File photo by Gold & Goose
After missing FP2 because of a technical problem Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) wasted no time in improving steadily throughout the session, before unleashing the fastest time of the weekend (1:57.876) to head into tomorrow’s World Superbike Superpole in the top spot. Behind the Italian, Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) finished second, maintaining his strong opening day at the Losail International circuit with Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) third overall ahead of his compatriot Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) who elevated himself to fourth on combined times.
Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) and team mate Alex Lowes, who crashed during the session were fifth and six respectively ahead of Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team), an improving Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team), and Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) who complete the top ten seeded riders into Superpole 2.
There was delight in the Team Hero EBR camp as Geoff May made it through into Superpole for the first time in 20th, a great reward for the team’s efforts during their first venture into World Superbike competition.
For Giugliano the biggest part is over and that was re-familiarizing himself with the track.
“It’s definitely a great track but I have only raced there once, in 2007, and so I don’t remember it in enormous detail,” he said. “But it’s going to be a unique experience to race there at night, and I can’t wait to get back to work after the three week break. I head there, as usual, with the intention of giving it my all. The final part of the season hasn’t exactly gone as we expected it to and we haven’t been able to collect the kind of results that we’d hoped for. Having said that, we have been able to constantly improve our performance during practice and qualifying each weekend and so we have some solid experience to put into use this weekend – I hope these final two races can bring us some satisfaction.”
The final round of the 2014 eni FIM Superbike World Champion is at the Losail International Circuit in Doha, Qatar. For the first time in WSBK history, the event will be held under floodlights and in one of the more competitive season in series history, Tom Sykes and Sylvain Guintoli head to the final season weekend separated by only 12 points.
Coming into the season finale as reigning Champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) leads the standings with a 12-point margin over Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team). Both riders have previously raced at Losail with Guintoli being the more experienced of the two at this track, having raced there five times before, including one race at night in 2008 in the MotoGP class where he was 15th at the flag.
While the two title contenders will square off for the final battle, third place in the standings is also at stake. Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team), who has won four of the last six races, is aiming to keep up the momentum to finish the season on the highest possible note. He is trailed by Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike), who is 11 points behind Melandri in fourth and by Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team), currently fifth and 30 points adrift of third place.
MV Agusta Reparto Corse and Team Hero EBR will give their all for an encouraging result in the last event of the year, hoping to gain some positives after a challenging rookie season in the series.
David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) enters the season finale as the firm favorite to win the first ever EVO title given the 30 point advantage he has on Niccolò Canepa (Team Althea Racing Ducati). Many riders including Frenchmen Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia) and Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki), as well as South African Sheridan Morais (Iron Brain Grillini Kawasaki) will hope to end their season on a high. Australian Alex Cudlin will replace the still injured Luca Scassa at Team Pedercini Kawasaki. The 28 year old from Sydney has vast experience of Losail, having been a regular in the Qatar Superbike Championship where he is a four time champion.
Friday’s World Superbike FP3 results from Losail Intl. Circuit – Oct. 31, 2014
1 34 D. GIUGLIANO Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1’57.876
2 65 J. REA Honda CBR1000RR 1’58.013
3 50 S. GUINTOLI Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’58.166
4 76 L. BAZ Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’58.296
5 58 E. LAVERTY Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’58.449
6 22 A. LOWES Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’58.539
7 7 C. DAVIES Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1’58.583
8 1 T. SYKES Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’58.818
9 91 L. HASLAM Honda CBR1000RR 1’58.989
10 24 T. ELIAS Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’59.025
11 33 M. MELANDRI Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’59.162
12 59 N. CANEPA Ducati 1199 Panigale R EVO 1’59.284
13 52 S. BARRIER BMW S1000 RR EVO 1’59.390
14 32 S. MORAIS Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 1’59.686
15 44 D. SALOM Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 1’59.975
16 21 A. ANDREOZZI Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 2’00.294
17 95 A. CUDLIN Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 2’00.436
18 11 J. GUARNONI Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 2’01.223
19 67 B. STARING Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 2’01.447
20 99 G. MAY EBR 1190 RX 2:01.801
21 71 C. CORTI MV Agusta F4 RR 2’02.097
22 20 A. YATES EBR 1190 RX 2’02.289
23 16 G. RIZMAYER BMW S1000 RR EVO 2’03.168
24 10 I. TOTH BMW S1000 RR 2’04.172