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The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team ready for the final rush: Davies and Melandri ready for the penultimate round at Jerez

With two rounds and four races left, the 2017 WorldSBK Championship has reached its final stages and the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team is keen to go on the offensive, starting from this weekend at Jerez. The track located in the South of Spain is a “second home” to the team as many winter tests are held there, as well as a riders’ favourite.

Chaz Davies – well within contention for the runner-up title, 9 points away from second position – took three wins (and five podiums overall) at Jerez with Ducati, including a spectacular double last year. Marco Melandri – who scored 11 podiums in 22 races so far with the Panigale R – also did the double in 2014, adding to a second place scored the year before.

With two rounds to go, Davies (327 points) and Melandri (281 points) are respectively third and fourth in the championship. The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team will resume action Friday at 09:45 (CET) for the first free-practice session.

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7)
“We had good results at Jerez. I feel our package has worked quite well there in the past couple of years, especially in terms of tire wear. In the past, it was tricky to preserve the rear and get the best feeling with the front, especially in the heat. The track has been resurfaced anyway, so that will be the first thing to understand. Usually this changes things quite a lot, so that shall be interesting because we spent so many years riding the same tarmac and basically getting used to it. We’ll start from the setup we used in the last races, and adapt it to what we find out about Jerez. The goal is to have another solid weekend and come home with as many points as possible”.

Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #33)
“Jerez has always been one of my favourite tracks, and for sure it’s where I clocked more kilometers with the Panigale R. The resurfacing has been somewhat of a surprise for me, because the tarmac was already among the best in the calendar. This will mix things up further, and I can’t wait to ride and find out how it has changed. In the past, temperatures had a key role in the overall performance, as the heat slowed the track down and you had to focus on tire preservation rather than pure speed. Now we could find more grip, similar to what we have during winter tests. We made more steps forward at Magny Cours, despite missing a big chance on Sunday. I feel this is a good time for us to reap the best fruits of our labor.”

Circuit information

Country: Spain
Name: Circuito de Jerez
Length: 4.423 km
Corners: 13 (5 left, 8 right)
Pole position: left
Race distance: 20 laps/88.460 km

RECORDS
Fastest lap: Sykes (Kawasaki), 1:39.190 (160,528 km/h) – 2016
Circuit record: Rea (Kawasaki), 1:41.136 (157,440 km/h) – 2016
Superpole: Sykes (Kawasaki), 1:39.190 (160,528 km/h) – 2016

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

Rider information

Chaz Davies
Bike: Ducati Panigale R
Race number: 7
Age: 30 (Born 10/02/1987 in Knighton, Wales)
SBK races: 148
SBK wins: 27
SBK podiums: 63

Marco Melandri
Bike: Ducati Panigale R
Race number: 33
Age: 35 (Born 07/08/1982 in Ravenna, Italy)
SBK races: 124
SBK wins: 20
SBK podiums: 60

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