2014 Qatar World Superbike And World Supersport Post-Qualifying Press Releases

Press releases from the series organizers and the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after qualifying on Saturday at Qatar:

Giugliano breaks Losail best lap to claim Tissot-Superpole

Doha (Qatar), Saturday 1 November 2014 – The first ever floodlit Tissot-Superpole has been won by Ducati Superbike Team’s Davide Giugliano, who will line up for tomorrow’s two 17 lap encounters alongside Loris Baz and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), who will join him on the front row. This is the second time this year for Giugliano as pole sitter, the third one so far in his WSBK career. The Italian rider clocked in 1’57.033 to set the new best lap of the track.

The top 3 riders were awarded with their Tissot-Superpole trophies by two time World Superbike Champion James Toseland.

Davide Giugliano: “I’m very happy. For me it was important to be on the front row. The fast lap and being faster than Ben Spies is good for us but it’s more important to be consistent over race distance. Yesterday it was difficult but I’m happy with all my team, they are working very hard. In my heart I want to win, but after the recent races it’s important for me and important for Ducati to have two strong races tomorrow.”

Tom Sykes: “It was not the easiest day yesterday but It means nothing being fast on the Friday. We were working towards tomorrow. I have a game plan and me the whole Kawasaki Racing Team are working for this. Of course I’m here to win races, but it’s more important to win the championship.”

The second row for the season’s final races will see Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team), Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) and Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team).

Best classified EVO rider David Salom will start from the fourth row in 12th position.

Wildcard rider Alex Cudlin (Team Pedercini Kawasaki - EVO) will make his WSBK race debut starting from 16th on the grid whilst Geoff May, who put the Team Hero EBR machine into Superpole for the very first time, will move off from the 19th position.

Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) and Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) both crashed unhurt and will start from 7th and 11th respectively.

Superpole 1 saw Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) and EVO leader David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) progress, joining the already automatically seeded riders after the combined FP1, FP2 and FP3 sessions yesterday. The pair were separated by 0.086s at the end of an exciting 15 minute session.

Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia - EVO) suffered a huge highside in the final moments of the first Superpole session bringing out the red flag. The Frenchman was taken to the medical centre for precautionary checks and his conditions will be reviewed before tomorrow’s warm up.

Times: 1. Giugliano (Ducati) 1'57.033 average 165.492 kph; 2. Baz (Kawasaki) 1'57.281; 3. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'57.468; 4. Davies (Ducati) 1'57.562; 5. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'57.833; 6. Haslam (Honda) 1'58.005; 7. Rea (Honda) 1'58.190; 8. Melandri (Aprilia) 1'58.355; 9. Laverty (Suzuki) 1'58.379; 10. Elias (Aprilia) 1'58.583; 11. Lowes (Suzuki) 1'58.919; 12. Salom (Kawasaki) 1'59.015; 13. Barrier (BMW); 14. Canepa (Ducati); 15. Andreozzi (Kawasaki); 16. Cudlin (Kawasaki); 17. Staring (Kawasaki); 18. Guarnoni (Kawasaki); 19. May (EBR); 20. Morais (Kawasaki).



Losail (Qatar), 1 November 2014 - The results of the Superpole session which determined the starting order on the grid for the two races tomorrow that will in turn decide the World SBK championship leave the doors wide open for anything to happen. This is further confirmation of just how unpredictable this thrilling season has been right down to the final round.

Both the Rider and the Manufacturer World Championships are still up for grabs, thanks to Sylvan Guintoli and his RSV4 which have come back to make up 32 points on provisional leader Sykes over the last four races, keeping a championship which seemed all but decided until a few rounds ago open all the way to the end.

In the most important round the two contenders left in the mix will start close to one another, Sykes from the third spot and Guintoli from the fifth, separated by less than 4/10 of a second.

Marco Melandri, who easily went through the first Superpole session where he was forced to participate after his eleventh place yesterday, finished with the eighth best time, earning a spot on the third row of the grid.

The changing conditions of the Qatar track, where the races will be held at night under artificial lights, will add a variable of unpredictability to the races tomorrow where Aprilia will be seeking to retain the Manufacturer World Champion crown to reaffirm the superiority of a bike, the RSV4, which has dominated World SBK for five consecutive seasons.

Sylvain Guintoli: "It almost seems as if I'm used to starting from fifth place by now after Jerez and Magny-Cours. Today I was unable to find the right feeling with the qualifier tyre again, but in terms of race pace we are definitely in much better shape. There are still a few details to test in the warmup to improve. It seems like the track has changed compared to yesterday since I was slower today with the same tyre. The goal for tomorrow is to attack from the first to the last lap without making any calculations."

Marco Melandri: "These qualifying sessions were not easy. Even in terms of race pace I still don't feel like everything is perfect. But we have some ideas on how to improve and I feel like we're very close to taking a step forward so all things considered we expect two races tomorrow which, in my opinion, will be very demanding for everyone."

Second row for Haslam under lights of Qatar

Pata Honda’s Leon Haslam will start tomorrow's final two races of the 2014 World Superbike championship from the second row of the grid after setting the sixth-fastest time in this evening’s Superpole at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.

The 31-year-old British rider has spent all weekend fine-tuning the setting on his Pata Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade and was able to extract an improved performance from his qualifying tyre in the latter stages of the Superpole session, in which Italy’s Davide Giugliano took pole position.

Haslam’s Pata Honda team-mate Jonathan Rea will start tomorrow’s two 17-lap races at the 5.380km Losail circuit from the head of row three after crashing out of contention unhurt when he took to the track on his qualifying tyre.

Rea has been at or near the top of the leaderboard in all sessions this weekend but admitted he was perhaps over-eager to secure pole position in this final event of the 2014 season as he pushes to regain third place in the series.

Tomorrow’s first two night races in the 26-year history of the World Superbike championship will go at 19.00 and 22.00 local time in Qatar which is GMT +3hrs.

Leon Haslam - P6, 1m58.005s

I’m really happy actually, and moving from the race tyre to the qualifier in Superpole, everything stayed stable which is what we’ve been aiming for all year. The last few rounds have been quite positive with the way we’ve got the balance of the bike and the way we’ve got the electronics working. I made a little mistake on the Q and I think the lap could have been a little bit quicker but I’m on the second row for the last two races of the year and I’m really, really happy.

Jonathan Rea - P7, 1m58.190s

Well, it’s not the best grid position to start the last races of the season. Throughout the practices we’ve been really strong in all the sessions and the package is working really, really well here. In the first part of Superpole I was quite competitive on a race tyre and, when it came to use the qualifier I, er... well, maybe I wanted the pole position a little bit too much! I entered turn seven a little bit too fast and tried to turn in but ran a little wide on to the dirty stuff and tucked the front. It’s frustrating because I know we had the pace to be right at the front from the beginning. It might change our tactics a little bit for tomorrow, being on the third row but, for sure, I’ll be racing for the podium. But we want to win because I think the CBR is working really well here and that&r squo;s a real possibility.

Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator

Leon showed immediately in Superpole that he was quite strong and he was able to improve another seven tenths when we put in the qualifier, which brought him the second row. That is really good and I’m happy to see him there; maybe some last tweaks to the bike in warm-up and I’m sure he can fight in the top five. Jonathan has been fast in all sessions this weekend and in the first part of Superpole on the race tyre. Unfortunately he had a small crash on the qualifier but that still gives him seventh position on the grid. Knowing that he has the pace to fight for the victory, I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s races.

Baz And Sykes On The Front Row For Season Finale

Both Loris Baz and Tom Sykes scored important front row starts at the Losail International Circuit in readiness for last two races of the 2014 FIM Superbike World Championship season, which take place on Sunday 2 November. A happy second day of track time under the floodlights for the overall official Kawasaki effort saw KRT SBK Evo rider David Salom go fastest of all the Evo riders and take the 12th grid spot.

For French rider Baz his last race for KRT almost delivered him a third pole position prize of the year, but even though he had a disturbed lap when running his qualifying rear tyre, he still finished second on the grid – and just one thousandth of a second from the previous best lap.

Sykes and his team found the pace they were missing on day one before Superpole started and Tom will now begin what will be championship-deciding races from the front row, in third place, with clear track ahead of him. He will be aiming for his second championship in succession in Sunday’s 17-lap races.

In the overall Tissot-Superpole Standings table Sykes has now finished on top, 14 points ahead of his closest rival, and with five individual Superpole trophies to his credit this year.

Evo rider Salom was in determined mood and on a strong machine set-up today as he finished second in Superpole 1, which put him through to Superpole two along with the fastest riders.

He acquitted himself well against all the main full Superbike competitors and finished 12th on the grid, earning a fourth row start for what will also be his championship deciding day within the Evo category.

The Superbike races at Losail will start at 19.00 and 22.00, local time in Qatar on Sunday 2 November.

Loris Baz: “It is strange because I feel like I made maybe the worst lap of my life but I was second in Superpole! I made too many mistakes and I missed a gear on the straight so I lost maybe one or two tenths there, and at the back of the track I lost some more time. I was just hoping to still be on the first or second row, so I am really happy to be one place from the front. I could have gone faster but let us see how it is tomorrow. I like the track here and I want to end the season with the team in a good way, to say thank you for all they have done for me.”

Tom Sykes: “I am happy to be on the front row and it is good for Kawasaki to have Loris second and myself third. The two guys in front did great laps and I am happy to be on the front row and have clear track in front of me for tomorrow. We have been working very hard with the bike to be ready for Sunday’s two races. That is where it counts. We have a points lead to work with and we will do the best we can, using our experience the best we can. We were able to react today, so we will try to fine-tune the Ninja ZX-10R even more. I am very excited, very motivated and I just hope we can have a great day at this fantastic circuit.”

David Salom: “I am very happy to be fastest Evo rider in qualifying again but the points will be tomorrow, not today. I will fight for the championship and for sure it will be difficult in the two races. Now we have a very good bike for the race and the team has worked very hard and very well this weekend. I tried to push today in Superpole 1 and 2, I gave my all and we finished near to the full Superbikes. We are ready for the races tomorrow.”

Unlucky qualifying at Losail for Voltcom Crescent Suzuki

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Eugene Laverty will start his final races in the eni FIM Superbike World Championship from the third row after qualifying in ninth place at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar today.

Continuing to suffer with the electronics issue that saw him sit out of Friday’s final session, Laverty failed to set a competitive lap time on his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R in Saturday’s opening free practice, leaving all the work for Superpole’s 15 minute run. A 1’58.379 saw the Irishman take ninth place, lining up alongside Honda’s Jonathan Rea and Aprilia’s Marco Melandri.

Feeling confident with his Suzuki GSX-R1000 heading into Superpole 2, Alex Lowes left the box on qualifying tyres neatly behind championship contender Sylvain Guintoli. Unfortunately for Lowes, unwanted attention from the Aprilia of Toni Elias put paid to his hot lap, and the British racer concluded the session from the gravel trap at turn 13, having tried to make the best of the compromised situation.

With all three qualifying free practices completed on Friday there was only the non-timed 30 minute session to run before the real business of Superpole got underway at 21:00hrs local time. Temperatures on and off the track matched the previous day, however, the rising humidity played more of a part as the evening’s events began. Davide Giugliano’s time of 1’57.003 awarded him pole position aboard the Ducati, while Kawasaki’s David Salom claimed the highest qualifying position in the EVO class.

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki will be back under the Losail floodlights at 19:00hrs local time (16:00GMT) for the first of tomorrow’s two races, with the 2014 Championship finale at 22:00hrs (19:00GMT).

Eugene Laverty:

“Free practice two was perfect and since then it has been a disaster! We had electronics problems and the bike didn’t run again in FP4 so we went into Superpole blind and I think ninth was the best we could hope for. It’s all ‘if’s and but’s’ but with the way the bike was feeling in FP2 we know how strong it could have been and that’s the bitter pill to swallow. It’s going to be hard from the third row tomorrow but I’ll try and get involved and do the best I can for Suzuki and the team!”

Alex Lowes:

“I was feeling good with my two laps on the race tyre this evening. I went out on the qualifier and was in a great position behind Guintoli to aid us in setting a perfect lap, but Elias got in the middle and turned what should have been a great qualifying into a disaster. I really hope the lads don’t have too much work to do and we can come back strong for tomorrow’s races.”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“From a really positive evening yesterday in Qatar to a really disappointing one tonight! The qualifying results - as has often been the case over the course of the year - don’t reflect the potential. Eugene’s FP3 technical problems unfortunately weren’t solved for FP4 and again he didn’t set a competitive lap so we were going into Qualifying cold. Operationally the bike was fine, but having missed two sessions in terms of advancing the set-up, it compromised the performance in Superpole and Eugene only went a tenth quicker on his qualifying tyre than he did in FP2 on race rubber.

“Alex was definitely on for a second row start but Tony Elias, a very experienced rider, completely compromised Alex’s lap and contributed to his crash. Of course Alex could have shut off, found track space and tried again but the qualifying tyres here are good for one timed lap only so he had to push on and try to make the best of what had turned into an impossible situation.”

Giugliano and the Ducati Superbike Team obtain pole and a new best lap in the final Superpole of the 2014 Superbike season at Losail!

Losail (Qatar), Saturday 1 November 2014 – Back on track at the Losail International Circuit today, Davide Giugliano and the Ducati Superbike Team consolidated yesterday’s strong performance by qualifying in first position for the final two races of the 2014 Superbike season! Chaz Davies will line up in fourth place on tomorrow’s race grid.

In hot and dry conditions very similar to yesterday (air temperature 29°C, track temperature 34°C), Davies and Giugliano were out on track at 6pm local time for the free practice session. The two Ducati Superbike men took advantage of the 30-minute session, using it to make final adjustments to their 1199 Panigale bikes ahead of the final Superpole of the 2014 season. The riders finished the session seventh (Davies) and eighth (Giugliano).

Superpole 2 – the two Ducati riders made a first exit with the race tyre. Giugliano, making just one lap, immediately moved to the top of the timesheets thanks to a time of 1’57.878. Chaz made two laps, the second of which was the fastest, and was lying sixth at mid-session. Returning to the track with the qualifying tyre, each of the factory riders completed one fast lap apiece. Chaz, who completed a fast, clean lap in 1’57.562, earned himself a position on the second row, in fourth place, for tomorrow’s 17-lap races, missing out on a front row start by only 94 thousandths of a second.

Giugliano, despite being affected by a rider crashing just ahead of him, was able to complete a record-breaking lap. Stopping the clock on 1’57.033, he scored both pole position and a new ‘best lap’, lowering by more than two tenths the time set by Spies back in 2009. This is the second time that the Italian rider will start from pole position this season, and marks his eighth front row start. Davide's great results in the Superpole this year, combined with today's pole, mean that he closes in overall second position in the Tissot-Superpole standings, just 14 points behind winner Sykes.

Quotes after the day’s sessions:

Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 1st (1’57.003)

“Of course I’m really pleased to have scored pole and I was able to make the most of both the race and qualifying tyres. It’s important to start on the front row but it’s even more important to be consistent during the races. I’m a little worried about our race pace because to be honest we have concentrated more on my feeling with the bike. I’m happy that, despite the difficult conditions and a few problems, we have been able to work well and achieve this significant result this evening. I thank my team that is working so hard in these extreme conditions – we’re focused on tomorrow's races, in which I will do all I can to close the 2014 season in a positive way.”

Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 4th (1’57.562)

“The Superpole went fairly well; our aim was to qualify on the front two rows so we’ve done that, only narrowly missing out on the front row. The important thing for tomorrow is to decide on the rear tyre and try to do something to improve the grip, which seemed to be more of an issue than yesterday. This morning both Davide and I seemed to suffer a little more than some of the other guys and the bike felt different to me so we need to understand why. Anyway we’ll make some changes during tomorrow’s warm-up and see what we can do in the races.”

May & Yates Ready To Race In Qatar

After making into Tissot-Superpole for the very first time in both his and the brands World Superbike career, Geoff May will start tomorrow’s 17 lap races under the floodlights of the Losail International circuit from 19th position, the best of the season.

Team mate Aaron Yates will start 22nd after narrowly missing the chance to take part in Superpole by a fraction of a second.

FP4 was uneventful for the pair, and after a solid run in Superpole 1 for Geoff, both riders are prepared to fight hard for World Championship points tomorrow.

Geoff May: “It was great to finally be able to take part in Superpole. We have worked hard for this all season and after coming so close on a number of occasions I think we deserved it. The team is doing a great job this weekend, and with the additional support from America I really think we are on the right track. Tomorrow’s races will be exciting and I will be giving it 100% to score points.”

Aaron Yates: “We continued to work hard today in FP4 and we are as ready as we can be for the races. The bike is working well here in Qatar and I am looking forward to having a strong end to the season aboard the 1190RX. If we could end the season in the points it would be a perfect way to repay the team after all their hard work and their never give up attitude since the opening race back in February.”

Front row in Losail for both Pata Honda CBRs

Michael van der Mark and Lorenzo Zanetti will both start tomorrow’s final 2014 World Supersport championship race from the front row of the grid after setting the second and third-fastest times respectively in this evening’s final qualifying session at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.

Van der Mark, who was crowned 2014 World Supersport champion in September, has been dominant in all sessions but was pipped to pole position by French rider Jules Cluzel in the closing stages of qualifying.

The Dutch ace worked together with his Italian Pata Honda team-mate during the early stages of this evening’s session and the pair lapped within three hundredths of a second of each other on their Honda CBR600RR machines.

Tomorrow’s 15-lap final race of the season at the 5.380km Losail circuit, in which Zanetti is still aiming for a top-three championship finish, will start at 20.15 local time (GMT +3).

Michael van der Mark - P2, 2m02.223s

The day has gone really well, I think. We made a few changes to the bike and they worked really well – they were just what was needed. I did a long run in the third free practice which was at quite a good pace. Then, in qualifying, I was fast and worked a bit with Lorenzo but, when it came to putting in my fastest lap, I missed a little on the slipstream on the long straight and lost two or three tenths. But in the end I’m really happy – we are fast and, I think, more consistent than the other guys, so I’m really looking forward to the race tomorrow.

Lorenzo Zanetti - P3, 2m02.245s

I wasn’t really happy after FP3 because I was a bit slower on the harder tyres. For qualifying I came back to the SC1 and the feeling was a lot better. Mikey and I helped each other a bit with the slipstream but I am so happy that I was able to make the fast lap by myself. That is important to me and means I can fight for the podium tomorrow. I need to do some more work with the team to improve the rear grip because, after some laps, it drops off a bit. Maybe it’s a problem for the other riders, too, but I want to finish this last race on the podium. I need to be there to stand any chance of finishing third in the championship.

Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator

Michael was leading qualifying right until the last moments after setting his fastest time at the beginning of the session. He is in second place but his pace is really good and he has been strong in all sessions, so he can go for the win tomorrow. Lorenzo has had more of an up and down weekend but, in the end, he did a similar lap time to his team-mate by himself. Second and third on the grid is good and tomorrow both guys can fight for the podium so well done to them.


CIA INSURANCE HONDA’S Jack Kennedy made a step up in performance to take a strong fifth on the grid for the final round of the World Supersport Championship at Losail in Qatar.

The Irish ace enjoyed a blistering lap in qualifying. Jack said: “I worked well with Film during the session and that helped me to get on to the second row. It shows good teamwork. I am very close to the riders in front and want to finish the year with a podium. I am up for the fight tomorrow.”

Local racer Nasser Al Malki, standing in for Martin Cardenas, on only his fourth session on a CIA Insurance Honda, qualified in 20th. He has an opportunity to compete for points in the race.

Nacho Calero took another two seconds from his yesterday best lap time. There is a further warm up session ahead of a floodlit race at 2015 local time, Sunday, November 2nd.

CIA Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “Jack has been struggling all weekend but we worked with him to improve his set up. We compared his settings with Film and were able to improve his settings and he made a big step forward to get fifth. We want to challenge for the podium tomorrow.

“Nasser came in to ride for us right at the last minute and is racing his own Superbike as well. Tomorrow he can concentrate on the WSS race and hopefully he can get into the points.

“Nacho struggled yesterday but we have worked hard and he has improved. It’s going to be tough for his last race of the season.”


CORE” PTR HONDA’S Ratthapark Wilairot took a superb fourth place in qualification for the final round of the World Supersport Championship at Losail in Qatar, missing out on the front row by just 0.016secs.

Clearly enjoying his time at a track he knows well, Film said: “I have been looking forward to this race for a long time and we have had good pace all weekend. I am very happy with fourth on the grid and want to finish the season with a podium. Thank you to PTR for all their support and giving me such a good bike.”

There is a further warm up session ahead of a floodlit race at 2015 local time, Sunday, November 2nd.

Core” PTR Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “Film has had fantastic pace all weekend and narrowly missed out on the front row. He has a really good chance to fight right at the front of the race.”

Menghi’s Frustrations Continue In Qatar WSS Qualifying

Fabio Menghi will start the final World Supersport race of 2014 from the 7th row, after powering his VFT Racing Yamaha to 21st on the grid in the sole qualifying session at the Losail International Circuit.

The event, the first ever under floodlights in the championships history will be a challenge for the Italian who has once again suffered the problems which have plagued him during the second half of the season.

Despite the frustration, Fabio and the team continue to remain positive, buoyed by their excellent finishes in Imola and Phillip Island, 6th and 9th at the respective venues.

Tomorrow’s race, which will also take place under floodlights will begin at 2015 local time.

Fabio Menghi – “Once again I feel like I am repeating myself but the same problems just keep happening. I know that given the correct circumstances we can fight much closer to the front, we have shown this already but it seems that the final race of our season will also be tougher than we had hoped. I want to give 100% tomorrow and I hope that we can at least score some points. At least I can say after qualifying that the bike is better than it has been for a long time, it’s down to me now”

Sofuoglu Fastest Kawasaki Runner In Losail Qualifying

Three-time World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki San Carlo Puccetti Racing Team) was the best placed of the Kawasaki WSS riders at Losail in a tight qualifying contest that put him eighth for Sunday’s 15-lap race.

Sofuoglu and his crew made set-up improvements from day one to day two at the 5.308km circuit in Qatar and although Sofuoglu pushed hard he could not put together a perfect lap in qualifying. He ended up 0.641 seconds from pole, but only 0.3 seconds from the second placed rider.

Behind Sofuoglu the other top Kawasaki riders filled the grid places from ninth to 12th. Roberto Rolfo (Team Go Eleven Kawasaki) was the ninth placed rider and Roberto Tamburini (San Carlo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) was tenth, and just over a second from pole.

Florian Marino (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) sits 11th on the grid, with American Patrick ‘PJ’ Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) 12th after a late session off-track excursion.

Regular runner Christian Gamarino (Team Go Eleven Kawasaki) was one place ahead of one-event entry Marco Faccani (San Carlo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) who ended up 14th on the grid, which means he will be starting the race from the middle of the fifth row. Mason Law (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) qualified 17th.

Sunday’s 15-lap race is scheduled for 20.15, local time in Qatar.

Kenan Sofuoglu: “Qualifying proved to be very difficult but this morning we had improved the bike compared to the first day and things looked good. It was quite tight in qualifying in the afternoon. I tried a couple of times to push hard and I think maybe I pushed a bit too much. Generally the bike set-up is good but I just could not put it all together. Eighth place is not a place we like to be after qualifying but this is not the race, the race is tomorrow. In the race everything can change and hopefully we are going to make a surprise result. With a used tyre, normally I am one of the fastest and I am confident for our race pace. Hopefully for us tomorrow will be a better day.”

Round Number: 

Back to top