The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team stepped back on the podium in Race 2 at Magny Cours, home of the 11th round of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship, with Chaz Davies. The Welshman, fifth in Race 1, got off to a blistering start from first row and led the race until lap 12 despite his far-from-optimal physical conditions, finishing second to seize his 12th rostrum this season. Marco Melandri also put up a fight, fighting in the leading group until half-way through the race. The Italian eventually suffered some cornering issues, but gave his all to finish in fifth.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi, at his last race with the Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team, finished 13th at the end of a weekend hindered also by some technical problems. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will resume action in San Juan - Villicum (Argentina) for the penultimate round of the season, scheduled for October 12-14.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 2nd
"It feels great to be back on the podium after a difficult few months. We had a tough summer with the double collarbone injury, but here we are, back on the box after a couple of races. Magny Cours is definitely not a friendly track for my kind of injury, because there are a couple of really hard braking areas followed by right-hand corners. The plan was to get a good start and drop the hammer for as long as I could, and we did that. We tried to make it a little bit difficult for Rea, hitting my marks and making sure that, if he tried to pass, he was on the limit just as much as I was. He made a few mistakes and I was able to cut back on the inside, but eventually he passed me and we lacked a bit of efficiency while turning and picking up the bike. We weren't far off in the end anyway, so there's a lot to be happy about. Now I'm really looking forward to Argentina."
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) – 5th
"I'm a bit disappointed because, while trying to improve the bike under braking compared with Race 1, we unfortunately took a step back in terms of handling. I was struggling in direction changes and, to make up for that, I was forcing a lot with the front. After the mid-point of the race, the front grip decreased significantly and I couldn't do more. It's a shame because a podium was within our reach, but we look ahead and we'll try to be back on the rostrum in Argentina."
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team #21) – 13th
"We did our best as always, but it's been a below-par last round for us. Unfortunately we encountered some issues and we couldn't really show our potential to finish on a high note. I'm sorry but I want to thank the team for giving me such a great opportunity to grow as a rider and as a person. Now we'll recharge and continue preparing for the future."
Serafino Foti, Team Manager
"After a difficult Race 1, today we managed to be more competitive with both our riders. Chaz rode a superb race, fighting the pain and pushing hard to finish very close to the winner. Marco encountered a bit more difficulties but gave his all as usual, taking home the best possible result. Now we head to Argentina, a new track, so it'll be a very interesting round."