Aruba.it Racing – Ducati riders ready for the fight in Qatar
With all to play for heading into the final MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship Round, Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) is set for a tough battle as he looks to take second position in the world championship standings, whilst his team-mate Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) returns to one of his favourite circuits.
Davies, who took a stunning double victory around the Losail International Circuit last season will be fighting hard to repeat this feat on board his Panigale R. Never finishing lower than seventh position around the 5.3km circuit, he sits levels on points with rival Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) but it will be a hard fight to the line as the flag waves on Saturday.
Davies explains: “I’m looking forward to the last round. I do like racing in the lights at night, as it brings a different element to it. In the last couple of years, the Panigale R has been really competitive in Qatar. We improved quite a lot over there and last year we finally had a really strong pace, which led us to a double win. We didn’t seize second place in the championship back then because we headed into the last round trailing by a few points, but this time we’re even, so it’ll be exciting. We’re looking forward to the battle and we’re ready to put up a fight. We’re keen to finish the year on a high note.”
Returning to Qatar for the first time with WorldSBK since 2014, the circuit is a favourite for Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and he will be looking for redemption after a heartbreaking end to his race one performance last time out at Jerez. With a strong feeling on the Panigale R, the Italian hopes to be strong under the floodlights where he has a varied record.
“Losail is one of the most beautiful tracks on the calendar,” begins Melandri. “It also quite suits my riding style, as it’s a fast, flowing circuit. To ride at night, also, adds a special feeling to it, even though in terms of riding it’s basically the same. I expect us to be strong, also since the track has some things in common with Jerez, where we were really fast. At each race the Panigale R and I jell further, and I feel particularly motivated after missing what could have been a win in the last round. I want to finish the season with a strong performance, also to remind all our rivals that we’ll be a consistent threat next year.”
Follow all the WorldSBK action from the Acerbis Qatar Round from 2nd November to 4th November with the WorldSBK VideoPass.