of its potential; he therefore needed to make a second exit back on the race tyre. With the latter he made his fastest lap of the phase (1m42.7) but it was unfortunately not enough to grant him access to the final stage. Giugliano thus qualifies in tenth position for tomorrow’s races.
Superpole 3: Carlos, with one qualifying tyre still available, only needed to make one lap in order to earn himself a front row start for tomorrow’s races. Thanks to a very fast lap – 1m41.7 – he propelled himself into second position, between polesitter Sykes and Aprilia rider Laverty.
Carlos Checa: “Of course we cannot predict what will happen in the races.Today I didn’t expect this second place for example; I’m really happy but it was a little bit of a surprise. Once we put the qualifying tyre in, I found that the bike was a lot more stable and I was able to make the fast lap. For tomorrow I don’t think our pace is bad but many riders will be fast and fighting hard up front. The race is long though and so I hope to be able to do enough to be up there with them, battling it out to the end.”
Davide Giugliano: “Everything’s going well, we’re working very well. In contrast to other weekends I feel truly ready to make two strong races tomorrow. We need to see what race day will bring and I’ll need to really try hard to make a good start but I feel confident. Over the weekend we’ve made a lot of changes and have good pace – with the race tyre we’re fast and that bodes well. I still need to learn how to make the most of the qualifying tyre in the Superpole but, all things considered, today has been a positive day.”
TIMES (Superpole): 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’41.4; 2. Checa (Ducati) 1’41.7; 3. Laverty (Aprilia) 1’41.7; 4. Melandri (BMW) 1’42.0; 5. Biaggi (Aprilia) 1’42.1; 6. Haslam (BMW) 1’42.2; 7. Rea (Honda) 1’42.7; 8. Davies (Aprilia) 1’43.4; 9. Camier (Suzuki) 1’42.7; 10. Giugliano (Ducati) 1’42.9
Source: Althea Racing
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