This just in from Aruba.it:
The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team stepped once again on the podium in Race 2 of the WorldSBK Championship at Assen (Netherlands) with Chaz Davies, who crossed the finish line in third position. Marco Melandri, on the contrary, was forced to abandon the race after crashing out during lap 9 at turn 5 while he was in seventh position.
Starting respectively in tenth and seventh position, both Davies and Melandri fought their way through the traffic in the early laps, progressively climbing to the edge of the top five. Despite not being able to keep the same pace that allowed him to take the lead in Race 1 because of the strong winds, Davies eventually managed to break away and climb up to third position in lap 8, then successfully defended it until the finish line. Melandri, on the other hand, crashed while trying to stay within podium contention. The Italian walked away without injuries, but wasn’t able to rejoin the race.
After four rounds, Davies (111 points) and Melandri (97 points) are respectively third and fourth in the championship. The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team will resume action for fifth round of the season, scheduled for May 12-14 in Imola (Italy).
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) – 3rd
“I enjoyed coming back through the field, but honestly it wasn’t easy and we rode a tough race today. We simply didn’t have the ideal feeling, which we had both in Race 1 and this morning in WUP. We lacked grip on the front and it felt a bit like riding on eggshells in the last 10 laps. We need to address why, either if it’s because of a setup issue or the strong winds, but it was important not to crash and bring home points, as I realized quite early that third-place was the best we could do today. Still, our goal is to win whenever it’s possible, and hopefully we’ll have another chance at Imola, which is a special place both for me and Ducati.”
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #33) – DNF
“Today’s conditions were tough, as the wind was really strong. Because of this, I made a mistake in turn 11 during the sixth lap and lost four positions. But, I was coming back strong. It’s a pity we crashed out, because I think I could have fought with Vd Mark as our bike was more competitive than in Race 1, even though it still wobbled a lot. Unfortunately I always had this issue in this track, perhaps because I’m lighter than most riders and can’t properly load the rear on this type of tarmac. Now we go to Imola, a track that I really enjoy riding at, where I’m confident we’ll leave behind these problems to have two strong races.”
Stefano Cecconi, Aruba S.p.A CEO and Team Principal:
“It’s been a difficult weekend for us, as we didn’t collect results in line with our potential. We’ll try to learn also from this in order to be as ready as ever for our upcoming home round, which represents a further source of motivation, and put on a show in front of our home crowd.”