The Althea Racing team got down to work today as the seventh round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship officially opened at the Misano World Circuit in Italy; Althea men Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano took part in the first practice and qualifying sessions, which took place in hot conditions.
This morning’s track action included the first SBK free practice session of the weekend, in which Carlos recorded a fast time immediately in the opening stages, projecting himself straight to the top of the timesheets. During the 45-minutes available, the times of almost all the riders, Carlos included, dropped dramatically, especially in the final minutes.
The fastest lap recorded by the Spaniard – 1m36.7 registered towards the end of the session – positioned him second at the end of this first practice, one tenth of a second from Melandri. Davide spent the session working with his technicians to resolve some set-up problems. These difficulties prevented him from performing as he had hoped and he therefore closed this first session in nineteenth position.
Later in the day, in the first of two official qualifying sessions, Checa and Giugliano continued with the work schedule, making excellent progress. Checa recorded a series of very fast laps, his best time a 1m36.5 with which he closed this first qualifying session at the top of the timesheets in first position. With this morning’s issues resolved, Giugliano’s lap times dropped dramatically this afternoon. Back on the right path once more, the young Italian rider was able to register a best of 1m36.8 which put him in fifth position at the session’s end, just three tenths from leader Carlos.
Carlos Checa: “We’ve worked well today and I’m satisfied with what we’ve got done. The tyres we have tested today give fairly similar results to each other in these hot conditions. Everyone’s talking about grip problems but this is probably due to the high temperatures, it might cause problems through the corners but I’m feeling confident. We’ll see how the conditions are tomorrow and Sunday but I think we can be very competitive come race day.”
Davide Giugliano: “This morning we got started right away but I didn’t have a good feeling with the bike, we had a few problems with the set-up and getting back into the swing of things after America. We gradually sorted that out though and know that this is a track where we can be competitive. In the afternoon, I was able to make solid improvement and we had a good session. We’re not 100% there of course but this is a positive thing as it means there’s room for further improvement tomorrow.”
TIMES (Qualifying): 1. Checa (Ducati) 1’36.5; 2. Rea (Honda) 1’36.5; 3. Biaggi (Aprilia) 1’36.7; 4. Melandri (BMW) 1’36.7; 5. Giugliano (Ducati) 1’36.8; 6. Guintoli (Ducati) 1’36.8; 7. Baz (Kawasaki) 1’36.9; 8. Haslam (BMW) 1’37.0
Source: Althea Racing
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FG_AUTHORS: Mark Morrison