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Double podium for the Racing – Ducati team in Race 1 at Losail (Qatar): Davies 2nd, Melandri 3rd

In the spectacular, floodlit track of Losail (Qatar), the Racing – Ducati team stepped on the podium with both its riders in Race 1 of the last round of the 2017 WorldSBK Championship, with Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri respectively second and third under the checkered flag.

Despite a difficult Superpole that resulted in a third-row start for both, Davies and Melandri showed their mettle to climb back through the field and join the fight for podium positions. The Welshman quickly took second place with a spectacular series of overtaking maneuvers and then administered the gap until the checkered flag, thus gaining valuable points in the fight for second position in the championship against Sykes. Melandri, after struggling a bit more in the early phases, progressively moved up the ranks to close in third position and take his first podium in Qatar in the production-based series.

The Racing – Ducati team will resume action tomorrow at 18:30 local time (CET +2) for WUP ahead of Race 2, which is scheduled to start at 21:00 local time. Due to the reverse grid for Race 2, Melandri and Davies will start from 7th and 8th position on the grid tomorrow.

Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati #7) – 2nd
“I’m happy because we achieved our main task, which was to gain some points in the fight for second position in the championship, but honestly it was a tough race. I think we did the best with what we had, it was a case of managing a few issues. We struggled with grip both in corner entry and exit, and we missed a bit of agility. But, we took second place and we’re happy to get 20 points in the bag and a lot of useful data ahead of tomorrow to improve with the electronics and especially engine brake. We need to stay focused and hopefully we’ll make another couple of steps forward for Race 2.”

Marco Melandri ( Racing – Ducati #33) – 3rd
“I’m quite pleased with this result, because I don’t think we could have done more today. After Superpole I didn’t know what to expect, but the team has done a great job and we managed to make a good step forward with the setup for the race, where I still wasn’t at my 100 percent but at least I was able to ride close to the limit. In the beginning, I struggled as I had very little grip on the rear. The bike wobbled a lot and I couldn’t push as hard as I wanted to. I tried to compensate with the front, and managed to gain some positions, but towards the end the tire was really worn out and I decided not to take many risks. This podium boosts our morale. We’ll try to improve further and finish on a high note tomorrow.”

Stefano Cecconi, Aruba CEO and Team Principal
“Given the difficulties we experienced going into the race, we can be happy with this result. The riders and team reacted very well, taking a double podium that leaves us satisfied but not entirely, as our goal is to always fight for the win. We’ll do our best to be even more competitive in Race 2.”

Weekend Schedule (CET +2)

Saturday, November 4
17:30 – 17:45 Warm-up
21:00 Race 2

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