The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team took its first win of the season in Race 2 of the 2017 WorldSBK Championship at Aragon (Spain) thanks to a brilliant performance by Chaz Davies. The Welshman thus bounced back from yesterday’s DNF, claiming his sixth victory at the Spanish track and 21st of his career. After finishing second yesterday, Marco Melandri took third place at the end of particularly close race, in which he fought for the win until a couple of laps to go.
Starting in tenth and eighth position respectively, Davies and Melandri quickly stormed back through the field, already joining the leading group on lap 3. The two teammates then closely followed Rea until lap 12, when Davies took the lead. The final laps resulted in a spectacular series of passes. Melandri climbed to second position but eventually had to drop his pace to avoid taking too many risks. Davies on the other hand crossed lines with Rea several times, only to make the decisive move at the last chicane.
After three rounds, Davies (95 points) and Melandri (81 points) are respectively second and fourth in the championship. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will resume action tomorrow for a one-day, official test ahead of the fourth round of the season, scheduled for April 28-30 in Assen (Holland).
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 1st
“The whole weekend has been difficult, from start to finish, so it was really important to cap it with a win, especially after yesterday’s disappointment. We were confident our bike would be fast at Aragon, but it wasn’t easy at all out there today and our main rivals seem relatively comfortable so we know there’s still work to do in many areas. Today we suffered a bit with grip early on. Also, the wind was really strong. It kept pushing me away from corners and in the last lap I got caught by a gust going into turn 5 and I missed a backshift, going a bit wide, but we still managed to finish in front. We’re competitive but it’s still not enough, so we need to keep working to improve. Tomorrow’s test will be very important for us but, for now, we’re going to enjoy this victory.”
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) – 3rd
“Today our bike was more competitive than in Race 1 and we were in contention for the win almost until the very end. I wanted to try to pull away with about 8 laps to go, but unfortunately I almost crashed a couple of times and after that it would have been difficult to pass Rea and Davies, so in the end I couldn’t ask for more. Each race I learn something new and I’m getting acquainted with the head-to-head battles, but we lacked the necessary grip to push with the front. Anyway, we’re happy with our performance. We’re constantly fighting for podiums and we're not far from winning. We just need to improve the setup to be a bit more consistent throughout the race, and tomorrow’s tests will be very important to this end.”
Stefano Cecconi, Aruba S.p.A CEO and Team Principal:
“We came to Aragon with great expectations but we struggled more than what we expected. At any rate, both Chaz and Marco showed great competitiveness and put on a show. We have good reasons to believe this is but the first win of the year, and we’ll keep working hard from tomorrow’s tests onward to allow our riders to be protagonists also in Assen. The season is still long.”
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