The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team enjoyed a positive start to the eighth round of the WorldSBK Championship at Laguna Seca (United States), finishing Friday's free-practice sessions with Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies in second and sixth position respectively.
Melandri started strong off the blocks and consistently stayed within the top positions, finishing with a personal best of 1:23.458, only 0.354 seconds off the top, and finding also good feedback in terms of pace. Davies made constant progress, taking circa four tenths of a second off his lap times in between sessions to finish with a personal best of 1:23.635 and a very similar pace compared with his teammate's.
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will be back on track Saturday, June 23rd, at 09:00 local time (CET -9) for the last free-practice session ahead of Superpole and Race 1, which is scheduled to start at 14:00 (23:00 CET).
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) – 1:23.458 (2nd)
"All in all it was a good day for me and the team. We just struggled a bit while trying different tire options, and I had a little slide going into the Corkscrew that caused me to crash without consequences, but in FP3 we found the feeling once again. At the moment, Rea is still a bit faster than us but our pace is quite good to at least fight for the podium. Anyway, we will try to further improve in FP4 and we'll need to be fast in Superpole because it's not easy to pass, but the race is always a different story altogether."
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 1:23.635 (6th)
"In the end, we had a positive first day. I was struggling a bit in the beginning, but then we made some changes and we progressively got closer to the mark. I feel like we've made good progress. Unfortunately we had to sit out the last ten minutes of FP3 due to a technical issue. We could have probably made another step forward, but overall I'm pretty happy with the direction we're going in. The first priority is to be fast in Superpole then we'll see how it goes, hopefully we can just keep making strides."
Weekend schedule (CET -9):
Saturday (June 23rd)
09:00 - 09:20 SBK FP4
11:00 - 11:15 SBK Superpole 1
11:25 - 11:40 SBK Superpole 2
14:00 SBK Race 1
Sunday (June 24th)
10:30 - 10:45 SBK Warm-up
14:00 SBK Race 2