Giugliano the man to beat on opening day at Portimão
Jonathan Rea missed out the fastest time of the day by just 0.058s.
Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team) moved to the top of the WorldSBK times after the opening day of on track action at Portimão’s Autodromo Internacional do Algarve and will head into FP3 tomorrow as the man to beat, courtesy of his 1.43.323s lap set during the final five minutes of this afternoon’s second Free Practice session.
Behind Giugliano, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), who leads the overall championship standings by 101 points, also improved despite missing out on the fastest time of the day by 0.058s.
Winner of both races last time out Tom Sykes put the second factory Kawasaki into 3rd overall, almost three tenths behind the leader as the top-12 riders were split by a second.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team) made it two Kawasaki and two Ducati riders in the top-4 with Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia) and Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) 5th and 6th. The Italian improved by one position from to FP1 despite an early crash, which cost him half an hour track-time.
Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) continued to improve to head into tomorrow’s decisive FP3 in 7th ahead of the Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils machine of Leon Haslam and the Pata Honda of Sylvain Guintoli completing the top eight. Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing – Red Devils) was 9th ahead of Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing Ducati).
The other riders inside the top 15 and looking to make it into Superpole 2 automatically tomorrow are: Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team), Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing), David Salom (Team Pedercini Kawasaki), Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Roman Ramos (Team Go Eleven Kawasaki).
Davide Giugliano: "We worked hard during the two sessions to improve the feeling, which we did. This is only the first day. I am confident ahead of tomorrow's Superpole and we are hopeful to have the pace in the two races on Sunday."
Jonathan Rea: "Another good day for us. Everyone in the team is working well and we were able to find a good setting almost immediately. Despite today being all about Kawasaki and Ducati, we cannot lose sight of our nearest rival in the points Le on Haslam. For sure he is nursing an injury but he is a fighter and he'll be up there on Sunday."
Tom Sykes: "I have arrived here full of confidence and it would be great to repeat what we achieved at Donington Park. The circuit this year is bumpier which I think explains why the times are not maybe as quick as we expected. It's only Friday so we must keep working to put ourselves in the best position."
WorldSBK Portimão - Combined times Free Practice 1 and 2
1 - Davide Giugliano Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team 1'43.323
2 - Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team +0.058
3 - Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team +0.273
Portugal in WorldSBK history
Davide Giugliano seals Portuguese Superpole