Davide Giugliano had the honour of ending the World Superbike Championship's first day of action under floodlights with the fastest time in Qatar, despite losing time with mechanical problems.

Having completed FP1 outside the top ten, Giugliano proceeded to lose a significant portion of FP2 when his Ducati developed a problem.

Nonetheless, despite the costly time out around a Losail circuit he has never ridden before, Giugliano came back out fight in FP3, grabbing the top spot with the only lap of the day to dip below 1min 58secs.

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However, though the Italian was certainly pleased with his efforts over a single lap, he admits there is work to be done in order to extract the most from the 1199 Panigale over a longer distance.

"It has been a difficult day but when you're able to lap fast, as I did in the final session, then you can only be pleased. It's really exciting to ride here at night and I've had fun, especially in the third session, having resolved the earlier problems.

"To be honest, I didn't have too much trouble getting to grips with the 'unusual' conditions and although I expected the track conditions to worsen later on they remained pretty good throughout all three sessions. So I'm pleased with today's result but now we have to see what we can do tomorrow - we'd like to make the bike a little more fluid and we also need to work on race pace..."


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The long straight is going to be a killer for the Panigale.