The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team resumed action today at Villicum (Argentina), home of the twelfth round of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship, which debuts in South America. Tackling a new track, the riders and the team started the work on the setup ahead of the races with positive feedback and, after three free-practice sessions, Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies are respectively in second and seventh position.
Melandri had a positive start to its quest and lapped at the front since the morning to finish second, only 0.228 seconds away from the top with a personal best of 1:40.142. Davies also progressively improved his lap times and posted a 1:40.741 (+0.827). Both riders thus gained direct access to Superpole 2.
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati will resume action Saturday, October 13th, at 10:45 local time (CET -5) for one last free-practice session ahead of Superpole and Race 1, which is scheduled to start at 16:00 local time.
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) – 1:40.142 (2nd)
"It was a very good day for us. It wasn't easy because, with the track being new and dirty, the feeling with the bike changed during each lap, but the circuit is amazing – very technical – and we had fun out there. It will be difficult to pass during race because there's only one clean line at the moment, but we're working in the right direction. Tomorrow it will be crucial to preserve the front tire. Right now Rea has a bit of an edge, but we're closer than in other tracks. The race won't be easy, but I'm feeling great."
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 1:40.741 (7th)
"It's been a quite positive day. We got acquainted with the track, step by step, doing a good job overall. I like the layout, it's technical and varied, but the tarmac is still a bit dirty. We changed the setup and the gear ratio quite a lot ahead of FP3 but it didn't work, so we went back to what we used in FP2 and it took a while to get back in the rhythm and, at the same time, the track had also improved quite a lot in terms of grip, so it wasn't easy to get a proper feeling. However, we just pushed a bit more in the end and the lap time came quite easily, so hopefully we'll keep making strides tomorrow."
Weekend schedule (CET -5):
Saturday (October 15th)
10:45 - 11:05 SBK FP4
13:30 - 13:45 SBK Superpole 1
13:55 - 14:10 SBK Superpole 2
16:00 SBK Race 1
Sunday (October 16th)
11:30 - 11:45 SBK Warm-up
16:00 SBK Race 2