The Factory Ducati Superbike squad had varying successes yesterday at the 10th round of the 2014 World Superbike Championship from Jerez, with Britain’s Chaz Davies coming away with his debut podium at the circuit while free practice and qualifying ace, Davide Giugliano failed to finish both races.
|Successful Spanish outing for Davies
As is the usual trend with the Italian rider, Giugliano was at the top of his game in Superpole and secured yet another front row start at the Andalucian circuit. However, the former European Superstock ace crashed out on lap 12 while fighting for the final podium position.
Race two was unfortunately no better for Giugliano and his team due to an issue with the rear of his 1199 Panigale R, resulting in an off track excursion at the final corner, where the Italian was unable to rejoin the race, bringing his 2014 DNF tally up to six.
Welshman Chaz Davies fought through increased traction issues with tyre wear in the second half of race one to finish on the podium behind Guintoli and Melandri, capitalising on his team mate’s misfortune. Davies performed equally as well in race two but was unable to catch world champion elect Tom Sykes and the Aprilia duo ahead of him. As a result, Davies sits 6th in the championship standings, 35 points ahead of team mate Giugliano.
Davies said; “I’ve been coming here to Jerez for about fifteen years and have never reached the podium; it’s always been a tough track for me and so of course I’m very pleased with today’s result. In race one, the bike was really behaving well in the opening stages and I was able to make some fast laps but then, from about lap eight onwards, it became increasingly difficult to manage the drop in grip. We made a few changes to the rear to try to improve the ‘skatey’ feeling that we had in race 1 but, to be honest, it wasn’t a lot better in race 2. Our pace wasn’t bad but we didn’t have enough in the second half of the race with which to make consistently fast lap times. But, all in all, a third and a fourth, at what I consider to be one of my weakest tracks, is a good result and I’m really happy. I think these results will give us confidence for the final races of the season.”
Giugliano was less content with his results, understandably. He said: “Today was a really difficult day. In race one we made a good start and I thought I would be able to score a good result. The conditions this weekend have been particularly tough and it hasn’t been easy to understand the limit. We want to win and feel we are getting closer to this result each weekend, I’m giving it 150% and so there is always a risk. I’m obviously disappointed but looking at the positives, we have been consistently there with the fastest guys this weekend and this is fundamental – it can only give us confidence and spur us on to continue to fight. I want to be finishing the races in a strong position and not on the ground obviously. We made a few small changes for race 2 and my feeling improved but unfortunately when I tried to push, to reach those up front, a technical problem caused the rear of the bike to shift unexpectedly and I was forced off track into the gravel. We’re looking at the data to understand exactly what happened…”