Sweltering weather conditions greeted the World Superbike contenders today at the Misano World Circuit, where the seventh round of the championship is being held and where the two Aruba.it Racing – Ducati riders, Álvaro Bautista and Chaz Davies, were third and eighth quickest respectively after the first two free practice sessions.
Very few riders managed to improve this afternoon, but one man who did was the championship leader, the 34-year-old Spaniard from Talavera de la Reina. Like all the other riders, Bautista suffered with a lack of grip in FP2, but despite this he was able to knock one tenth of a second off his time, albeit remaining in third place in the provisional classification.
Chaz Davies also suffered with the same problem, the 32-year-old from Wales finishing eighth overall in the combined standings after going fifth in this morning’s session. Even though there is very little time available before Race 1, Chaz is convinced there is still room for improvement.
Tomorrow the third and final free practice session will be held at 09:00 CET, followed two hours later at 11:00 by Superpole qualifying for the starting-grid line-up for Race 1, which gets underway at 14:00.
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #19) – 3rd (1’36.156)
“Today was rather a difficult day and it was conditioned by the hot weather and the lack of grip. We’re all lapping quite slowly, there isn’t much grip both in the front and the rear so it’s easy to make a mistake, but we’re working hard to improve the feeling. This morning I didn’t have a particularly good feeling with the choice of tyre, while in the afternoon things were better, the bike was more stable and we managed to improve our time, but only by a bit. For the moment our ideas are quite clear about which type of tyre to use and we’ll have a look at the data this evening but I’m very confident for Superpole and tomorrow’s race.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) – 8th (1’36.544)
“It was quite a positive first day and even though my position maybe doesn’t show it, the feeling with the bike wasn’t bad at all. I think we’ve got margin to improve, the only problem is that there isn’t much time available tomorrow morning for us to apply the right modifications. Today the track was really slippery and it was hard for everyone. I’m suffering with a lack of grip; in addition, I had a bit of a problem with my first tyre at the start of FP2 which meant we had to modify the workflow, but when we changed the tyre my Panigale V4 R immediately went better.”