The Italian faces tyre “gamble” at Aragon after taking first place in Free Practice
Following a disappointing weekend at the Chang International Circuit, Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) bounced back to form during the three Free Practice sessions at MotorLand Aragon, Round Three of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship. Amongst the top four fastest racers in each session and with the fastest time overall, the Italian will be confident at his chances to earn a third win of the 2018 season and move back to the top of the championship standings.
The changing weather was the main protagonist at Alcañiz, making for a challenging and strategic Friday. “It was very difficult because FP1 was wet, FP2 was in a good condition, but then FP3 was very difficult because at the beginning it was dry but only a few laps were in a good condition”, explained the Italian. “There was drizzle so it was impossible to work on the bike and find something. Tomorrow’s going to be a gamble day. Myself, I don’t have any idea of which tyre we’re going to use for the race. The difference between the soft and the middle is quite big, so it’s going to be a tricky race”.
Uneasy on his Panigale R in Thailand, Melandri seemed more relaxed in today’s sessions, even taking time to chat with fellow championship rival Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) midway through the FP3. The Italian seems to be enjoying the Aragon Round up to now: “Yeah, I’m feeling great. I think we’ve been working hard after Thailand where we had a lot of problems. Today’s bike was much better. I can’t be sure it will be working tomorrow, but the feeling is much better. I think it’s going to be a good race”.
Watch Melandri and Ducati battle it out at the top tomorrow in the Tissot Superpole and Race One, live on the WorldSBK VideoPass.