I'm a little bit confused now.
You say that CloneCD does not read or write pre-gap data, so CloneCD images do never contain such data. But you also say that a successful backup with CloneCD depends on the hardware ability to write pre-gap data. So, where does the pre-gap data come from if CloneCD does not even ask the drive to read it?
Now, which of the following is true?
A: CloneCD can never create a good SD 2.80 backup, regardless of the burner used, because CloneCD does not care about pre-gap data.
B: CloneCD can only create a good SD 2.80 backup if you use a drive which can read and write pre-gap data. Although it does not let the drive read pre-gap data, it does let it (somehow) write such data.
(I'm not talking about emulated backups, but about backups made with the "ignore weak sectors" option.)