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Positive start for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team at Imola: Davies sets the best time on Friday, Melandri is 4th

The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team started its quest at Imola, home of the fifth round of the 2017 WorldSBK Championship, in a strong fashion, as Chaz Davies posted the best provisional time during Friday’s free-practice sessions and Marco Melandri closed in fourth position.

Second in the morning, Davies made a decisive step forward during FP2 to take about one second off his best times and improving the previous lap record (set by him in 2016) by almost half a second. Melandri also showed steady improvements despite some issues under braking, closing within 0.962 seconds from his teammate. Both riders thus gained direct access to Superpole 2.

The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team will resume action tomorrow at 08:45 (CET) for the third and final free-practice session ahead of Superpole and Race 1 (scheduled for 13:00).

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) – 1:46.229 (1st)
“This morning we weren’t too comfortable out there, but we changed a few things in terms of tyres and setup in FP2, which allowed us to make a good step forward. We set a good lap time, but the most important thing is our pace on used tyres, which is really close to our best lap, even though we still have a couple of areas to improve. To race here in Italy, so close to Ducati’s headquarters, is special. Our supporters give us an extra motivation to do well.”

Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #33) – 1:47.191 (4th)
“It’s been a positive day for us. I found myself at ease right away on a track that is always difficult to interpret, and the team did a great job. Chaz set a quick lap time, and I’m not surprised. On our part, we have to keep working because we still miss something under braking and corner entry, but we made a good step in the right direction compared with Assen and I’m confident ahead of the race. We’ll go at least for the podium. The atmosphere at Imola is fantastic. The support from our fans gives us an energy boost, and we hope to give them a good show.”