2015 Laguna Seca World Superbikes Post-Qualifying Press Releases

Press releases after qualifying at Laguna:

Davies claims career-first Tissot-Superpole at Laguna

First one-two for Ducati on the grid since the 2012 US Round, maiden top 3 qualifying for Torres.

The ninth Pole Position of the 2015 eni FIM Superbike World Championship season has gone to Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team) after two enthralling 15 minute Tissot-Superpole sessions. His lap time of 1.22.101s, the fastest of the weekend kept him 0.196s ahead of the rest of the field, the British rider notching up his maiden WorldSBK pole start and his first since 2011 when he raced in World Supersport.

Joining Davies on the front row for tomorrow’s 25-lap races - the GEICO US Round of the series - will be his team mate Davide Giugliano and Jordi Torres, who secured his first WorldSBK front row start on the Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils entry.

2- Davide Giugliano (ITA) 1- Chaz Davies (GBR) 3- Jordi Torres (SPA)

Row two will see Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) line up alongside team mate and championship leader Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils). Tomorrow will be the first WorldSBK race day since Donington 2014 with no KRT riders on the front row.

Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing), Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) and Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) will line up on row three.

With the California sunshine blazing, Superpole 1 saw Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia) and Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) progress to join the already seeded riders, the pair posting their best laps of the weekend before eventually qualifying 12th and 10th on the grid respectively. David Salom (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) placed himself in between the two in eleventh, while positions 13th to 15th on the grid will see Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing), Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing) and Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team).

WorldSBK Laguna Seca - Tissot-Superpole

1 - Chaz Davies Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team 1'22.101

2 - Davide Giugliano Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team +0.196

3 - Jordi Torres Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils +0.313

Third row for Guintoli in California

Sylvain Guintoli will start tomorrow’s two ninth-round World Superbike championship races from row three on the grid after setting the ninth fastest time in this afternoon’s Superpole at Laguna Seca in the USA.

The 33-year-old French rider found an expected better lap time with Pirelli’s qualifying tyre in his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machine in today’s final qualifying shoot-out, but feels that there is still work to do to improve his overall pace and unlock performance potential for tomorrow’s two 25-lap races.

Guintoli has benefited from minor chassis adjustments and an upgrade in engine management software over the last two days of free practice at the 3.61km Laguna Seca circuit and is aiming for two strong results tomorrow.

Visiting the demanding Lagaun Seca circuit for the first time, Pata Honda team-mate, Michael van der Mark, will start both races from the fifth row of the grid. The 22-year-old Dutch rider struggled for a positive front-end feeling throughout yesterday’s practice sessions but a different front tyre choice improved his feeling today.

Sylvain Guintoli - P9, 1m23.406s

This afternoon we lacked a lot of grip and, to be honest, I think I got most of what the CBR was able to give me. I made a tiny mistake on my fast lap but it felt a lot faster than it actually shows on the time sheets. So we’re still missing some speed but I’ve done my best and don’t think I could have done much more. We’re still planning to try a couple of things tomorrow morning and try to find some forward steps to get a little more for the races. We still have to carry on working and that’s what we will keep doing to find the improvements we need.

Michael van der Mark - P15, 1m24.461s

I’m still really enjoying riding this new track but obviously we need to find some more pace to be competitive in the races tomorrow. We were able to improve things a little when we used a different front tyre, but there is still a lot of work to do, of course. The guys will work through everything tonight and I’m sure there will be some things to try in warm-up. The position is not great right now but it’s awesome to ride here so I’ll try to enjoy myself with a couple of strong races tomorrow.

Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator

Michael has not had an easy day, especially with the front-end feeling and a lack of grip at the rear. In the end we put an SC2 in the front and that seems to be better and we’re making small improvements. We’re still a little behind though and that’s why he ended up 15th. With Sylvain we’ve been trying a lot of geometry settings and, in the end, we went back to Friday morning’s arrangement which offered the best compromise. He is also suffering rear grip issues but overall it’s not too bad. I think he can probably fight for top six placings tomorrow.

Davies scores his first ever pole with the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team at Laguna Seca; Giugliano, second, completes the team’s success

Monterey (USA), Saturday 18 July 2015 – The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team and riders Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano qualify in first and second position for tomorrow’s races at the Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway. It is the first time that the Italian squad scores this prestigious ‘double’ and it is a particularly significant result for Davies who achieves the first pole position of his Superbike career.

Having closed day one of action in first and third place respectively, Davies and Giugliano were back out this morning for the final timed session. Both made further progress in this morning’s slightly cooler conditions, with Chaz recording a best of 1’23.195 and Davide less than two tenths behind him, stopping the clock at 1’23.353. This meant that the Aruba Ducati pair qualified in second (Chaz) and third (Davide) position for Superpole 2 later in the day.

Superpole 2: after a first exit on race rubber, Davies and Giugliano were straight back on track with the qualifying tyre. For Chaz, one single lap was enough for him to score his first ever Superbike pole position. Putting together an almost perfect lap, the Welshman set an impressive 1’22.101 that guarantees his place at the front of the grid for tomorrow’s races. Davide was making a very fast first lap but a hairy moment through the Corkscrew caused him to lose precious time. Despite this setback, the Italian was able to record a clean second lap, in 1’22.297, to obtain second place. After the great work it has completed up until now, the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team is confident ahead of tomorrow’s races.

Quotes after the day’s sessions:

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 1st (1’22.101)

“Superpole has never really been my specialty but today we did everything right. I honestly didn’t think I’d done enough as I made one small mistake, so to be here on pole is a fantastic result, especially at Laguna, a really special track. We’ve been working extremely well this weekend and I believe we’re in a position to really fight tomorrow. This morning we made good progress and then took another step forward in Superpole. I feel well prepared for the scrap we’re bound to see tomorrow, and I’m very much looking forward to racing.”

Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 2nd (1’22.297)

“Superpole was a bit of a crazy one. There was an ‘episode’ through the Corkscrew during my first lap that prevented me from setting a fast time and so I had to make a really solid second lap which is never easy to do. I was able to do it though, and this is important; for us to be first and second on tomorrow’s grid is a very satisfying result for the team, for Ducati and for the sponsors. As far as race pace is concerned, I think that we’ve improved today and even if we’re not yet quite 100% sorted, I’m feeling really confident ahead of tomorrow.”

Second Row Starts For KRT Duo At Laguna Seca

At the ninth round of the 2015 FIM Superbike World Championship Tom Sykes and his KRT team-mate Jonathan Rea qualified fourth and fifth respectively to earn second row grid slots for Sunday’s two 25-lap races.

In warm and dry conditions Sykes and Rea eased into the second Superpole contest after regular qualifying had been completed. Neither KRT rider was able to match the single lap pace of some of their rivals but each is confident that the work they put in to prepare for the heat of battle will pay dividends on raceday.

Sykes had been second and Rea fourth on the combined time sheets to earn their Superpole 2 places and each rider used the free practice session to make final set-up choices before going for their ultimate grid positions.

For Sykes, who won a race at Laguna Seca last year, the arrival of a qualifying rear tyre in Superpole promised much but he felt he could not get the best out of the increased grip levels. He will now start the races from the head of the second row at the intense 3.610km circuit near Monterey.

It was a case of working on race set-up and making a strong race simulation for Rea in the third qualifying session, before he set his fifth place time in Superpole 2. He now starts from the middle of the second row as he goes to extend his championship lead on raceday.

Tom Sykes: “We have been working on race performance all weekend and at this circuit, for whatever reason, the grip has been low. Not only for me but for everybody. When I put the qualifying tyre in the bike in Superpole it did some really nice things but I have to hold my hands up because I do not think I took the best from the package. The level of performance was much better than it was with the race tyre so it was really rider error and I am sorry for the team. It was difficult for me to react quickly because it is a short track and we only had one really good lap on the Q tyre. We had a little bit of a stumbling block in free practice four, which made us play a little bit conservative for Superpole, so that also did not help for us. But being on the front of the second row is not the end of the world. After practice and qualifying we have some good information for raceday. Tomorrow we can work on something a little bit extra in warm-up before the races.”

Jonathan Rea: “We have been working really hard for the races and tomorrow is the day we score points. It is going to be a race of two halves, I think, because the first part will be queued up. This is a hard track to pass at so we need to get a good position in the early laps and find our rhythm. The last part of the race is going to decide who wins because there should be some guys going forward and some guys going backward. I just hope I am one of the guys going forward. We did a race simulation and I tried to put 20 consistent laps together, so we got some good information. Our bike is not using up tyres so much and Paolo my electronics guy has got our traction control and mapping really sorted. Track position is important here so a clean getaway tomorrow is at the top of the shopping list.”

David Salom (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) automatically qualified for Superpole 2 and ended up 11th on the grid. Roman Ramos (Team Go Eleven Kawasaki) was 16th after Superpole 1.

Althea Racing Laguna Seca: superpole

Laguna Seca (California), 18 July 2015

Saturday’s qualifying at the Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway comes to a positive conclusion for Team Althea, with Niccolò Canepa to start from seventh place on the race grid tomorrow, on row three, and Matteo Baiocco to line up thirteenth. The latter has made good use of the kilometres he has clocked up at this track until now.

Baiocco needs to capitalise on this experience in tomorrow morning’s warm-up where he will try to further improve his feeling with the difficult American track, but his race pace should see him running inside the top ten tomorrow.

Canepa’s feeling with Team Althea’s Ducati Panigale R continues to improve and he was consistently within the top positions during all of the qualifying sessions. The talented rider is adapting the Ducati to him and has demonstrated a very strong and consistent pace across all of the sessions. At the end of the morning’s FP3, he gained direct entry to Superpole 2 with a best of 1'23.854. In the afternoon a small problem with the gearbox prevented him from making the most of the qualifier but Niccolò nevertheless concluded in seventh position overall which will allow him to start the race together with the category’s frontrunners.

Niccolò Canepa: “I’m satisfied as we look ahead to tomorrow as I know we have good pace. I still have to improve my feeling regarding the flying lap because it’s important to start further forward, inside the front two rows. We’re not far from the frontrunners and my aim tomorrow is to fight for the positions that count and head home having scored strong results.”

Matteo Baiocco: “I’m sorry I was unable to proceed to Superpole 2, missing out by just a few thousandths of a second, as we could have carried out further tests that we now have to do in warm-up tomorrow. In general we’ve made some significant steps forward, having worked intensely all weekend. I thank the whole team that is working to the max to help me find the right feeling on this track.”



Laguna Seca, 18 July 2015 – The Laguna Seca Superpole brought Jordi Torres his first front row start in a Superbike race. The rookie rode his Aprilia RSV4 RF to the third best time, giving the excellent work done since yesterday a concrete conclusion, with an apprenticeship that had him improving lap after lap on a track that he is tackling for the first time.

For Jordi this was a great opportunity. The California track is short, demanding and has a few places suited for overtaking, conditions that make a good start particularly important. Keeping up with the fastest is also the prefect chance to learn some Superbike riding secrets, gaining fundamental experience for a rookie in the factory derivative category.

Jordi Torres: “Being on the front row here at Laguna Seca is a dream come true for me. When I first got here I never would have even imagined achieving this result. Playing the video games I would always win on this circuit which I have always liked, but being third in Superpole has a decidedly different taste. We did a good job and finally I was able to take full advantage of the soft tyre. It is just a first step and my goal in the race is to stay with the leaders to learn from them, using the battle to continue growing and improving my riding style. This is a short track with only a few points where you can overtake, so starting out front is essential.”

A few indecisions, on the other hand, kept Leon Haslam from putting his best foot forward during the qualifying session. The English Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils rider, looking very good in terms of race pace, had a small problem in FP4 just before Superpole. At the decisive moment Leon had to wait a few minutes before getting onto the track, so he was forced to speed up the usual programme in the 15 available minutes. Despite this, and in spite of a few mistakes in his two flying laps, Haslam was still able to finish on the second row with the sixth best time, a starting grid spot that does not jeopardize his ambitions for the two races.

Leon Haslam: “It wasn't a perfect afternoon. In FP4 a small problem cost us some time and even at the beginning of Superpole I had to stay in the garage for a few minutes. Then, during the two laps with the qualifier tyre, I made a couple of mistakes that kept me off the front row. It's a shame because grip was really quite good and we had the potential for a better result. Now we just need to analyse everything that happened today and set up the changes we need to make for the races.”

Eighth for Lowes and Voltcom Crescent Suzuki in Laguna Seca Superpole

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes qualified in eighth place after a dramatic Laguna Seca World Superbike Superpole in the USA this afternoon.

Continuing to improve his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R as the American weekend progressed, Lowes was denied his initial qualifying lap after an on-track incident – resulting in his 1.23.285 time being set on third-lap rubber. However, confident of the developments made so far, the British racer is looking forward to tomorrow’s two 25-lap races.

Randy de Puniet’s bright start to the weekend continued in the opening sessions this morning, with further refinements made to his Suzuki Superbike. Despite missing out on the automatic top-ten qualification in the final timed practice, the Frenchman’s pace in FP4 looked to be on his best form of the season, before a crash at turn 10 cut short his session with 20 minutes remaining. Reverting to the spare bike for the afternoon’s qualifying, his continued improvement was stalled, leaving him in 17th position – and on the sixth row – for Sunday’s battles.

Similar conditions to Friday saw a cloudy start give way to Californian sunshine as the Monterey track warmed to 43°C for the Superpole shootout, allowing Ducati’s Chaz Davies to secure his debut WSBK pole position with a time of 1’22.101.

Lowes and de Puniet will be back on their respective Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000’s at 11:30hrs and 14:30hrs local time (19:30 and 22:20BST) for Sunday’s two races.

Alex Lowes:

“I did my best as always today but we’re not quite where I wanted to be. My aim was for the first two rows. We are still looking for that extra element to try to give us a little more confidence with turning-in on the bike and hopefully if we can find that in warm up, our race-pace will come a little easier and we can have two good races tomorrow. The lads did a good job, working methodically and although we started off on the wrong foot this weekend we’ve managed to build back up well. We’ve done the best we could with what we’ve had, unfortunately we weren’t quite fast enough today but we’ll try again tomorrow!”

Randy de Puniet:

“I am very disappointed because today could have been good. This morning we tried some adjustments, in a good way but unfortunately I was just out of the top ten. During FP4 I was on a very good lap, faster than my best all weekend, but I crashed on the last right corner before the end and demolished the bike. The guys had to prepare the second bike but I haven’t ridden this one since Assen and unfortunately the feeling was not the same as my original bike. We tried to make the adjustments, which was better but not enough, so I am starting 17th. I am really disappointed because I’m pretty sure I was able to go into SP2 and do a good time. Now I hope we can fix the bike to replicate the same feeling from before the crash and if we can do that I think we can have a good race. I know the guys have a lot of work now and I’m sorry for that. The pace is there so now we just need to find the feeling again so we can have two good races tomorrow.”

Paul Denning - Team Manager:

“Qualifying day at Laguna Seca has gone in two opposite directions for the riders. Alex has continued to make improvements with the bike which has helped him under braking and improved his rhythm on the race tyres by a good step In Superpole itself, Alex just missed out on a second row start – which wasn’t helped by an on-track altercation meaning he had to set his qualifying time on the third lap of the tyre, which is never ideal but he made a great job to dig in. The top factory-bike competitors are a little bit of a step ahead but a lot can happen over race distance here at Laguna and we hope Alex can be in the fight for a good position.

“Randy improved yesterday’s time in FP3, just missing out on the top ten, but we were still very positive for a top ten qualifying and his best start position of the year. He was pushing really, really hard behind pole-sitter Davies in FP4 and was on a great lap but the crash destroyed his race bike and we were forced to revert to the spare machine for qualifying. As often is the case, the untested spare bike didn’t feel the same and Randy struggled to make a representative lap time in Superpole. We will make sure the GSX-R is as good as it can be for tomorrow and hope that Randy can still have his best race day of the year so far.”

Saturday's Words & Pictures


Chaz Davies (GBR)

Davide Giugliano (ITA)

Jordi Torres (SPA)

Chaz Davies #7 - Aruba.it Racing - Ducati SBK Team

Tissot-Superpole 1st

Twitter: @chazdavies

Instagram: @chazdavies7

Facebook: chazdavies7

“Superpole has never really been my specialty but today we did everything right. I honestly didn’t think I’d done enough as I made one small mistake, so to be here on pole is a fantastic result, especially at Laguna, a really special track. We’ve been working extremely well this weekend and I believe we’re in a position to really fight tomorrow. This morning we made good progress and then took another step forward in Superpole. I feel well prepared for the scrap we’re bound to see tomorrow, and I’m very much looking forward to racing.”

Davide Giugliano #34 - Aruba.it Racing - Ducati SBK

Tissot-Superpole 2nd

Twitter: @davidegiugliano

Instagram: @davidegiugliano34

Facebook Page: Davide-Giugliano

“Superpole was a bit of a crazy one. There was an ‘episode’ through the Corkscrew during my first lap that prevented me from setting a fast time and so I had to make a really solid second lap which is never easy to do. I was able to do it though, and this is important; for us to be first and second on tomorrow’s grid is a very satisfying result for the team, for Ducati and for the sponsors. As far as race pace is concerned, I think that we’ve improved today and even if we’re not yet quite 100% sorted, I’m feeling really confident ahead of tomorrow.”

Jordi Torres #81 - Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils

Tissot-Superpole 3rd

Twitter: @jorditorres81

Instagram: @jorditorres81

“Being on the first row here at Laguna is a dream come true. When I was making my way back to the pit lane I had no idea I scored that type of result. I used to win a lot when I was playing videogames on this track, I love it, but doing so well in the actual racing has a much sweeter taste. We worked very well and I was finally able to take the best out of the qualifying tyre. It’s only a first step as I would like to stay with the leaders also tomorrow, in order to learn from them as we battle for a good result. This is a relatively short track with not too many spots where to overtake, so a good start to both races is crucial.”

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