For the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team, the first race in the French Round at the Magny-Cours circuit - and race number 800 in the history of the Superbike World Championship - concluded with a good fifth place for Álvaro Bautista and an unexpected DNF for Chaz Davies in the early laps.
Starting from row 5 in fourteenth place on the grid, the Spanish rider tried to build up his confidence in the dry conditions before beginning a great fightback through the field to finish in fifth place.
Team-mate Chaz Davies on the other hand went on the attack from the fourth row, immediately passing a number of his rivals and taking the lead of the race. Unfortunately, when he was fighting for second place, a glitch while entering into Turn 15 led to unintentional contact with Razgatlioglu, causing Chaz to crash and putting an end to his race, luckily without consequences.
Tomorrow the ten-lap Superpole Race will be held at 11.00 CET, with the 21-lap Race 2 starting at 14.00.
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati #19) – 5th
“Fifth place was not a bad result for sure because there were a lot of difficult situations to manage during the race and because it was basically my first ever exit on this track in these conditions. I started far back on row 5 and seeing as the track in some places was still wet, I tried to get the references and then went faster and faster. I’m happy with fifth place because I learnt the track but I’m not happy because I lost more points. We’ll see if we can go faster tomorrow now I have more experience on this track.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) - DNF
“My race was good while it lasted seeing as I was fighting for the lead, it’s just unfortunate that it didn’t last very long! In the early laps certain parts of the track were still a bit damp and everyone was slightly conservative, maybe letting the conditions improve before going on the attack, so I decided to push hard. The Panigale V4 R was seemingly working well from a set-up point of view, but as we hadn’t lapped in the dry in the previous sessions unfortunately we couldn’t work fully on the electronics settings and this caused a wrong calibration in Turn 15, which led to contact and my crash. I just did all I could to try and avoid Toprak and ended up by hitting him. I’m really frustrated to go out of the race like that, not only for the result but also for the information we could have learnt for tomorrow. Anyway, that’s racing.”