Althea Racing’s Davide Giugliano seized the first SBK pole position of his career at Moscow Raceway. The Italian will start Sunday’s doubleheader alongside BMW’s Chaz Davies and fellow Aprilia rider Eugene Laverty. Championship points leader Tom Sykes was unable to maintain his streak of six consecutive Superpole victories, after a Superpole 3 crash relegates the British rider to ninth on the starting grid.
“This Superpole is very valuable to me and my team and it’s very satisfying to fight with and beat the official riders and teams,” said Giugliano in an Althea press release. “As far as tomorrow’s races are concerned, I hope to be able to fight for the win. The two races will be difficult and despite his crash today Sykes will surely be there too. The weather is also an unknown and right now it looks like rain is forecast. Either way, I’ll give it my all to achieve another great result.”
Giugliano shamed both the factory Aprilia mounts, with Laverty third and Sylvain Guintoli qualifying eighth. The Frenchman sits one position ahead of Sykes in Row 3 but will be hampered by a recent collarbone injury. Guintoli trails Sykes in the title hunt by six points.
Jonathan Rea leads Row 2, followed by BMW’s Marco Melandri and Ducati’s Carlos Checa. The latter rider completed Superpole despite a crash in the morning Qualifying 2 session. The 2011 SBK champ just edged out rookie rider Jules Cluzel for the final spot on the second row.
As for Sykes, the usual Superpole dominator crashed in Turn 3. Without a spare machine, owing to the series single bike rule, the Kawasaki ace was unable to return in time to press for the pole position. On Sunday Sykes will have to work around his championship rivals to extend his points lead as he chases his first SBK title.
“I just lost the front in the very last moment of Turn 3,” said Sykes. “It is a shame but sometimes these things happen. It is a small mistake and it means that we will start on Row 3, so it is a mistake with not a very, very big consequence. In this respect it is not so bad and tomorrow, in the races, is where you make up points. I am still confident with settings of the Ninja ZX-10R for this track. I just need to make a clean start each time and continue in a good way. Pace in general has been strong and the lap times are good, which we saw in Superpole 1 when I was using a race tire. It is 25 laps each time so there will be long races here. In Imola I dropped to fourth at the very beginning and then had time to react so hopefully we have lots of time tomorrow to make the correction for today’s small mistake.”
Davide Giugliano celebrates his first career Superpole with the Italian besting the SBK field at Moscow.
The forecast of possible rain during the races will give Guintoli and Sykes an advantage, as both men traditionally outperform their rivals in the wet.
2013 World Superbike Moscow Superpole Results:
1. Davide Giugliano (Aprilia) 1'34.676
2. Chaz Davies (BMW) 1'34.833
3. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) 1'34.934
4. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1'35.058
5. Marco Melandri (BMW) 1'35.115
6. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1'35.220
7. Jules Cluzel (Suzuki) 1'35.256
8. Davide Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'36.113
9. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'34.546
10. Leon Camier (Suzuki)
11. Max Neukirchner (Ducati)
12. Loris Baz (Kawasaki)
13. Leon Haslam (Honda)
14. Ayrton Badovini (Ducati)
15. Michele Fabrizio (Aprilia)
16. Federico Sandi (Kawasaki)
17. Vittorio Iannuzzo (BMW)
18. Lorenzo Savadori (Kawasaki)