2016 Imola SBK Friday Practice Results
Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Chaz Davies has ridden with pure aggression since the opening round at Phillip Island, finishing on the podium five times in four rounds, including a double at Motorland Aragon.
The Welshman Davies proved himself once again at Assen, finishing second and fifth, respectively. Enter round five at Imola in Italy, and Davies is once again on the charge. The Ducati 1199 R pilot topped both free practices Friday, ending the day with a best lap of 1:47.014, 0.333 seconds faster than 2013 World SBK Champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team).
Earning the third quickest time was the reigning World Superbike Champion, Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea, who finished on the podium at ever round, including five-race wins.
Ducati reports that Giugliano only used one rear tire until the half-way point of FP2 to optimize the work on the race setup. He could not find the anticipated improvements on fresh tires after clocking the fifth best lap in FP1.
Chaz Davies says: “Given that this is only day one, we certainly can’t compain about our performance. I felt comfortable on the Panigale R since the very first exit, and the bike has been immediately more competitive on this track than last year.
“In the afternoon, we worked on the gearbox and managed to make further improvements, and I was also able to make a couple of longer runs with a quite constant rhythm. I tried two rear-tyre options, both of which seem to work. The choice will depend on the strategy one wants to adopt during the race. Anyways, it’s only Friday and we need to keep working. There are still a few tenths of a second up for grabs out there.”
Althea BMW Racing Team’s Markus Reiterberger finished finished on top of the provisional second row, 0.935 of a second ahead behind Davies; the German was the final rider to post within a second of Davies.
Finishing sixth-10th were MV Agusta Reparto Corse’s Leon Camier, Althea BMW Racing Team’s Jordi Torres, Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team’s Sylvain Guintoli, VFT Racing Ducati’s Matteo Baiocco and IodaRacing Team Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savadori.
As for Honda Official WorldSBK Team’s Nicky Hayden – the only American in all of World SBK – he had some rough times, as did his teammate Michael van der Mark, the 2014 World Supersport Champion. Hayden finished 15th, 2.350 seconds behind, and van der Mark 16th, 2.402 seconds behind.
Superpole gets underway at 10:30 a.m. Saturday (local time) just ahead of race one at 1 p.m. local time.