After a tough fight in Q2 Superpole where the 12 top qualifiers ran within a second of each other, Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team’s Davide Giugliano secured the pole for round seven of 2015 World Superbike at Portimao in Portugal.This was Giugliano’s fifth SBK pole of his career, the last one arriving at Imola after the Italian returned to the series following a four-race hiatus due to injuries sustained in a preseason testing crash.
Joining Giugliano on the front row for Portimao SBK is the 2013 World SBK Champion who doubled at Donington two weeks ago, Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes, and the other Ducati Superbike Panigale R pilot, Chaz Davies. Sykes qualified 0.116 of a second behind, and Davies 0.359 of second back.Giugliano, who also topped Friday’s Portimao SBK practice sessions, earned the pole with a lap of 1:41.764.“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,” Giugliano says.“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.”Heading up row two is Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000 pilot Alex Lowes, who will be joined by Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils RSV4 pilot Leon Haslam and Althea racing Ducati’s Matteo Baiocco.Row three consists of the reigning World SBK rider – Pata Honda World Superbike Team’s Sylvain Guintoli, Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea, who leads the championship by 101 points ahead of Haslam, and Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils’ Jordi Torres.The riders return to Portimao Sunday for the SBK double header.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.