2014 Donington Superbike Superpole Results
Rainy conditions are nothing new in the UK, and this weekend’s forecast is loaded with the wet stuff.
Due to the rainy – and extremely cold – conditions forecasted for Saturday, Friday’s schedule was revised to include the first three free-practice sessions instead of the usual two.
When the Friday sessions – held mostly under dry conditions – wrapped up, the reigning World Superbike Champion Tom Sykes was quickest. Before his home crowd, Sykes piloted his Ninja ZX-10R to a 1:27.840 around the 2.5-mile circuit containing 15 corners. This time was only 0.462 of a second off the circuit record set by the Brit last year en route to his double win.
As expected, rain plagued Donington Park all of Saturday for the fourth free practice and Superpole 1 and 2 sessions. Pata Honda World Superbike’s Jonathan Rea – the Northern Irishman who has won the past three-consecutive races – was over a second ahead of the grid in FP4.
But the results drastically changed in Superpole.
Taking the pole – his second after 28 stars in the World SBK series – was Ducati Team’s Davide Giugliano. The Ducati 1199 Panigale R pilot posted a 1:44.903 at Donington, which is much slower than Syke’s time just under 1:28. But the Italian found something extra in his rain setup, and similar conditions are forecasted for Sunday’s double header.
Joining Giugliano on the front row will be Pata Honda World Superbike’s Leon Haslam and Aprilia Racing Team’s Marco Melandri.
Heading up the second row is Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes. The Suzuki GSX-R1000 pilot will be joined by Aprilia Racing Team’s Sylvain Guintoli and Kawasaki Racing Team’s Loris Baz.
The third row will consist of Sykes, the current SBK points leader Rea – who is four points ahead of Sykes – and Red Devils Roma Aprilia’s Toni Elias.
In the Superpole 2 session that featured the top-three row qualifiers, Giugliano, Rea and Guintoli all crashed out after posting their quickest times. All three riders were able to remount their perspective machines and rejoin the grid.
Speaking of other incidents, World SBK reports Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia) and Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) both crashed out unhurt at the fast Starkeys section of the track before posting a time. The pair was joined by an unlucky Ayrton Badovini (Team Bimota Alstare) who also fell spectacularly at the end of the session on the fast uphill left hander. Althea Racing Ducati’s Niccolo Canepa had a slow speed crash at the Melbourne Hairpin while Fabien Foret (Mahi Team India Kawasaki) elected not to ride in the Superpole session.
As for the Americans on the Team Hero EBR 1190RX super bikes, Aaron Yates qualified 24th, and Geoff May 25th.
The 25-rider will return to Donington Sunday for the double header. beIN Sports will broadcast the races beginning at 9 a.m. ET Sunday, May 25.
For a preview, visit 2014 Donington World Superbike Preview.
2014 Donington Park World Superbike Qualifying Results:
1. Davide Giugliano, Italy, Ducati SBK 1199 Panigale R
2. Leon Haslam, UK, PATA Honda CBR1000RR
3. Marco Melandri, Italy, Aprilia Racing RSV4
4. Alex Lowes, UK, Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000
5. Sylvain Guintoli, France, Aprilia Racing RSV4
6. Loris Baz, France, Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R
7. Tom Sykes, UK, Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R
8. Jonathan Rea, UK, PATA Honda CBR1000RR
9. Toni Elias, Spain, Red Devils Roma Aprilia RSV4
10. Eugene Laverty, Ireland, Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000
11. Chaz Davies, UK, Ducati SBK 1199 Panigale R
12. Ayrton Badovini, Italy, Bimota Alstare BB3
13. Christian Iddon, UK, Bimota Alstare BB3
14. Claudio Corti, Italy, MV Agusta RC F4RR
15. Alessandro Andreozzi, Italy, Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R
16. Niccolo Canepa, Italy, Althea Ducati 1199 Panigale R
17. David Salom, Spain, Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R
18. Leon Camier, UK, BMW Italia S1000RR
19. Fabien Foret, France, MAHI Kawasaki ZX-10R
20. Jeremy Guarnoni, France, MRS Kawasaki ZX-10R
21. Romain Lanusse, France, Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R
22. Sheridan Morais, Russia, Iron Brain Kawasaki ZX-10R
23. Imre Toth, Hungary, Team Toth BMW S1000RR
24. Aaron Yates, USA, Team Hero EBR 1190RX
25. Geoff May, USA, Team Hero EBR 1190RX
26. Peter Sebestyen, Hungary, Team Toth BMW S1000RR