Aruba.it Racing – Ducati expect challenging weekend at Donington
Heading into another important weekend for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team, Chaz Davies will take on the challenge of racing in front of his home fans in the Pata UK Round. At a circuit he has never won around in WorldSBK, the Welshman is feeling confident as he continues to make steps with his Panigale R. Whilst British fans will be the outlook for Davies, for Marco Melandri the return to the circuit is one he is looking forward to as it holds good memories for the Italian, taking his maiden WorldSBK victory back in 2011. The Italian team will also be racing in memory of the late Nicky Hayden, and they hope to honour his memory with two spectacular races.
Davies comes off the back of a stunning double victory at Imola, and is looking at fellow Brit Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) as the benchmark heading into the round. Keen to impress his home fans and step onto the podium in 2017, Davies explains: “After some good results at Imola, it’ll be nice to head to Donington with some momentum. In the past few years, we’ve been getting progressively closer to the mark and more competitive there, where Sykes has been the benchmark. Last year, despite having missed one hour of practice on Friday, we got a podium, so I’m up for the challenge. That said, I feel devastated over the loss of somebody who wasn’t only a respected and established motorcycle racer and world champion. Nicky’s character spoke for itself. He was a great guy, friendly and determined, who deserves so much respect. We lost a real legend, on and off the track.”
Following a one day test at Mugello last week, Marco Melandri will hope to bring some of the updates made to his machine forward in order to impress the British fans this weekend. Confident the changes will have a positive affect on his pace around the Leicestershire track, Melandri is looking forward to the challenge.
“The day spent on track at Mugello last week was really intense and important,” begins Melandri. “Because in the official post-race test at Aragon we couldn’t ride after a crash, and most of all because of the issues encountered at Imola. I think we made some steps forward under several aspects. I really like the Donington track, and I hope the weather will be good. We head there with confidence, but most of all sadness after receiving the news of Nicky’s passing. It’s really hard to make sense of what unfolded in these circumstances. He will be missed dearly. My thoughts are with him and his family.”
On track action begins at 09:45LT, and with an alternative schedule for the Pata UK Round, keep an eye on WorldSBK for all updates and up to date time tables ahead of the weekend.