Ducati’s Davide Giugliano scored the second World Superbike pole position of his career in soaking wet conditions at Donington Park. Pata Honda’s Leon Haslam made the front row in second-position followed by Aprilia Racing’s Marco Melandri in third.
“I would like to dedicate this, the second pole of my career, to my whole team but also to the family of Andrea Antonelli,” said Giugliano. “My first Superpole came in Moscow last year but was followed by the tragic accident, so I therefore wish to dedicate this to Andrea's family. That said, I’m really pleased with today’s result and thank my entire team; we’ve worked well all weekend and I had a really good feeling all day today.”
Riders grappled with cold temperatures and rain throughout the day, and some of the worst spills took place in Superpole 1. BMW Motorrad Italia’s Leon Camier was unable to complete a single lap after losing control in Turn 6, sending his S1000RR cartwheeling through the grass. MRS Kawasaki’s Jeremy Guarnoni followed a few minutes later, going down in the same spot as Camier. Althea Racing’s Niccolo Canepa crashed late in the session at Turn 11 and soon after Team Bimota Alstare’s Ayrton Badovini went down as well.
Badovini was pushing hard to get the Bimota BB3 into Superpole 2 and briefly claimed the top-spot late in the opening qualifying session. Soon after his fastest lap, however, Bado lost control of the machine and went into a wild slide, skidding sideways down a straight and trying with all he could to keep the bike upright. He ended up going over the top and sliding into the grass, getting hit by his machine as it came to a stop. The Italian was able to walk away from the incident, as were all the other riders that went down in SP1, but Badovini was visibly shaken. Though he earned a bid to SP2 behind Red Devils Roma’s Toni Elias, Bado was unable to compete during the final qualifier of the day.
The conditions didn’t let up for SP2 and riders exercised plenty of caution during the initial laps. Haslam and Giugliano each took turns at the top of the timesheet early on, though were some six and a half seconds slower than the 1’44.903 that would eventually win the day for Giugliano.
Haslam’s teammate, Jonathan Rea, was quick in SP2 as well, challenging for pole position throughout. He was in the midst of one of his fastest laps late in the session when he lost the front end and went down though, ending his hopes for a front row start at the British circuit.
Suzuki’s Alex Lowes and Melandri’s teammate, Sylvain Guintoli, also picked-up the pace in the latter stages, both earning second-row positions in fourth and fifth, respectively. Kawasaki Racing’s Loris Baz joins them on Row 2 in sixth-place.
As the session reached mid-point, Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes pulled into the pits for an adjustment, losing valuable track time as most riders stayed out for the full 15 minutes. He was able to push toward the end but could only achieve the seventh-fastest time before the clock ran out. Rea will start from eighth followed by Elias in ninth and Lowes’ teammate, Eugene Laverty, in 10th. Giugliano’s teammate, Chaz Davies finished in 11th and is joined on the fourth-row by Badovini in 12th.
World Superbike Donington Superpole Results 2014
1. Davide Giugliano (Ducati) 1’44.903 SP2
2. Leon Haslam (Honda) 1’45.009 SP2
3. Marco Melandri (Aprilia) 1’45.111 SP2
4. Alex Lowes (Suzuki) 1’45.258 SP2
5. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) 1’45.839 SP2
6. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 1’46.058 SP2
7. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’46.241 SP2
8. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1’46.306 SP2
9. Toni Elias (Aprilia) 1’46.326 SP2
10. Eugene Laverty (Suzuki) 1’47.963 SP2
11. Chaz Davies (Ducati) 1’50.099 SP2
12. Ayrton Badovini (Bimota) SP2
13. Christian Iddon (Bimota) 1’49.541 SP1
14. Claudo Corti (MV Agusta) 1’49.961 SP1
15. Alessandro Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 1’50.509 SP1
16. Niccolo Canepa (Ducati) 1’51.062 SP1
17. David Salom (Kawasaki) 1’53.656 SP1
18. Leon Camier (BMW) SP1
19. Fabien Foret (Kawasaki) SP1
20. Jeremy Guarnoni (Kawasaki) SP1
21. Romain Lanusse (Kawasaki) 1’32.032 FP
22. Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki) 1’32.064 FP
23. Imre Toth (BMW) 1’32.339 FP
24. Aaron Yates (EBR) 1’32.615 FP
Geoff May (EBR)
Peter Sebestyen (BMW)
Bryan Staring (Kawasaki)