After a positive start to its campaign in Friday’s free-practice, the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team took yet another podium with Chaz Davies in Race 1 at Aragon (Spain), home of the third round of the 2018 WorldSBK championship. The Welshman, who started from 11th position due to a crash during Superpole, showed his character by storming back through the field – twice, due to a restart – until he reached the leading group, then defended second position under the checkered flag.
Marco Melandri rode another solid race, in which he registered the fastest lap after taking pole position. The Italian consistently rode at the top, but unfortunately faced a small issue braking into turn 1 in the last lap, which caused him to briefly go off the track, and settled for fourth position.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi enjoyed a strong debut with the Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team, as he rode within distance of the leading group for half the race to finish in eighth position. The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati and the Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team will resume action on Sunday, April 15th, at 09:45 (CET) for a warm-up session ahead of Race 2, which is scheduled to start at 13:00 local time.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) – 2nd
“It was a good race. To start from 11th isn’t ideal but I made two good starts and took my time to let the race come to me. Eventually, I just started pressing a little bit more and got closer to Marco and Xavi. I was struggling to find an opportunity but I put it together in the end. It was a fun battle with them in the last lap. I wasn’t feeling 100 percent with the bike today but I learned a lot. We’ll try to put it to good use and come out swinging tomorrow.”
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #33) – 4th
“Today’s race was a bit complicated. In the beginning I was struggling in some areas, while in the end I was faster. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to pass effectively. Each time I crossed lines with Forés, the bike was moving a bit and I couldn’t finish the move. I had a big wobble coming out of the last corner in the penultimate lap, which penalized me while braking into turn 1. It’s unfortunate, because our potential is higher, so I’m keen to bounce back on the podium tomorrow.”
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team #21) – 8th
“I’m happy with this first race. Until half-way through, I was riding close the leading group and with a similar pace. Then, since I’m not used to manage tires over this distance, I dropped the pace a bit. Anyway, to finish 8th at my debut is a good result.”
Marco Zambenedetti, Technical Coordinator on track for Ducati Corse
“It’s been a hard race, with both our riders capable of fighting for the win practically until the end. Chaz was penalized by the crash during Superpole, while Marco couldn’t fight back after going wide into turn 1, but both showed to be capable to fight for the top step of the podium and we’ll try to improve ahead of Race 2.”