Melandri and Davies finish Friday's practice sessions at Buriram in 4th and 5th position respectively but very close to the top

Second race of the WorldSBK season at Chang International.
A month after the opening round in Australia, which resulted in a double win, the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team resumed action at Buriram (Thailand) for the second round of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship. Friday's free-practice sessions, which were held in more favorable weather conditions compared with the past - with about 30 degrees in the atmosphere - resulted in a close fight at the top of the time sheets, with five riders within a tenth of a second.

Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies joined this group by posting respectively the fourth and fifth fastest time of the day, separated by only 11 thousandths of a second. Both riders focused their work on race pace, improving their best lap times by circa one second throughout the day. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati will resume action Saturday at 10:45 local time (CET +6) for the fourth and final free-practice session ahead of Superpole and Race 1, scheduled to start at 16:00.

Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) – 1:33.424 (4th)
"It was a good day. Luckily the temperatures were more mild than usual so it was actually nice to ride here and I had fun. My feeling with the bike is OK. We still need to put together a few pieces of the puzzle but I'm quite confident ahead of the race, though anything can happen with such narrow gaps in the time sheets. We worked methodically on race pace, but we were also able to set a competitive lap time on fresh tires, which means we have good balance overall."

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 1:33.435 (5th)
"We improved steadily throughout the day despite a couple of issues in FP2 and FP3 that delayed our progress a little bit. The most important thing is that we're not at all far from the top, and we can still improve, especially in terms of grip and stability under braking. At the moment it's a work in progress and it's hard to make predictions because we're all very close, so tomorrow's morning session will be important to verify a few things and tick the last boxes ahead of Race 1."