Portimao SBK Friday Practice Results
Davide Giugliano’s 2015 World Superbike began on a somber note. The Italian missed the opening four rounds of the FIM series due to injury sustained at a pre-season test crash in Australia.
But upon his return at Imola WSBK, the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Superbike pilot earned the fourth Superpole of his career, taking pole before a home crowd. He would finish 3-4 at Imola SBK. His luck would be a bit different at Donington two weeks ago, though. In the UK, Giugliano experienced a rear-tire issue in race one, causing him to finish 17th. In race two, he finished fifth.
Giugliano has faced some ups and downs throughout the season, but so far at round seven in Portimao, things are looking up. This was after Giugliano secured the provisional pole at the Portuguese circuit after posting the quickest time of the day in the second free practice. Giugliano battled through his flu-like symptoms to post a best time of 1:43.323 around the 2.85-mile circuit featuring 15 corners.
The Ducati Superbike Team says speeds increased due to some technical updates on the 1199 Panigale R, including a new exhaust developed by Akrapovic.
Joining Giugliano on the provisional front row for Donington SBK is Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea, who has 101-point lead over Aprilia Racing Team’s Leon Haslam, and the man who doubled at Donington, Rea’s teammate Tom Sykes. Rea ended the day 0.058 of a second behind Giugliano, and Sykes 0.273 of a second behind.
“We’re working really well and have made some changes that have allowed us to be faster, not only on the flying lap but also with regard to race distance. I’ve tried the new exhaust, and it’s an important help especially in terms of the engine’s power curve, which is now more progressive, cleaner,” Giugliano says.
“But we’ve also made some changes that allow me to be more at ease on the bike. I’ve started to enjoy this track today. Despite having the flu and a high temperature, I’m having fun riding my Panigale and this is helping me to be fast.”
The other factory Ducati 1199 Panigale R pilot – Chaz Davies – finished fourth fastest, just ahead of BMW Motorrad Italia’s Ayrton Badovini and Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes.
Rounding out the top 10 Friday were the reigning World SBK Champion, Pata Honda World Superbike’s Sylvain Guintoli, Haslam, Aprilia Racing Team’s Jordi Torres and Althea Racing Ducati’s Matteo Baiocco.
The 2015 World Superbike grid returns to the Portimao circuit Saturday for two additional free practices ahead of Superpole.