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The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike riders Davies and Forés position fourth and seventh after day one at Losail

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Doha (Qatar), Friday 16 October 2015 – The World Superbike season finale is underway at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, with the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team and riders Chaz Davies and Xavi Forés finishing the first two times practice sessions in fourth and seventh position.

The first session of the weekend took place this evening in hot and dry conditions, giving riders a first chance to get to grips with the floodlit Qatari circuit. Davies was immediately at ease, working systematically with his technicians and recording a series of fast laps to position fifth at the session’s end, thanks to a best time of 1’59.807. Forés began to build confidence with recent evolutions introduced by Ducati, adapting his Panigale R to a track at which he hasn’t raced since 2011. Unfortunately the Spaniard suffered a crash in the first part of the session, losing the rear at Turn 15. He was fortunately unhurt but, missing out on almost the entire session as a result, Xavi closed thirteenth. (2’01.608).

In the second of the day’s sessions both Davies and Forés were able to improve almost immediately on their earlier performance. Making some setting changes together with his squad, Chaz made good progress during the 45-minute session. The Welshman concluded in fourth place, thanks to a best of 1’58.656. Familiarising himself with the bike he hadn’t ridden since Assen and continuing to build confidence with the track, Xavi improved on his earlier time by over 2.5 seconds, closing this first day with a best lap of 1’59.039 that saw him position seventh.

Quotes after the day’s sessions:

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 4th (1’58.656)
“We need to continue to work in the last sector, not in terms of speed but in terms of the setting. Apart from that I think we made good improvement from the first to the second session, but we definitely have more to do tomorrow. I don’t yet feel quite ready for the race and so I’m pleased we have more time available tomorrow. We’ll try to make the most of the next sessions to test a few things so as to be prepared for race day.”

Xavi Forés – (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team #112) – 7th (1’59.039)
“The first 45 minutes didn’t go to plan; maybe I made a mistake on the second lap and I crashed but it was strange, I don’t really know how it happened. Unfortunately I lost a lot of time and was only able to go back out in the last five minutes. In session two we worked with the tyres and, by changing the compound, I was able to do better. The problem is that I was not feeling totally confident after the crash. Anyway, tomorrow I think that the track conditions will be better and that I’ll be able to make good progress.”