Sunday, April 1


Press Release, Imola (Italy), Saturday 31st March 2012: Althea Racing riders Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano both took part in Saturday afternoon's Superpole session at the Imola track.

World Champion Checa was very strong in each of the three phases and his performance was rewarded when he secured third position for Sunday’s two 21-lap races.

Giugliano, still getting to grips with the Superpole format, completed a solid first phase but unfortunately crashed in the second, closing therefore in twelfth position.

The two Althea Racing riders were back on track for the second qualifying session, determined to do their best and reserve spots in this afternoon’s Superpole.

All of the riders needed a couple of laps in which to ‘warm-up’ after which times began to tumble once more. Carlos made his fastest lap at the very end of the 45-minute session, lowering his best time set yesterday by half a second and positioning himself fourth as a result (his best time was a 1m 47.8s), just behind Sykes, Guintoli and Haslam.

Davide had a little trouble this morning but was nevertheless able to improve slightly on yesterday’s time, closing in sixteenth position with a best time of 1m48.6 that assured him of a place in the all-important Superpole.

During the early afternoon practice session, Checa evaluated his race pace, completing a series of consistently fast laps, one of which (1m 47.3s) was the overall fastest time of the session, and of the weekend up to that point. He therefore closed regular practice at the top of the timesheets.

Giugliano had some difficulty due to a gearing problem and only completed a handful of laps as a result. His technicians chose to get straight to work to resolve the issue in time for the Superpole that began just one hour later.

Superpole 1: in the first of the three phases, both Althea riders went out on race rubber. Carlos immediately put in a fast lap, followed by another even quicker lap which assured him of first position at the end of this initial phase.

Davide, less satisfied with his opening laps, went back out and made a second exit on a qualifying tyre, with which he was able to record the eighth fastest time, meaning that he too passed safely to the second phase.

Superpole 2: With 12 minutes available in this session, Carlos, still on a race tyre, made only one flying lap which placed him second. Davide on the other hand ran off track due to a technical problem and then returned to the garage to change tyre. This time out he unfortunately crashed while following Biaggi, thus closing today’s Superpole in final twelfth position.

Superpole 3: trying the qualifying tyre for the first time, Carlos made the fifth fastest lap time. With only four minutes to go, his technicians made a rapid tyre change and, once again on race rubber, the Spaniard was able to register the third fastest time, behind Sykes, polesitter, and Guintoli also on a Ducati.