After an extraordinary double seized with Marco Melandri at the end of two exciting races in the opening round, and another podium in Race 1 with Chaz Davies, the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team is ready to resume action at Buriram (Thailand) for the second round of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship, scheduled for March 23-25.
The Thai track, both due to its configuration and the hot climate, has so far represented a challenging benchmark; however, both Melandri and Davies are as determined as ever to improve their best results at Buriram, a second and third place respectively. In particular, Melandri is keen to confirm the progress made on the Panigale R and defend the lead in the championship. Davies, on the other hand, is optimistic in light of the improved feeling with the bike and ready to climb the rankings before the start of the European season.
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati will resume action on Friday at 09:45 local time (CET +6) for the first free-practice session.
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33)
"Buriram is undoubtedly a peculiar track, but I like it. Despite the fact that it doesn't have one of the most technical layouts, it's still a lot of fun to ride. Last year, our main rival was the heat as I struggled more than expected with 40 degrees, so I hope that the conditions are a bit more favorable this time. However, we should also consider that I had very little experience with the Panigale R back then. In the 2017 races, Sykes passed me twice in the last corner, but now I feel much more determined and ready, so I can't wait to get back on track."
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7)
"After a positive start in Australia, I feel good about going into round 2 in Thailand. Buriram is a good track to assess our level and see where we are with the 2018-spec in general, but also to pick up from where we left off at Phillip Island. The crash in Race 2 obviously wasn't ideal, but the positive is that I felt good on the bike, both physically and in terms of overall feeling. We want to confirm how competitive we can be. The heat in Buriram makes it a bit more difficult for everyone, but we got progressively closer to the win every year, so hopefully we can close the gap altogether this time. I'm really motivated and looking forward to the weekend."