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The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team back to work in Jerez: Melandri and Davies respectively 5th and 10th in Friday’s practice sessions

The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team resumed action at Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), home of the penultimate round of the 2017 WorldSBK Championship. In sunny weather conditions with temperatures increasing throughout the day – and, consequently, a decreasing grip on track – several top riders posted their best lap times in FP1. Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies were no exception, clocking respectively a 1:40.893 and a 1:41.204 in the morning, which granted them fifth (+0.602) and tenth (+0.913) position in the combined rankings.

Both the Italian and the Welshman were still determined to try a “time attack” in FP2 after focusing initially on tyre wear, but technical issues prevented them from improving their lap times. Melandri and Davies nonetheless gained direct access to Superpole 2. The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team will resume action tomorrow at 08:45 local time (CET) for FP3 in preparation of Superpole and Race 1, which is scheduled to start at 13:00 local time.

Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #33) – 1:40.893 (5th)
“Today we had one of our best Fridays of the year, despite some technical issues that slowed us down a bit. It’s never ideal to finish one session in the gravel, but the team really did a great job and the Panigale R seems to be quite competitive. The new tarmac surely helps as it’s less bumpy than the previous one, but it’s also difficult to interpret as grip seems to change from one lap to another. It’s not easy to be consistent over the race distance. It’ll be crucial to do a strong Superpole and start at the front to play our best cards in the second half of the race.”

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) – 1:41.204 (10th)
“This morning we just tried to get acquainted with the new tarmac, which basically means a new track, while in FP2 we got out on used tires to test a couple of changes to our setup but unfortunately we had a technical issue that resulted in a pretty awkward crash. Luckily I’m all right, I took a few bangs but nothing too serious. Overall, we didn’t have an ideal day but I’m confident we’ll bounce back tomorrow. We’ll just have more work to do in FP3, but I think we’re heading in the right direction.”

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