After winning Race 1 in a dominant fashion, Chaz Davies did the double at Imola (Italy), granting the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team its fourth success in a row at its “home race” in the WorldSBK Championship. The Welshman, who took pole position on Saturday, had to work his way up the field from ninth position today, based on the new grid regulations for Race 2.
Getting quickly off the blocks at the re-start – the red flags interrupted the race after only two laps – Davies took sixth position and progressively climbed his way up the ranks, closing the gap from provisional leader Sykes. The Welshman then took the lead on lap 8, and eventually pulled away to win with a four-second advantage on his rivals.
Melandri, on the other hand, struggled more than expected after finishing in third position yesterday. Despite a strong start that put him in third place, the Italian experienced some difficulties that forced him to lose contact with the leading group. Despite putting in a strong effort, as usual, Melandri finished in fifth position.
After five rounds, Davies (161 points) and Melandri (124 points) are respectively second and fourth in the championship. The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team will resume action for the sixth round of the 2017 WorldSBK Championship, scheduled for May 26-28 at Donington (U.K.).
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) – 1st
“What a weekend! For the first time this year, I feel we’ve been the benchmark from the beginning. We were able to find our rhythm on Friday, and it sort of snowballed from there. The team has done an awesome job, the bike worked superbly in both races, in different conditions, but today it was quite interesting. We got mixed up at the first start, but after the re-start we got a good launch and I was able to make some good moves that put us in a good position. Sykes’ pace was strong, so I had to put my head down to hunt him and, once I caught him, I was able to set my own pace and that was good enough. Thanks to all the Italian fans for showing up this weekend, their push was something special.”
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #33) – 5th
“It was a difficult day for us, and we can’t be happy with the result because it’s not representative of our potential. Yesterday we managed to step on the podium, but we already had some issues under acceleration and unfortunately we weren’t able to solve them. The rear kept losing contact with the ground while upshifting, and this penalized us a lot coming out of slow corners. Also, I didn’t have enough confidence with the front to try and pass Forés. Still, I wanted to thank all the fans for their support, it was incredible and it made me really proud to represent the Italian flag on an Italian bike. We’ll bounce back at Donington.”
Ernesto Marinelli, Superbike Project Director
“Once again, Imola coincided with a really emotional weekend. Chaz rode two flawless races, and we dedicate the wins to all the ducatisti who flooded the circuit and showed their passion, and also to all the boys at home who allowed Chaz and the team to finalize the job. To win at Imola is incredibile. Unfortunately, some setup issues prevented Marco from stepping on the podium again in Race 2, but the work never stops and we’re confident the results will come soon for him as well.”
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