This PR just in from Ducati WSBK:
The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team back in action at Aragon: Melandri is 2nd, Davies 4th after Friday’s free-practice sessions
The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team took it back to the track at Aragon (Spain), home of the first European round of the 2017 WorldSBK Championship, with Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies. At the end of the first two free-practice sessions, the Italian and the Welshman sit in second and fourth position in the time sheets, respectively 0.099 and 0.321 seconds slower than the best provisional lap (1:50.062).
Seventh in the morning, Melandri progressively climbed the rankings while also evaluating different tyre options. The Italian took one second off his best times in FP2, finishing with a 1:50.161. Davies, forced to stay in the pits for most of FP1 due to a technical problem, immediately showed good chemistry on a track where he has won the last three races consecutively, climbing up to fourth at the end of FP2. Both riders thus gained direct access to Superpole 2.
The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team will resume action tomorrow at 08:45 (CET) for the third and final free-practice session ahead of Superpole and Race 1 (scheduled for 13:00).
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #33) – 1:50.161 (2nd)
“Track conditions changed throughout the day. In the morning, the wind hindered our performance a bit, but the team has done a great job and the competitiveness of our package improved progressively. In the afternoon, we made a step forward both in terms of lap times and feeling on the bike. I haven’t done a race simulation but I think we know exactly what we need in order to improve our pace, especially in the second half of the races, compared with the first two rounds. Tomorrow the wind could be stronger, but I’m happy with where we’re at right now. I hope to ride a strong race and step on the podium, hopefully in a different fashion compared with Thailand.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) – 1:50.383 (4th)
“Unfortunately we suffered a technical problem in FP1, which resulted in basically one hour less of track time for us. Thankfully my mechanics are very prepared and were capable of substituting the engine in very little time, but we basically had to play catch-up. In the afternoon I simply tried to find my rhythm and start working on the setup, but we couldn’t do a long run to better understand tyre wear. Honestly, I still don’t feel at 100 percent. We climbed back and ended up not far from the top, but we still need to improve, especially in changes of direction and mid-corner handling. We’ll try to make the most of FP3 to be ready come race time.”