Davide Giugliano suggests he has a good chance of World Superbike victory this weekend after topping the timesheets on the first day of free practice at Misano.
As has been the case on several occasions this season, Giugliano was on fine form over a single lap to put the Ducati 1199 Panigale towards the head of the order, while team-mate Chaz Davies confirmed the bike's pace with a run to fourth.
However, encouragingly for Giugliano – who has struggled to turn fast qualifying form in equally impressive race results -, he says the pace on the bike seems more consistent over a long distance too, giving him encouragement for the remainder of his home event.
“We're quite fast already and the bike has been working really well,” said Giugliano, who was a podium winner at Misano in 2012. “Things are not yet perfect but we're working hard and I'm very pleased. Our pace is strong; we made a long-run and I was able to lap with times that were consistently under 1'37.
“We still need to improve a little in sector 3, with the long turn – I think we can gain a couple of tenths there but all things considered we've made a great start to the weekend.”
It was a view held by Davies too, who says Ducati isn't suffering with the same durability issues that afflicted it in Malaysia.
“I'm pretty happy and the bike is working well. I haven't changed much throughout the day, nothing drastic anyway, as we seemed to improve quite quickly this morning. We need to be ready to make another step tomorrow, as everyone will pick up the pace, but it's all going well so far.
“We made an 18-lap run and the tyre held up pretty well which I'm pleased about. We haven't had any real edge grip issues like we did in Malaysia, perhaps because the track temperature is not as high. Anyway a good first day.”
Ducati has not won a WSBK race with the 1199 Panigale since it was introduced at the start of the 2013 WSBK season.