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WorldSBK returns to Europe: first stop Aragon for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team

After starting the season with two overseas rounds, in Australia and Thailand respectively, the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team is ready to return to Europe for the third round of the 2017 WorldSBK Championship at Aragon (Spain).

The track on the outskirts of Alcañiz evokes good memories for the team, who with Chaz Davies collected three wins and one second-place finish in the last couple of seasons. Marco Melandri also has a favorable record at Aragon, where he scored two wins and three podiums in WorldSBK. For both teammates, who thus far collected five overall podiums this year, the goal is to leave behind the difficult Thai round and aim at the victory to renew their chase toward the championship lead.

After two rounds, Davies (70 points) and Melandri (45 points) are respectively second and fifth in the overall rankings. The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team will resume action on Friday, March 31st, at 09:45 (CET) for the first free-practice session.

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7)
“I’m looking forward to get back to racing in Europe. In a way, things kind of reset at this point and the season gets in full swing. The first two rounds are always a bit different. Aragon is a track I’ve always had good success at, for one reason or another, but of course we still want to improve and take the next steps forward. This round represents an important chance for us to establish our base for the rest of the season and sort of see where we’re really at. Anyway, we’re in a lot better position compared with last year in terms of points collected. It was disappointing to crash like that in Race 2 in Thailand; it’s strange how it unfolded but we also got lucky with the red flags. We’re second in the championship, but of course we want to finish in better positions.”

Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #33)
“I’m happy to return to Europe, on more familiar tracks. The first two rounds were tough, but also rewarding. The team has done really well at Aragon in the recent past, so it’s an important round for all of us. I also won twice there, but on the previous layout with the final hairpin. We did quite well there in the winter tests, even though we changed our base since then. I expected to be more competitive on used tyres in Thailand but our closest rivals had something extra, so Aragon will represent a good benchmark for us. It will be difficult to escape anyway, I expect a close finish. Physically I feel great and I think we can be competitive.”

Circuit information

County: Spain
Name: Motorland Aragon
Track length: 5,007 km
Corners: 17 (10 left, 7 right)
Race distance: 18 laps / 91,386 km

RECORDS
Best lap: Sykes (Kawasaki), 1:49.374 (167,107 km/h) – 2016
Circuit record: Davies (Ducati), 1:50.421 (164,581 km/h) – 2016
Superpole: Sykes (Kawasaki), 1:49.374 (167,107 km/h) – 2016

2016 RESULTS
Race 1: Davies (Ducati), Rea (Kawasaki), Sykes (Kawasaki)
Race 2: Davies (Ducati), Sykes (Kawasaki), Rea (Kawasaki)

Rider information

Chaz Davies
Bike: Ducati Panigale R
Race number: 7
Age: 30 (Born 10/02/1987 in Knighton, Wales)
SBK races: 131
SBK wins: 20
SBK podiums: 52

Marco Melandri
Bike: Ducati Panigale R
Race number: 33
Age: 34 (Born 07/08/1982 in Ravenna, Italy)
SBK races: 106
SBK wins: 19
SBK podiums: 51