After taking a podium in Race 1 with Chaz Davies (3rd), the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team resumed competition at Assen (Netherlands). This was the home of the fourth round of the 2018 World Superbike Championship, scoring a fifth and seventh place with Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri respectively in Race 2.
Both riders faced a difficult task after briefly going off the track in the early-lap pandemonium. Davies then recovered positions to climb up to fifth half-way through the race, but couldn’t make further moves due to unexpected vibrations on the rear.
Davies reflected on the round, ‘Looking at the bright side, we did not lose many points in the championship, but today’s race was more complicated, we changed the set-up but in the early stages I was not 100% grip level and I had vibrations on the end We still have to figure out what caused it, but from then on I just tried to close the race, we struggled a little bit more than expected here, but the base is good and we just need to be more responsive. well in the last few years, so I hope for better results there.’
Melandri fought hard as well, and rode within a group of five riders fighting for sixth position to finish in seventh.
Melandri said of the round, ‘I gave everything I had out there, fighting as if the win was on the line, but unfortunately we rode another difficult race and we fought once again against the same issue that has been penalizing us lately. Our potential is much higher, but I look ahead with positivity because both the team and Ducati are working really hard to improve. Next week’s test will be very important. I think the solution is within reach, and I hope to be able to fight for podiums and wins as soon as possible.’
Michael Ruben Rinaldi, with the Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team, also faced a uphill race but still managed to score points and gain valuable experience, taking 12th position under the checkered flag.
After four rounds, Davies (129 points) and Melandri (115 points) are respectively second and third in the championship, while Rinaldi (21 points) is 15th. The
Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team and the Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team will resume action at Imola (Italy) for the fifth round of the World Superbike Championship.
To better prepare for the high pressured next round, which is on home turf for the Italian Team, the team held a private test at Brno (Czech Republic).
With some chassis and electronics upgrades, Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri took advantage of the time on track, interrupted by some rain showers, to prepare for the June race.
Davies said of the test, ‘It’s been a steady test. We leave Brno with some room for improvement but, then again, racing is always a different game compared to testing. It’s always nice to ride there, even though it’s been windy and with a lot of pollen in the air so the track wasn’t in fantastic conditions. We worked hard for two days, gathering solid answers even though we still need to clear a few question marks. Now it’s time to recharge ahead of Imola.’
Melandri also felt that, ‘It was a really important test. The goal, more even than to prepare the race here, was to improve stability on the straight. We took a decisive turn and the situation has improved significantly. We ran several back-to-back checks to better understand the nature of the problem, and I think we achieved our goal. Perhaps not 100 percent, but we took a big step forward. Now we head to Imola: I’m confident and sure I’ll be able to fight, with even more determination.’
Michael Ruben Rinaldi also had a first chance to get acquainted with the Brno track on the Panigale R of the Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team.
The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team and the Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team will resume action at Imola for the fifth round of the World Superbike Championship, scheduled for 11th – 13th May.
© 2018 WD-40 Company