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Davies and the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team close the 2015 SBK season as championship runners-up

Davies_finish 101815

Doha (Qatar), Sunday 19 October 2015 – The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team closes the 2015 World Superbike season in style. Chaz Davies closes the final races of the season, at the Losail circuit in Qatar, in fourth and second place, confirming second position in the overall championship standings, while Ducati consolidates second place in the manufacturer’s championship. Xavi Forés, suffering from a virus, crosses the line seventh in race 1.

Race 1 – The first of the evening’s races got underway at 7pm local time in hot and dry conditions (32°C air temperature). Chaz, fourth on the grid, lined up for his 100th Superbike race start. Getting away well, he was lying third through the initial stages. A few laps into the 17-lap race he found himself part of a group together with the two Aprilias. Fifth at the mid-race point, the Welshman passed Haslam on lap 10 to move into fourth place, a position that he was able to hold to the line. Closing race 1 just behind Sykes meant that Davies headed into the season finale with a 13-point advantage over the Kawasaki rider.

Xavi, from third place on the grid, was lying seventh after the first lap. The Spaniard, getting into a good rhythm, and despite the fact that he was very weak due to an intestinal virus he contracted over the weekend, did all he could to improve his position. Unfortunately the gap between himself and the Aprilias immediately ahead of him gradually increased and, especially in the final stages, Xavi no longer had the physical strength to push and close the gap. He closed the race in seventh place, a great result considering his physical condition.

Race 2 – Unfortunately the physical effort of having completed race 1 only worsened Xavi’s physical condition and so, despite his desire to obtain a good result in race, he was unfortunately unable to start race 2.

Chaz thus moved up one place on the grid to start from third. Lying third through the first corners, he quickly passed both Kawasakis to take the lead by the end of lap one. The Welshman had to defend himself first from Rea and then from Haslam but, thanks to modifications made to his Panigale R before race 2, he was able to hold the lead all the way to the final corner where, unfortunately, a small error gave Haslam the chance to pass and take the win. Chaz nevertheless achieved his goal, crossing the line 0.110 of a second behind Haslam to clinch second place in the final championship standings.

As the 2015 championship concludes in Qatar, Davies lies in overall second place, having scored a total of 416 points, 5 race wins and 18 podiums. Xavi Forés positions 19th, having earned 47 points in the five races he has run this season. Ducati consolidates second position in the manufacturer’s standings with 471 points.

Quotes after the races:

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 4th, 2nd
“I’m really happy; we came here with the aim to finish second in the championship and we did just that. In race 1 I struggled to be honest but, after making a few changes before race 2, the suspension on my Panigale R was better and I could push harder, though it was still definitely one of the hardest races of the year. I’m just sorry I made a small mistake in the final corner, leaving the door open for Haslam who got me in the final metres. But that’s ok. It’s been a great season, we’ve been consistently up front, fighting for podiums and all of the guys in Ducati have worked really hard to provide us with a great package. Collecting more than 400 points over the season, despite the DNFs, is not at all bad. But we can always improve of course! We have work to do over the winter but I’m confident and excited about starting the 2016 season!”

Xavi Forés (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team #112) – 7th, DNS
“To be honest I did all I physically could have done in race 1. I tried to push but it became increasingly difficult and I was very nauseous by the final laps. So although I hoped to do a little more today, I simply wasn’t able to with my physical condition the way it was. I’m really sorry because I wanted to improve on the results I’d scored at Aragon but it wasn’t possible and I had to make the difficult decision, together with the team, to not participate in the second race…”

Ernesto Marinelli – Ducati SBK Project Director
“The final race was a really exciting one. Chaz was amazing and battled all the way to the last corner, making some incredible passes. To have scored second place in both the rider’s and manufacturer’s championships is an important achievement. Without the hard work of everybody in Ducati Corse and the entire team it would have been impossible to do this and so we thank them and Chaz, who has always ridden the Panigale to the max. It was a real pity that Forés contracted a virus that weakened him so much the night before the races. He had completed a solid weekend and I’m sure he could have done very well in the races if it hadn’t been for this setback. Now our focus will turn to development for next year, which is almost upon us, strengthened by our 2015 results and by the partnership with Aruba. We must look ahead to next season with optimism, we have a lot of work to do but I’m sure that we will face it with the passion and tenacity that has helped us up until now.”

Stefano Cecconi – Team Principal
“This final race had us on the edge of our seats from the first to the last lap and this meant that we could forget for a minute that it really was the season finale. We’ve had a really great 2015 season of which we can be proud. The thanks goes to the team, our riders and everyone working at home who made all of this possible. I want to personally thank Xavi Forés who really did more than his physical condition should have allowed him to, and to our great Chaz Davies who, with this last, incredible race, definitely put on a show for all of the fans and the Ducatisti in particular. Soon we will start our winter tests and we cannot wait to have Davide Giugliano back on track with us too. With the team complete, we’ll be ready to lay the foundations for next season.”