Double podium glory for Ducati after testing weekend in Spain
Tasked with a tough fight in the Pirelli Spanish Round, Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) put in a stunning performance to take second position in race two from tenth on the gird, whilst Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) had a strong performance in race two to take another podium finish.
Melandri came out on Saturday with a stunning pace but was forced to retire from the race with a mechanical issue, meaning he faced a big battle on Sunday from 10th on the grid. Not to be disheartened, the Italian was able to fight for the podium spots early on. However he was soon locked in a battle with Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), which meant he was unable to hunt down Rea for the lead. Despite this, Melandri was happy to take second position and redeem some points from Saturday’s disappointment.
“It was a very difficult race,” began Melandri. “Starting from P10 makes it hard to overtake, especially on this track. I knew when Jonny was leading he would try hard to pull away from me, so for this I had a very determined start and tried to pass the other guys quickly. But with van der mark I thought it would be easy, and I thought I could pass him at T5. He tried to fight back and we touched each other, and I lost a lot of time. I think for Michael it would have been better to let me go and to follow me to the other guys, but every rider races with their head. It’s ok and it was good to come back, and to finish second was the best I could expect today.”
On the other side of the garage, Davies has been playing catch up all weekend after he lost out on an hour of track time on Friday. Taking a podium finish on Saturday, he continued to fight up the front, but was unable to make it up to the fight for the lead. With his mind set on second position in the championship, he was happy to leave Spain joint on points with Sykes.
Davies: “Very happy with that, we did the best we could do this weekend. It was clear it was going to be hard for us from Friday morning, I had obstacles all over but it was clear Jonny and Marco were just that cut above, so it was good to take that fight to them this weekend. We did enough to make some of the gap up to Tom which has put us bang even in the championship. I was hoping to come away from here with a gap of no more than five points with him in front so I’m happy with that. I’m happy with how we’ve worked this weekend, the team have tried really hard, they had a bike to get into tip top shape for the restart and it was fantastic. It’s been one thing after the other this weekend, but congrats to Jonny and Marco, they rode good today.”
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