Davide Giugliano used cunning tactics to claim his second World Superbike pole position in three events, although the headlines were made elsewhere in an eventful Superpole session. Championship leader Jonathan Rea had been the pacesetter through free practice but a crash early in SP2 saw him plummet down the grid order.
Rea’s opening effort stopped the clock at 1:42.902 but his session would stop altogether shortly afterwards after a crash at turn three. With the ‘one-bike rule’ in place, Rea was unable to resume the session, leaving Tom Sykes to go it alone for Kawasaki.
The 2013 champion clocked an impressive 1:41.880 but little did he know, Giugliano had locked his Ducati into the slipstream of the ZX-10R and crossed the finish line seconds later to snatch pole straight away from the Yorkshireman.
After physical limitations prevented him from fighting for victory at Imola, Giugliano is hopeful of putting up a tougher fight tomorrow although he admits cooler conditions would give him the best possible chance.
“In this morning’s session we worked really well and I think we took another good step forward with respect to yesterday’s sessions. This afternoon it was more tricky, also because of the higher temperature but I can say that we’re feeling confident ahead of the races. I’m really pleased with pole position of course – my second since returning at Imola and, considering that the other guys have completed eight more races than me this season, I see this as an important result which also boosts my morale. Tomorrow I hope that race 1 takes place in slightly cooler conditions while I realise that the second will be tough if conditions are particularly hot.”
Chaz Davies rounds out the front row for Ducati with both Panigale machines running an upgraded exhaust while Alex Lowes confirmed Suzuki’s recent progress, navigating his way through a competitive SP1 before securing fourth on the grid. Leon Haslam took fifth ahead of Matteo Baiocco and Sylvain Guintoli while Rea fell all the way to eighth, leaving on row three tomorrow alongside Jordi Torres’ Aprilia.
NILOX PORTUGUESE ROUND: SUPERPOLE CLASSIFICATION
|1||34. Davide Giugliano||Ducati||Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team||1:41.764||SP2|
|2||66. Tom Sykes||Kawasaki||Kawasaki Racing Team||1:41.880||SP2|
|3||7. Chaz Davies||Ducati||Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team||1:42.123||SP2|
|4||22. Alex Lowes||Suzuki||Voltcom Crescent Suzuki||1:42.198||SP2|
|5||91. Leon Haslam||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils||1:42.217||SP2|
|6||15. Matteo Baiocco||Ducati||Althea Racing||1:42.468||SP2|
|7||1. Sylvain Guintoli||Honda||PATA Honda World Superbike Team||1:42.641||SP2|
|8||65. Jonathan Rea||Kawasaki||Kawasaki Racing Team||1:42.902||SP2|
|9||81. Jordi Torres||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils||1:42.975||SP2|
|10||86. Ayrton Badovini||BMW||BMW Motorrad Italia SBK||1:43.067||SP2|
|11||36. Leandro Mercado||Ducati||Barni Racing Team||1:43.327||SP2|
|12||44. David Salom||Kawasaki||Team Pedercini||1:43.609||SP2|
|13||60. Michael van der Mark||Honda||PATA Honda World Superbike Team||1:43.272||SP1|
|14||2. Leon Camier||MV Agusta||MV Agusta Reparto Corse||1:43.468||SP1|
|15||40. Roman Ramos||Kawasaki||Team Go Eleven||1:43.488||SP1|
|16||14. Randy de Puniet||Suzuki||Voltcom Crescent Suzuki||1:44.273||SP1|
|17||18. Nicolas Terol||Ducati||Althea Racing||1:44.992||SP1|
|18||23. Christophe Ponsson||Kawasaki||Team Pedercini||1:45.066||SP1|
|19||51. Santiago Barragan||Kawasaki||Grillini SBK Team||1:45.640||SP1|
|20||59. Niccolo Canepa||Kawasaki||Grillini SBK Team||1:45.674||SP1|
|21||10. Imre Toth||BMW||BMW Team Toth||1:47.405||FP3|
|22||75. Gabor Rizmayer||BMW||BMW Team Toth||1:48.750||FP3|