At the end of Day 1 of free practice for the Qatar WSBK Round at the Losail International Circuit, both Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team riders, Chaz Davies and Álvaro Bautista, made a good start to the weekend by setting first and third place respectively in the provisional standings.
On a hot and humid evening, during the FP2 session all the SBK riders improved on their times they had set in the first session. In particular, Chaz Davis showed that he had a good feeling with the Qatari track as he dropped his FP1 time by well over one second, after starting off the day with a harmless slide on his second lap. Not far behind, three-tenths of a second, can be found his team-mate Álvaro Bautista, who is racing for the first time on this track with a Superbike.
Tomorrow, Friday 25th October at 15:00 local time (14:00 CET) the third and final free practice session will be held, followed at 17:30 by Superpole, valid for the starting-grid of Race 1, which gets underway at 20:00 (19:00 CET).
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 1’57.449 (1st)
“It was a bit of a surprise to find myself at the top of the timesheets to be honest but today my Panigale V4 R felt really good. I didn’t really start the day well when I came off the bike at Turn 4 on the second lap of the first session, but once I got back out on the track I soon got my confidence back. We worked on the bike between the two sessions, picked a direction and it worked, and the guys did a really good job to give me a good bike for FP2. I’m pleased because it seems like our best set-up isn’t too far away at all. We’ve just got to work on our race pace tomorrow and I’m confident we can find a little bit more.”
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati #19) – 1’57.767 (3rd)
“It’s always a nice experience to ride again at night at Losail with the artificial lights, even though you need a couple of laps to understand the track conditions. In FP1 the track wasn’t in the best state, but we managed to do a good number of laps and get references with the Panigale V4 R. In the second session we worked on the bike set-up to improve the rear grip and I made a good step forward. The problem is after a few laps with used tyres, I feel a lot of movement on the bike, but in any case I’m happy because the feeling was good and I have a good race pace.”