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Brilliant victory for Chaz Davies in Race 1 in Imola, fifth place for Davide Giugliano Racing - Ducati_043016

The Racing – Ducati team seized the top step of the podium in Race 1 in Imola, the “home” track for the Borgo Panigale manufacturer and a favorite destination today for the many Ducati fans who cheered the riders in the paddock and the grandstands. Davies led the race from the first until the last corner after topping all previous sessions between practice and qualifying, taking the “holeshot” from pole position and the first, historic victory for the Panigale R in Italy.

Davies also posted the fastest lap of the race (rewriting the circuit record) with a blistering 1:46.700 during lap 3, pulling away from the group together with championship leader Jonathan Rea. During lap 8, a mistake by his rival in turn 7 allowed Davies to gain a five-second advantage, a margin he comfortably administered until the checkered flag.

Davide Giugliano, after fighting his way back from ninth place to take second position in Superpole, confirmed the progress made in terms of pace, finishing the race in fifth position despite a drop in the performance of his bike due to the detachment of an exhaust collector after a gear shift. Both riders will be back on track for Race 2, scheduled for 13:00 (CET) tomorrow.

Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati #7) – 1st
“Today’s race was just perfect. I got a clean start and then I got my head down to push since the very first lap and make my own rhythm. At first, the gap between Jonathan and I was going back and forth, but after a few laps I tried to break away and then the pitboard signaled a five-second margin, but I kept pushing to stay in the high 1:47 mark as long as possible. To win here is different from any other track and simply special, Imola is Ducati’s backyard. From Aragon onwards, my Panigale R has always been competitive and in the ballpark. The latest engine upgrades allowed us to be on par with our rivals, and I want to thank Ducati for giving me a complete package. Now I hope we can repeat ourselves tomorrow. The forecast says it might rain, and we need to be ready no matter what.”

Davide Giugliano ( Racing – Ducati #34) – 5th
“The race started quite well for me after all. I didn’t have the pace to stay with the frontrunners, but I was trying to save the tyres until the rhythm dropped because I felt that I could recover some of the gap in the second half of the race and have a go at the podium, but after a few laps I suffered a drop in power and had to play on the defensive. The good thing is that we still managed to finish the race and bring home some important points. I want to stay positive, we’re not yet as competitive as we want to be but, compared with yesterday, we’ve made a big step forward. Tomorrow, even if the weather could mix things up, we’ll have another chance to make further improvements.”

Stefano Cecconi, Team Principal
“There isn’t a better place than Imola to celebrate a victory. The atmosphere here is just fantastic, and the passion of our supporters fills the air. With Chaz, we scored a ‘hat trick’ taking pole position, fastest lap and the victory. Davide recovered strongly since yesterday, both during Superpole and the race, where he managed to be consistent despite an issue. Tomorrow, our goal is to have both riders on the podium.”

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