The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati stepped on the podium in Race 1 today at Villicum (Argentina), home of the twelfth round of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship, thanks to a second-place finished scored by Marco Melandri. The Italian, who took pole position with a record lap in 1:39.012, showed a strong pace also during the race despite difficult track conditions due to wind gusts and light rain, taking his ninth podium of the year.
Chaz Davies, who started from third row after encountering a technical issue during Superpole, rode bravely to catch the group fighting for the podium. The Welshman, however, crashed out during lap 13 while he was in sixth position, fortunately without consequences. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati will resume action Sunday, October 14th, at 11:30 local time (CET -5) for a warm-up session ahead of Race 2, which is scheduled to start at 16:00 local time.
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) – 2nd
"Today's race was difficult. It was very windy then some drops of rain started to fall, so we had to be a bit careful. Still, our pace was quite competitive. We struggled a little bit with the front in the early laps then we got into a good rhythm, but by then Rea was already a bit too far away. When I realized I couldn't catch up on him and the track was becoming more slippery because of the rain, I played it safe and held my position. Finishing second was the best we could do today, but we'll try to improve tomorrow. Hopefully we'll get a good start from third row, I'm looking forward to having another go at it."
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – DNF
"We were trying to work our way into the race, moving forward and pulling in into the group fighting for the podium, but it's really hard to pass here because the clean racing line is pretty thin. Once I got a good run up on Sykes in the back straight in lap 13, I thought it was the right opportunity to pass him because we were going into one of the cleaner corners, but unfortunately it wasn't clean enough. The rear locked going in and, as I let off the brakes a little bit to regain balance, I just lost the front over the dirt. Looking at the positives, our pace was quite good so we'll have a chance to bounce back tomorrow."
Marco Zambenedetti, Technical Coordinator on track for Ducati Corse
"It was a bittersweet race for us. On the one hand, Marco confirmed his competitiveness on this track after a strong Friday, taking pole position and a brilliant second place in difficult conditions. On the other hand, Chaz was penalized by a technical problem during qualifying and crashed while trying to make up positions. So, we'll work hard as ever to allow both riders to be more competitive tomorrow."
Weekend schedule (CET -5):
Sunday (October 14th)
11:30 - 11:45 SBK Warm-up
16:00 SBK Race 2