It was a weekend of mixed results for Ducati at the second round of the World Superbike championship in Thailand. Chaz Davies finished second in Race 1 while crashing in Race 2. A red flag helped him come back to fifth (Kawasaki’s Jon Rea won both races). Meanwhile, teammate Marco Melandri started both races quickly, but struggled with brake trouble and faded. Official Ducati release is below.
Begin Press Release:
Third place for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team in Race 2 at Buriram with Marco Melandri, Chaz Davies is 6th
After finishing in second position in Race 1 with Chaz Davies, the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team stepped on the podium again in Race 2 of the 2017 WorldSBK Championship at Buriram (Thailand) with Marco Melandri. The Italian took third place at the end of race split in two by red flags on lap five. Chaz Davies, who restarted from last position on the grid after a crash, showed tenacity by climbing back to sixth position under the checkered flag.
After a strong start, Melandri and Davies respectively took second and third position early on, behind the winner Rea. On lap 3, however, Davies lost the rear at turn 3 when he was just behind his teammate and rejoined the pack in last position. Shortly after, the race was interrupted due to oil on track.
At the restart, Melandri managed to set a fast and consistent pace despite some lingering issues under braking, and defended the second position until the last corner, losing it by only thousandths of a second. Davies, on the other hand, mounted a strong comeback from 19th on the grid but wasn’t able to set his usual lap times due to some issues with the throttle. Nonetheless, the Welshman finished in sixth position.
After two rounds, Davies (70 points) and Melandri (45 points) are respectively second and fifth in the championship. The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team will resume action in Aragon (Spain) for the third round of the 2017 WorldSBK Championship, scheduled for March 31 – April 2.
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #33) – 3rd
“This has been a good weekend for us. In such difficult conditions, on a new track for me, it feels good to be close to the front. Being passed at the very last turn in both races isn’t ideal, but I struggled with braking since the first free-practice session and it wasn’t possible to be more aggressive in what is the most critical corner of the circuit. That said, the team has done a great job. We still lack something, but we have some good ideas and we’ll keep pushing at 100 percent to reach our rivals. I expect to do so already in Aragon.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) – 6th
“I was following Marco but I misjudged his speed a little bit so I went to the outside. For me the rear always locks there, but that time it did it more than usual, perhaps because I was on a dirty part of the track, and couldn’t recover the grip. Finishing sixth is a salvage after the crash, but we could have been close to the podium at the restart. Unfortunately, we had some issues with the throttle after some parts were changed for safety. Still, we have many more points than after two rounds last year, and now we’ll go to more favorable tracks. The championship is long.”
Serafino Foti, Team Manager
“This has been a tough weekend, mostly because of the high temperatures. It’s unfortunate that Chaz crashed in Race 2. Still, we were lucky because the red flags allowed us to collect precious points with him. Chaz is a fighter, and I’m sure he will be back at the top in Aragon. Marco rode a strong race. Unfortunately he missed second place at the last corner, but he deserved the podium despite having struggled to stop the bike all weekend. We’re happy with his season start: he’s always been with the frontrunners, and his feeling with the bike is growing every day. We need to stay focused and work hard to improve ahead of Aragon, a track where we’ve always been competitive.”