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Chaz Davies takes his 10th win of the year in Race 1 in Qatar, Davide Giugliano forced to retire after a contact

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Race 1 of season finale of the 2016 WorldSBK championship, held under floodlights at the Losail track (Qatar), saw the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team claim the top step of the podium once again with Chaz Davies. The Welshman, who has won the last five races in a row and ten overall this year on the Panigale R, emerged victorious after a long duel with the 2016 champion Rea to cross the finish line with a four-second advantage.

Starting from third place on the grid, Davies got the ‘holeshot’ and took the lead into turn 1. Progressively breaking away after lap 11, Davies defended his position until the checkered flag, claiming also the fastest lap of the race with a 1:57.371.

Davide Giugliano suffered an opposite fate. Starting in 11th position after going through Superpole 1, the Italian rider was penalized by a contact during lap 1 that re-aggravated his right-shoulder injury, momentarily forcing him to go off track. After rejoining the race in 22nd place, Giugliano climbed his way back into the points, posting interesting lap times, but was eventually forced to retire due to pain and loss of strength.

The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team will resume action at 17:30 tomorrow (local time) for a 15-minute WUP session ahead of Race 2.

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) 1st
“After a strong practice and qualifying, I was confident about our chances to have a good result here. Today everything worked perfectly and, compared with 2015, the bike improved a lot, especially on the straight. To seize victory number 10 is incredible. It’s a new record by a long shot, we doubled what we achieved last year, and I’m very happy and thankful to the whole team. In the race I tried to keep my head down, manage the gap and the tyres, and when the grip decreased I just tried to drop the hammer to break away from Rea. It won’t be easy to recover 7 more points from Sykes, but I think Jonathan and I have shown the superior pace so far. We’ll go at it again tomorrow and we’ll see where that takes us. I think I have to win again, but it’s going to be tight anyway.”

Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #34) DNF
“Unfortunately I collided with another rider at the start, taking a big blow to my injured right shoulder. After a few corners, due to the pain, I momentarily lost control of the bike and had a big wobble, going off track. Once I rejoined the race, I climbed back as far as I could, but at one point I lost almost all my strength in the right arm and had to stop. It’s a shame because, despite not having been able to do many laps, we were more competitive today. Seeing the lap times, we could have achieved a good result. Now we’ll try to get back into shape to have a solid performance tomorrow.”

Ernesto Marinelli, Superbike Project Director
“Hats off to Chaz, who took another extraordinary win on a track that theoretically wasn’t among the best for us due to the long straight; it shows that, aside from the rider’s top form, the work done by the whole team and in Borgo Panigale is going in the right direction. We’re sorry for Davide, who made a good step forward before the race but unfortunately took another bad blow to the shoulder he had already injured in Germany. We hope his conditions will improve for tomorrow, because we have the potential to do well with both our riders.”