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The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team ready to battle on home soil at Misano for Round 09

After claiming two podiums overseas at Laguna Seca (United States), the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team is ready to resume action in front of its fans at Misano (Italy), home of the ninth round of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship and second “home round” after Imola.

The Italian track evokes unforgettable memories for the team, who barely missed the win in Race 1 last year with Chaz Davies before a last-lap crash, which resulted in an injury, forced him to retire; Marco Melandri then took the victory in Race 2, claiming his first success with Ducati in front of local fans. Both Davies and Melandri are as determined as ever to make the most of the “home court” advantage to narrow the gap in the general standings ahead of a long summer break.

The Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team will also be back in action at Misano with Michael Ruben Rinaldi, who recently took his best result so far in first WorldSBK season with a 6th place in Brno and is keen to resume his quest. After eight rounds, Davies (245 points) and Melandri (168 points) are respectively second and sixth in the championship, while Rinaldi (54 points) is 14th. The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team and the Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team will resume action on Friday, July 6th, at 09:45 CET for the first free-practice session.

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) 
“After a solid weekend at Laguna Seca, we’re keen to get back in action at Misano. I enjoy the track and its atmosphere, since it’s full of passionate Ducati fans, and I think our past results there have yet to reflect our speed despite the fact that it probably isn’t the best track for us. In recent years, we always proved to be competitive and had good pace. For example, last year we were leading the race until the incident during the last lap. It’s going to be a hot weekend, and tire management will be crucial. It’s also important to go into the summer break with good results and good momentum, so hopefully we’ll use the home factor to our advantage.”

Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #33) 
“Misano is always a special round for me, and clearly my first win with Ducati scored there last year left an indelible mark in me. To race there once again, this time knowing for sure our potential, makes me really excited. I feel great physically, and I’m ready for two races that will likely be very hot and grueling. I’m sure we’ll be in the mix, and I expect a big fight given how much some of our competitors have improved lately, which only makes things more fun and exciting. I can’t wait to get back on the track.”

Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team #21) 
“After a first half of the season culminated with our best result so far at Brno, I go to Misano eager to get back on the bike, both because we skipped last round but also because it’s my home race and plenty of fans will attend. I really like the track, I never rode a Superbike there and I can’t wait to find out our potential. The heat will play an important role, both in terms of grip and stamina. I expect a spectacular, hard fought round.”

Circuit information

Country: Italy
Name: Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
Length: 4.226 km
Corners: 16 (6 left, 10 right)
Pole position: left
Race distance: 21 laps/88.746 km

RECORDS
Fastest lap: Sykes (Kawasaki), 1:33.662 (162,430 km/h) – 2017
Circuit record: Rea (Kawasaki), 1:34.720 (160,620 km/h) – 2015
Superpole: Sykes (Kawasaki), 1:33.662 (162,430 km/h) – 2017

2017 RESULTS
Race 1: Sykes (Kawasaki), Lowes (Yamaha), Rea (Kawasaki)
Race 2: Melandri (Ducati), Rea (Kawasaki), Sykes (Kawasaki)

Rider information

Chaz Davies
Bike: Ducati Panigale R
Race number: 7
Age: 31 (Born 10/02/1987 in Knighton, Wales)
SBK races: 168
SBK wins: 29
SBK podiums: 77

Marco Melandri
Bike: Ducati Panigale R
Race number: 33
Age: 35 (Born 07/08/1982 in Ravenna, Italy)
SBK races: 144
SBK wins: 22
SBK podiums: 67

Michael Ruben Rinaldi
Bike: Ducati Panigale R
Race number: 21
Age: 22 (Born 12/21/1995 in Rimini, Italy)
SBK races: 10
SBK wins: –
SBK podiums: –

Weekend schedule (CET):

Friday (July 6th)
09:45 – 10:45 SBK FP1
12:30 – 13:10 SBK FP2
16:05 – 16:45 SBK FP3

Saturday (July 7th)
08:45 – 09:05 SBK FP4
10:30 – 10:45 SBK Superpole 1
10:55 – 11:10 SBK Superpole 2
13:00 SBK Race 1

Sunday (July 8th)
09:35 – 09:50 SBK Warm-up
13:00 SBK Race 2