Positive start for the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team at Aragon: Melandri 1st and Davies 4th in Friday's free-practice sessions.

The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team resumed action at Aragon (Spain), which hosts the first European round of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship after an overseas start in Australia and Thailand
On the track on the outskirts of Alcañiz, Marco Melandri posted the provisional best time in Friday's free-practice sessions with a 1:50.652.

The Italian, as most of the riders, registered his personal best during FP2 in dry track conditions, while FP1 and FP3 were characterized by intermittent rain and little track action. Chaz Davies, who already collected six wins on the Spanish track, focused on rear-tire comparisons to evaluate the different compounds available, posting a personal best of 1:51.125 during FP2 to clinch 4th position. Both Davies and Melandri qualified directly for Superpole 2.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi enjoyed a positive debut with the Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team. The Italian rookie finished the opening day with a 1:51.954 in 11th position overall. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati and the Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team will resume action on Saturday, April 14th, at 08:45 (CET) for the fourth free-practice session ahead of Superpole and Race 1, which is scheduled to start at 13:00 local time.

Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) - 1:50.652 (1st)
"We worked really hard to solve the issues we encountered at Buriram, and today the bike was much more stable. We still need to verify a few things, but the feeling has improved significantly. The weather complicated our program a bit, because we started off in the wet, then we found ideal conditions in FP2, and then the track was damp in the afternoon. So, tomorrow we'll have to take a bit of a gamble with the setup but especially the tires, because the soft and medium rear behave quite differently. Anyway, I'm confident we can be competitive."

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) - 1:51.125 (4th)
"Mixed conditions slowed us a down a bit, but we got down to business in FP2, which was OK. We are still looking for more stability, and we changed the setup for FP3 but unfortunately we had a last-minute issue and we couldn't go out early on, when it was dry. Fortunately, we didn't miss much track time. I'm pretty confident with the direction we're going in, in the past we've raced with a similar setup here at Aragon with success, but FP4 will be really important. I'm looking forward to the battle."

Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team #21) - 1:51.954 (11th)
"I'm quite happy with this first day, overall it's been a positive one. We started off well in the wet, and also during FP2 I had a good feeling with the bike. Unfortunately, in the afternoon the rain slowed us down a bit, but I'm confident we have plenty of room for improvement. First of all I want to make it to Superpole 2 and see how we do compared with the top riders."