Mixed day in the office for Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Team
Bouncing back from a tough Friday around the Circuito de Jerez, Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was able to secure a podium finish in race one after putting in a stunning performance with limited track time on the Panigale R – which was important considering the new track surface.
The British rider was the man to beat around the circuit this weekend, but following a crash on Friday he struggled to improve his strong pace. Once he was settled in with the pace in the opening race of the weekend, he was able to be up and fighting for the victory as he continues to hunt down second position in the world championship. Thrilled with his performance, he looks ahead to what is set to be a tricky race two.
Davies explains: “I’m really happy because I feel that today we rode a really strong race after missing most of FP2 yesterday. It was tough because we had one hour less of track time and, with a new surface, there was a lot to take in. I felt that we were learning as the race was unfolding. It took me a few laps to adapt, so overall I’m happy to have been able to recover a few points on Sykes after a long game of cat and mouse with him. All things considered, I think we couldn’t have asked more. I’m sorry for Marco, he was really unlucky today.”
On the other side of the garage, Melandri had a more difficult day as he was forced to retire from the lead with four laps remaining. Putting in a stunning qualifying time this morning, the Italian continued to improve his pace throughout the day and dominated proceedings in the race. However a problem with his bike saw him pull over at turn one and retire from the race.
Disappointed to have lost out, he hopes to improve tomorrow: “Today we probably rode our best race of the year, I felt as strong as ever. With a less bumpy track, we didn’t struggle with stability under acceleration and thus we were able to use a setup tailored towards corner speed. I was able to push to the limit without going past it. I can’t say whether we would have won or not, because it wasn’t over, but for sure we were ready to have a go at it until the very end. It’s a shame we lost such a great chance, but tomorrow we’ll give our best to take back what we’ve lost today.”
See how the Ducati duo can improve on their pace in race two at the Pirelli Spanish Round, all on the WorldSBK VideoPass.