Misano, or Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli to give it its full name, was missed off last year's calendar, but its inclusion in the 2024 season was a welcome one. The first four qualifying sessions in World Superbike were led by an Italian on an Italian bike, with Davide Giugliano and Marco Melandri sharing the spoils, giving local fans plenty to cheer about.
Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after qualifying at Misano:
Qualifying was, like the Superbikes, done under a 30º sun.
Superpole one, with the top two winning a place in the second superpole session, started in 30º weather.
Marco Melandri took the quickest time from Loris Baz, making this the fourth session with an Italian rider on an Italian bike going quickest. Sylvain Guintoli and Tom Sykes were quicker than Davide Giugliano in this untimed session.
Raffaele De Rosa and Kenan Sofuoglu traded places at the top spot all morning, but as the session wound down De Rosa claimed the best time ahead of Kenan Sofuoglu and Film Wilairot. Michael van der Mark took fourth place on the third Honda in the top four.
Davide Giugliano closed the session with a 1'36.125, having fought with Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli for top spot all session. Loris Baz was fourth quickest. Alex Lowes was the factory rider missing out on Superpole two, while Tony Elias scraped through by two hundredths of a second, but his time set in FP2 kept Lowes in Superpole 2.
Press releases from the Gresini Moto2 and Moto3 teams, and the Estrella Galicia Honda Moto3 team after their test at the Motorland Aragon circuit:
Press Releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the first day of practice at Misano:
Davide Giugliano set the fastest time ahead of Tom Sykes and Marco Melandri. Chaz Davies was fourth quickest on the second Ducati.
Jules Cluzel beat the Hondas of Michael van der Mark and Film Wilairot with Kenan Sofuoglu fourth quickest.
Marco Menaldri leads his teammate Sylvain Guintoli in the first session. Chaz Davies was third quickest.
Michael van der Mark headed off Kenan Sofuoglu and Jules Cluzel to record the quickest time of the opening session.
Press releases from the series organizers, and the World Superbike and World Supersport teams ahead of this weekend's WSBK round at Misano:
The situation at Ducati was the talk of the paddock in Barcelona. With Andrea Dovizioso, Andrea Iannone and Cal Crutchlow being linked to Suzuki, Crutchlow having a contract for 2015, Ducati keen to retain the services of both Dovizioso and Iannone, and Iannone openly pushing for a seat in the factory Ducati team, the Bologna factory faces a series of complex contract negotiations. To check on the state of play with Ducati, we cornered Ducati Corse's MotoGP Project Director Paolo Ciabatti.
What was meant to be just a brief chat turned into a much longer conversation, on a range of subjects. Ciabatti gave his view of the situation with Cal Crutchlow, as well as his hopes of retaining both Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone. He discussed the rumors concerning an approach to Jorge Lorenzo, and reflected on having had Valentino Rossi in the Ducati team. He gave us an update on Ducati's plans to provide more Open bikes for 2015. And finally, he turned his attention to the return of Michelin, and Ducati's hopes for the new tire manufacturer.
MotoMatters.com: It appears that Ducati's problem this year is that Cal Crutchlow has a two-year contract, while you also have Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone who are both riding very well. And only two seats in the factory team...
Paolo Ciabatti: As most people in the paddock know, we have a two-year contract with Cal, but he has a way out of the contract. Having said so, we invested in Cal because we wanted very strongly to have him with Ducati, and the fact that so far things have not worked in the way we all hoped is due, honestly I don't believe in luck or bad luck, but in his case, we must admit some of the things have been particularly going wrong on the technical side with no explanation. Because he has exactly the same treatment as Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone, and his team has actually been working together since a long time. Dovi's team was put together last year, after Valentino [Rossi] left, but Cal's team is Nicky's [Hayden] former team, and has been together for a long time. Daniele Romagnoli joined instead of Juan Martinez, but it is a very good team. So it's difficult for us to really understand why these things have happened.