WSBK Donington: Giugliano resists Haslam for Donington pole

Davide Giugliano splashes to a second career WSBK pole position at a wet Donington Park, holding off an inspired turn by Leon Haslam.
CLICK HERE to view full Superpole qualifying results from Donington Park.

  • Davide Giugliano splashes to pole position at a wet and slippery Donington Park
  • The Italian holds on, despite a late crash, to deny Leon Haslam a grandstand pole on home soil
  • Melandri completes the front row, ahead of Lowes, while Rea is eighth after a crash

Davide Giugliano has become the fifth different rider to secure a World Superbike pole position this season after defying difficult weather conditions at Donington Park to prevail in a wet and wild Superpole session.

An incident-packed session, which saw a series of crashes and offs in both SP1 and SP2, Giugliano sprung to the top amidst a flurry of fast times in the closing stages, his efforts doing just enough to deny a marvellous return to the front for Leon Haslam.

Indeed, Haslam was the star performer around his home circuit, the PATA Honda rider always rebounding towards the head of the timesheets as the riders grew in confidence on an otherwise dismal day in the Midlands.

However, Giugliano's best lap of 1min 44.903secs would stand firm enough, with Haslam missing out by just a tenth of second with his last effort. Despite this , second place still marks his best qualifying result since joining the Honda team in 2013.

Incidentally, Giugliano's pole position came despite a crash in the final seconds, the Italian nonetheless notching up Ducati's second wet weather pole position with the 1199 Panigale after Ayrton Badovini's efforts at the Nurburgring last season

Marco Melandri makes up the remainder of the front row on the Aprilia after ascending with his final lap, the Italian steadily improving his lap times over the course of the session.

For a time it appeared pole position would be decided between Alex Lowes and Jonathan Rea as they traded fastest time mid-way through the session. However, Lowes would be forced to settle for fourth after losing time on his final lap, while WSBK leader Rea ruined his chances with a crash at the Melbourne hairpin that would see him slip down to eighth by the chequered flag.

Another rider to suffer an off – as well as the ire of Rea when he seemingly blocked him -, Sylvain Guintoli starts in fifth position, ahead of Loris Baz and Tom Sykes, the Kawasaki pair appearing somewhat uncomfortable in the difficult conditions.

Toni Elias completes row three having progressed from SP1, with Eugene Laverty, Chaz Davies and Ayrton Badovini making up row four, the latter emerging as the top EVO rider after also making it through into SP2, even if he would be forced to skip the session after crashing towards the end of SP1.

Indeed, SP1 would be a bruising experience for several riders, with Badovini, Leon Camier, Niccolo Canepa and Jeremy Guarnoni all suffering offs in the wet. As such, Christian Iddon, Claudio Corti and Alessandro Andreozzi make up the remainder of the top 15 having avoided drama, ahead of Canepa, David Salom, Camier, Fabien Foret – who once again didn't venture out on a wet track – and Guarnoni in 20th.

Tagged as: Haslam , Giugliano

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