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The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team ready to resume action at Assen for the 4th round of the WorldSBK Championship

The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team is ready to take it to the track once again this weekend at Assen (Netherlands), home of the fourth round of the 2017 WorldSBK Championship. The team’s goal across the board is to confirm Aragon’s performance levels, which allowed Chaz Davies to seal the first win of the season in Race 2 and Marco Melandri to make further progress in terms of continuity and collect his first double-podium with the Panigale R. To this end, both riders will have at their disposal the latest upgrades in terms of chassis and electronics, which were tested with positive feedback at Aragon after the race.

As for results on the Dutch track, both Davies and Melandri showed their appreciation for Drenthe’s “Cathedral”: the Welshman took 3 podiums with Ducati in the last couple of seasons, while the Italian has yet to step on the rostrum in WorldSBK but won twice (collecting two further podiums) during his MotoGP tenure.

After three rounds, Davies (95 points) and Melandri (81 points) are respectively second and fourth in the championship. The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team will resume action on April 28 at 09:45 (CET) for the first free-practice session.

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7)
“I’m looking forward to this weekend, especially as I think we’ve made some good improvements in the post-race tests at Aragon. It’s going to be another opportunity to evaluate the parts that we’ve introduced and seemed to work really well in Spain. Assen is a completely different circuit so it will be a good test, but anyway I’m confident we’ve made another step forward. I’ve had pretty good results at Assen, in the past couple of years. We had a good pace in dry conditions but the weather is always a question mark and last year we made a strategic mistake in flag-to-flag conditions, but we learned from it so we’re keen to pick up from where we left off at Aragon.”

Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #33)
“Assen is a track that I really enjoy riding at, even if it was more fascinating in its old layout, but for different reasons I never managed to win there in WorldSBK. It will be an important benchmark for us, because it’s a completely different circuit compared with the ones we raced at so far, with a short straight and many fast corners. Our hope is to confirm the steps forward made with the latest upgrades we tested post-race at Aragon. Physically I’m OK, thankfully it took only a week to recover from the crash during the tests, and I was able to train properly. The forecast says it’s going to be cold, so let’s hope for dry conditions because it’s always tricky to ride with low temperatures in the wet.”

Circuit information

Country: Netherlands
Name: TT Circuit Assen
Track length: 4.542 km
Corners: 18 (6 left, 12 right)
Race distance: 21 laps / 95.382 km

RECORDS
Fastest lap: Baz (Kawasaki), 1:34.357 (173,290 km/h) – 2014
Circuit record: Rea (Kawasaki), 1:35.889 (170,520 km/h) – 2015
Superpole: Baz (Kawasaki), 1:34.357 (173,290 km/h) – 2014

2016 RESULTS
Race 1: Rea (Kawasaki), Davies (Ducati), Hayden (Honda)
Race 2: Rea (Kawasaki), Sykes (Kawasaki), Vd Mark (Honda)

Rider information

Chaz Davies
Bike: Ducati Panigale R
Race number: 7
Age: 30 (Born 10/02/1987 in Knighton, Wales)
SBK races: 133
SBK wins: 21
SBK podiums: 53

Marco Melandri
Bike: Ducati Panigale R
Race number: 33
Age: 34 (Born 07/08/1982 in Ravenna, Italy)
SBK races: 108
SBK wins: 19
SBK podiums: 53

Weekend schedule (CET)

Friday
09:45 – 10:45 SBK FP1
14:30 – 15:30 SBK FP2

Saturday
08:45 – 09:10 SBK FP3
10:30 – 10.45 SBK Superpole 1
10:55 – 11:10 SBK Superpole 2
13:00 SBK Race 1

Sunday
09:30 – 09:45 SBK Warm-up
13:00 SBK Race 2