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Mixed fortunes for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team riders; a podium for Giugliano, two DNFs for Davies

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Imola (Italy), Sunday 10 May 2015 – Very different results for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team riders Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies in the Superbike races at the Imola circuit today. While Giugliano scored a podium in race 1 (third) before finishing round 2 in fourth place, Davies was unfortunately prevented from finishing either race due to technical problems.

Race 1 – Both Davide and Chaz made a good start, holding their starting positions (first and fourth respectively) throughout the opening laps. On lap seven Davies moved past Rea into third but a technical problem simultaneously caused him to run off track, from where he was unfortunately unable to continue the race.

A red flag brought the race to a halt on lap eleven, and the ‘quick restart’ procedure saw riders returning to the track for a second sprint race made up of just 6 laps. Restarting from the positions in which they had completed lap nine, Davide lined up second on the grid, between the two Kawasakis of Sykes and Rea. Suffering, as was expected, due to a combination of pain and fatigue, the Italian was passed by Rea on lap one but never gave up, showing instead immense determination all the way to the line, which he crossed in final third position, right behind the two Kawasakis. A fantastic podium for the Aruba Ducati rider in his very first race of the 2015 season.

Race 2 – Chaz and Davide were lying third and fourth through the first lap, alternating positions behind the two Kawasakis. The factory pair did all they could to catch the two green bikes ahead of them but unfortunately they both gradually lost ground, Davies due to a technical issue and Giugliano due to fatigue. Chaz, despite the problems, worked hard to try and finish the race but was eventually forced to stop on lap 15. Davide meanwhile completed a solitary final phase, bringing his Panigale R home in fourth position, a strong result considering his physical condition after three months of inactivity.

As round 5 of the 2015 championship draws to a close, Davies is now in fourth position in the general standings, with 123 points, while Giugliano positions 17th, having earned 29 points today. Ducati positions third in the manufacturer’s standings with 164 points.

Quotes after the races:

Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 3rd, 4th
“I’m really pleased with the podium, which on a personal level is like a win for me. After the first ‘heat’ I was already tired and the second part of the race was extremely difficult, I couldn’t have done any more. I was undecided as to whether to do race 2 at all as the first race really wore me out, but thanks to the Clinica Mobile’s help and the support of all the fans here, I was actually able to complete race 2, in fourth place. It’s been an important weekend for us, and has helped us see that we can fight for the top positions at every round. We have a high performing bike and, once I’m back to full fitness, I know we’ll be competitive. Today’s races were not at all easy and the results are thanks particularly to all of the help that the team, my family and Doctor Fabio Catani at the Policlinico di Modena have given me over these months, so I want to thank everyone who has supported me, as well as all the fans who were here watching today.”

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team #7) – DNF, DNF
“A disastrous day for us obviously. We were in a position to be able to complete two good races here today and instead we go home with nothing. In race 1 a technical problem stopped me and so I hoped to be able to make up for that in race two. But once the second race got underway, I knew something was wrong almost right away. I was using the second bike and had to press a couple of buttons to change the setting and after that the bike seemed a bit smoother. But then I started to have other issues, my foot came off the footpeg and I realized there was a little oil leaking, so I tried to be careful and hoped it wouldn’t get worse but it wasn’t possible to finish the race. A day to forget…”

Ernesto Marinelli – Ducati SBK Project Director –
“This weekend has been one of two halves. On the one hand, we’re pleased because Davide’s return after three months of inactivity has clearly been positive. For him to score pole and a podium was definitely no mean feat and confirms his great talent and determination. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to give 100% because he has not had time to put in the necessary training for the two races, but he put all his energies into it and we certainly couldn’t have asked for more. The fact that he was immediately comfortable with the bike proves that we’re going in the right direction in terms of development. On the other hand, two technical stops for Davies are extremely costly at this point of the season. This morning Chaz’s feeling with the bike had improved greatly and he could clearly have completed two good races. We need to analyse exactly what happened to prevent it from happening in the future. So we have a lot of work ahead of us as we prepare for Donington.”