Team Althea Racing’s Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano faced extremely mixed conditions today at the Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. After a wet free practice session, Checa and Giugliano closed in second and fifth place respectively in a dry first qualifying session.
In the first free practice session of the weekend, which took place this morning on a very wet track (air temperature 10 ̊C, track temperature 11 ̊C), Checa was not wasting any time and went straight out despite the conditions, making constant progress during the 45 minute session.
The current champion made a fastest lap of 2’05.3, which put him in fifth position at the end of the session. Giugliano used the session to familiarize himself with what is for him a totally new track. It didn’t take him long and by the end of the session he too had recorded a 2’06.0 which positioned him seventh at the session’s end.
Later in the day, the Althea men returned to the track for first qualifying. Conditions had improved with a track temperature of 20 ̊C. Checa projected himself almost immediately to the top of the timesheets, recording fast lap times throughout the session. The Spanish rider set a best time of 1’49.9, thanks to which he closed first qualifying in second position.
His team-mate Davide continued to improve with the passing of each lap, as he gained confidence with the track. He recorded a fastest lap of 1’50.2, which positioned him fifth at the end of today’s action.
Carlos Checa: “In the morning we worked to refine the bike instead of pushing to make fast times on the wet. To be honest the wind was more annoying than the rain and so we hope that the wind levels drop a little tomorrow. I think we should be able to make two good races, we have a good reference from recent years of course and I think that we need to make the most of that, to grow and take a satisfying result. Tomorrow we’ll continue with the work but I can say that I’m feeling really good.”
Davide Giugliano: “I don’t think we did badly, to be in the top five at a track I didn’t know is pretty good. I’ve shown that I have strong pace, only a few tenths from the leaders and I feel very good at this track. We’re very happy. We’re still working on the bike to get it just right and tomorrow we hope to be able to go faster again. With regard to the conditions, we seem to be pretty used to the wind this year but we’ll see how it is tomorrow. If we continue working this well, we should be able to reach solid results come race day.”
TIMES (Qualifying): 1. Smrz (Ducati) 1’49.8; 2. Checa (Ducati) 1’49.9; 3. Melandri 1’50.0; 4. Biaggi 1’50.0; 5. Giugliano (Ducati) 1’50.0; 6. Guintoli (Ducati) 1’50.3; 7. Rea (Honda) 1’50.3; 8. Laverty (Aprilia) 1’50.4
Remember that the racing will be held on the Monday, not Sunday.
Source: Althea Racing
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FG_AUTHORS: Mark Morrison