Race 1 of the second round of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship, held at Buriram (Thailand), was characterized by opposite fates for the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team. Chaz Davies sealed a fantastic third place coming back from ninth position on the grid, while Marco Melandri was forced to settle for 8th on the finish line due to issues in some sectors of the track.
Starting both from third row, in seventh and ninth position respectively, Melandri and Davies fought early on within the leading group, which was progressively separated due to many passing maneuvers. As the race progressed, Melandri struggled with stability on the straight, which caused him to lose ground. Davies, on the other hand, was able to climb back through the field to seal third place with two laps to go and defend it until the checkered flag.
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati will resume action Sunday at 11:30 local time (CET +5) for a warm-up session ahead of Race 2, scheduled to start at 16:00.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) - 3rd
"To start from third row was quite difficult, so I just tried to be patient and let the race come to me. I made some passes but, as I raced with a different front tire compared to my usual choice, I felt like I was learning the bike lap after lap. I had a fun fight with Camier, who's also my neighbour and a good friend, so I'm very happy with this podium. Tomorrow we'll start from third row but on the outside of the grid, which is better for grip. I want to make further improvements with the setup but everybody's close, so it will be a matter of details".
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) - 8th
"We found a good pace yesterday during practice, but today we struggled once again with stability on the straight. I was competitive with fresh tires and I fought in the leading group but, as the laps went by, I was forced to ride a bit more slowly. The bike was wobbling a lot and, on a track like this with three long straights, it became an uphill race. Unfortunately we still haven't solved this issue once and for all, but the team is working really hard and we want to bounce back tomorrow."
Marco Zambenedetti, Technical Coordinator on track for Ducati Corse
"Chaz managed to seize an important podium after a complicated Superpole. Marco, despite some issues during the race, was still able to collect precious points for the championship. We'll analyze the data in depth to enable both our riders to fully express their potential tomorrow."