The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team secured yet another podium in round two of the 2017 WorldSBK Championship in Buriram (Thailand) with Chaz Davies, who was second at the end of a Race 1 made particularly demanding by the heat (35 degrees in the air and 50 on the tarmac). Marco Melandri, who suffered some braking issues, instead missed contact with the podium only at the last corner and closed in fourth position.
Both Melandri and Davies – third and fifth in Superpole – got off a strong start, taking second and fourth position respectively. Melandri initially tried not to lose contact with the winner Rea, but later struggled under braking and on lap 14 was passed by his teammate Davies, who mounted a strong comeback and was very fast and consistent in the second half of the race, then Sykes.
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will resume action tomorrow at 11:30 local (CET +6) for WUP ahead of Race 2, which is scheduled to start at 16:00 local time. Due to the new grid regulations for Race Two, Davies and Melandri will start in 8th and 1st position respectively.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 2nd
“I was hoping for more, but in the race I realized that even finishing second wasn’t an easy result. We had some limitations, especially in the first two sectors of the track, which surprised me a bit. It wasn’t easy to pass Sykes and Marco and it took us some time. Looking at the big picture, last year after this race we were trailing by a lot more points in the championship. Consistency is the key at the moment. We have to be realistic and what’s positive is that this is the best result by myself and Ducati here at Buriram, which is a difficult track for us.”
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) – 4th
“It was a hard race because of the heat, but physically I felt OK. At first I pushed very hard to stay with Rea, and managed to be more aggressive than in Phillip Island, but we still missed something. Unfortunately, as the laps went by, we struggled under braking. During free-practice we didn’t encounter these issues, but we also didn’t do long runs. This made it difficult for us to keep a constant pace. Looking at the bright side, tomorrow we will start from pole position, which could turn into an advantage given that our closest rival will be on third row.”
Ernesto Marinelli, Superbike Project Director
“We knew it would have been a tough race, and the higher temperatures didn’t help us today. Still, we made big steps forward compared with 2016. Chaz was really fast and constant in the second half of the race. Unfortunately Marco had some problems with the front brake towards the end. We barely missed the chance to put both our riders on the podium, but we’re not far and we’ll use WUP to try some new solutions to get closer to our competitors.”
Weekend schedule (CET +6)
11:30 – 11:45 SBK Warm-up
16:00 SBK Race 2
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