The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team resumed action today at Misano, home of the ninth round of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship and second "home race" after Imola, for the opening free-practice sessions. In a day characterized by mixed weather, with a sunny sky in the morning and intermittent rain in the afternoon, the riders worked mostly on tire selection during FP1 and FP2 and stayed in the garage in FP3 given that the forecast is dry for the rest of the weekend. Both Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies gained direct access to Superpole 2, posting the seventh (1:35.294) and ninth (1:35.369) best time respectively, divided by only 0.075 seconds.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi also took it back to the track with the Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team. The rookie took more than a second off his best time in between sessions and posted the 11th time overall. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team and the Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team will resume action on Saturday, June 7th, at 08:45 local time (CET) for the last free-practice session ahead of Superpole and Race 1, which is scheduled to start at 13:00 local time.
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) – 1:35.294 (7th)
"It's been a positive day even though unfortunately we lost a session that could have been crucial for us. We had several tire options to try and it wasn't easy to find the best compromise with the setup. We would have needed more time, while we still have some questions to answer, so FP4 will be particularly important. We hope that conditions stay consistent, because the track is faster in the morning hours. As usual, the goal is to be fast in Superpole and make the most of our potential during the race."
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 1:35.369 (9th)
"We have a lot of tire options to try here, so we've been trying to check everything and surprisingly we managed to do that, even though we had to rush a bit through our program because of the weather. We probably all tried to make sure to be safe for Superpole 2 in case it rained. We did our fastest lap on a fresh tire, though one that is not usually our preferred choice. I was hoping to do a little bit more, but it's the same for everybody and we'll have another go at it in FP4 to make sure we tick all the boxes. We're quite clear-minded ahead of tomorrow anyway, which is good."
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team #21) – 1:35.439 (11th)
"Today we managed to do a lot of work despite missing one session because of the rain. However, I'm still not entirely satisfied with our pace. It's a pity, because in FP3 we could have tried some more modifications to be more competitive, and also try to gain direct access to Superpole 2, but we'll just resume our program in FP4. I'm confident, we can still make strides."
Weekend schedule (CET):
Saturday (June 7th)
08:45 - 09:05 SBK FP4
10:30 - 10:45 SBK Superpole 1
10:55 - 11:10 SBK Superpole 2
13:00 SBK Race 1
Sunday (June 8th)
09:35 - 09:50 SBK Warm-up
13:00 SBK Race 2