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Both Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team riders reach today’s podium at Portimao

Davies 060715

Portimao (Portugal), Sunday 7 June 2015 – two very satisfying Superbike races for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team in today at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal. Davide Giugliano crossed the line second in race 2, having closed race 1 fourth, while Chaz Davies reached the podium in race 1 (third), before concluding race 2 fourth.

Race 1 – Cloudy conditions and a track temperature of roughly 29°C for today’s first race. Starting from pole, Giugliano was lying fifth in the initial stages but, due to some grip issues, he dropped back a few places through the central phase of the race and positioning tenth when, on lap thirteen, it started to rain. Davies was in third behind Sykes and Rea, a position that remained unchanged until mid-race when the Welshman was caught up in a fight with Haslam. At this point the white flag was brought out and the intensity of the rain saw all of the riders enter pit-lane to make the change over to rain tyres. A very quick and efficient pit-stop for both of the Aruba Ducati men meant that they returned to the track third (Chaz) and fourth (Davide). Able to effectively manage the final laps, despite the difficult track conditions and strong winds, the riders were able to hold their positions to the line with Davies crossing the line third, followed by his teammate Giugliano, fourth.

Race 2 – The track temperature had risen to approximately 40°C for race 2. Giugliano was initially second behind Sykes but soon moved into the lead, from where the Italian had to work hard to hold off the two Kawasakis. From the mid-race point, the top three were swapping places in the fight for the win. Gritting his teeth, and despite still suffering from the flu, Giugliano was able to pass Sykes in the final stages to cross the line in second position, his best result of the season so far. Holding fourth place for the first eleven laps, Davies tried to catch the trio up ahead of him but despite his best efforts he was unable to reach them. In the second part of the race the Welshman battled briefly with Haslam, before managing to pass Sykes on lap seventeen to cross the line fourth.

This means that at this point, mid-way though the 2015 championship, Davies retains fourth position in the overall standings, with 184 points, while Giugliano moves up to eleventh with 73 points. Ducati positions second in the manufacturer’s standings with 232 points.

Quotes after the races:

Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 4th, 2nd
“This was an important podium for me, especially after having finished race 1 fourth. In the first race I simply didn’t find the right feeling with my bike due to a lack of grip that seems to occur as a result of variations in the weather. Fortunately it rained, because that way we were able to manage the situation a little better, to close fourth. A shame though as I could have achieved two podiums here today. For race two we made some changes and my team gave me a bike with which I was able to ride hard and finish second. The updates that my technicians have brought this weekend have helped me too and I’m really happy, especially for the fact that, after a three month break, my team has helped me to get back to a position in which I can fight for the win, which I hope will arrive soon.”

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 3rd, 4th
“Similarly to Donington, I think third was the best I could have done in race 1 here. Lap times were quick at the start and I was able to keep up with Rea and Sykes up to a certain point, but was then losing something in a couple of points of the track. We made a good pit-stop and I was able to hold third to the line, so I’m pleased with the result. The race was pretty wild, with very strong winds in addition to the rain. The second race was difficult right from the start. We made some changes between the first and second race but I didn’t have the right feeling with the front tyre, and couldn’t really brake or stop my bike as I would have wanted. I think that the variation in temperature made the difference and tomorrow we will work during the tests to better understand how we can improve when temperatures rise.”

Stefano Cecconi – Team Principal –
“We return home very pleased with the results achieved this weekend. After the great qualifying session yesterday, our riders have consistently fought for the podium places. Despite the unexpected rain that affected the end of race 1, Chaz was able to maintain third place and Davide made up lost ground, also thanks to the perfect teamwork carried out during the tyre change. In race 2, despite the gusty conditions and the fact that Davide is still suffering with the flu, he was able to complete a great race, bringing home a brilliant second place finish. We also thank everyone in Ducati for the latest technical updates that have further improved the bike and contributed to achieving these results.”