The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team stepped back on the podium at Laguna Seca (United States), home of the eighth round of the WorldSBK Championship, thanks to a brilliant second-place finish by Chaz Davies. The Welshman, who took pole position earlier on, maintained the lead at the start and posted the race's fastest lap with a 1:23.041 (the new track record) to pull away. In tricky conditions – with circa 50 degrees on the tarmac and low grip – a wobble going into turn 8 moved him into second place, which he then kept until the checkered flag.
Marco Melandri, penalized by a Superpole finished in tenth position, showed great tenacity coming back to fifth place on a track where it's particularly difficult to pass. The Italian finished strong, showing the best pace in the final laps, and tomorrow will start from second position on the grid.
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will be back on track Sunday, June 24th, at 10:30 local time (CET -9) for a warm-up session ahead of Race 2, which is scheduled to start at 14:00 (23:00 CET).
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 2nd
"It was a good race. From where I sat, I did all I could. I gave up the lead while pushing, but honestly I don't think the final result would have changed. I was trying to keep Rea honest but we just didn't quite have the pace in the last ten laps. I was losing a tenth here and there, so I tried not to make mistakes and see what he had. He made a couple of errors at the Corkscrew, but not big enough for me to erase the gap. Overall I'm very happy, we got pole position and fastest lap but just missed the big trophy. We got good data and learned a bit today, so hopefully we'll come back a little bit stronger tomorrow."
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) – 5th
"Today we faced a difficult race despite the fact that the weekend had been going really well so far. In Superpole I didn't find much grip and I couldn't make a good lap. Starting from fourth row wasn't easy, early on I couldn't ride smoothly but after a while I started to feel better. Unfortunately, we were too far by then to challenge for the podium. I tried to catch Laverty but I made a mistake during the last lap and probably it wouldn't have been possible to pass him anyway. Tomorrow is a new day, we'll try improve during warm-up and we'll see how we fare in Race 2. Starting from first row will help, but it'll be more important to improve the pace."
Marco Zambenedetti, Technical Coordinator on track for Ducati Corse
"After a positive Friday, we confirmed our competitiveness despite the fact that higher temperatures changed the track's conditions. Chaz gave his all to claim a very important second place, and Marco also showed his tenacity but unfortunately he was penalized by the issues encountered during qualifying. We'll analyze the data to further improve ahead of Race 2".
Weekend schedule (CET -9):
Sunday (June 24th)
10:30 - 10:45 SBK Warm-up
14:00 SBK Race 2