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WorldSBK returns to Europe: the Racing – Ducati team heads to Aragon for Round 3

After taking three wins in the first two overseas rounds of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship, the Racing – Ducati team is ready to kick off the “European season” with the Aragon (Spain) round, scheduled for April 13-15. The track on the outskirts of Alcañiz saw both Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri triumph – respectively in six and two occasions – collecting eight podiums each in total, and the goal of the team is to extend the positive momentum and achieve prestigious results with both riders.

After two rounds, Melandri and Davies are 2nd (67 points) and 4th (57 points) in the rankings, only 2 and 12 points behind the provisional leader respectively. Also, at Aragon, Michael Ruben Rinaldi will make his WorldSBK debut with the Racing – Junior Team, which will take part in all European rounds. The STK1000 champion prepared the round with two days of tests on the Spanish track, concluded with positive feedback.

The Racing – Ducati team and the Racing – Junior Team will resume action on Friday, April 13th, at 09:45 for the first free-practice session.

Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati #7) 
“I’m excited going into Round 3. We’ve put in the work and I feel good on the bike. The win in Thailand was really important and it gives me a lot of confidence, because it’s always been a tough track for us. On the other hand, I had a lot of good races at Aragon: first podium, first double and first W with the Panigale R. That said, I’ll take it as any other race. It’s been close there in the past, and I expect many riders challenging for the win. The racing has been pretty even this year, and on track I haven’t seen big differences between the bikes. I’m ready for the battle”.

Marco Melandri ( Racing – Ducati #33) 
“Aragon is track that I really enjoy and I had good results there in several occasions in the past. I’m happy to start the European leg of the championship from there. Despite the difficulties on the straight we encountered in Thailand, I feel in great shape and I’m confident I can be fast. I believe we can fix the issues that limited us and challenge for the win or at least the podium once again. Weather could also come into play this weekend, so we’ll see.”

Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Junior Team #21)
“I’m really happy and ready to make my WorldSBK debut. We worked hard to begin in the best possible shape, and I’m really keen on finally racing. We’ll obviously do our best, knowing there’s still a lot to learn. In the tests, we consistently improved the base setup and the feeling with the bike and the team. We just have to get out on track and find out where we’re at.”

Circuit information

County: Spain
Name: Motorland Aragon
Track length: 5,007 km
Corners: 17 (10 left, 7 right)
Race distance: 18 laps / 91,386 km

Best lap: Davies (Ducati), 1:49.319 (167,190 km/h) – 2017
Circuit record: Davies (Ducati), 1:50.421 (164,581 km/h) – 2016
Superpole: Davies (Ducati), 1:49.319 (167,190 km/h) – 2017

Rider information

Chaz Davies
Bike: Ducati Panigale R
Race number: 7
Age: 31 (Born 10/02/1987 in Knighton, Wales)
SBK races: 156
SBK wins: 28
SBK podiums: 70

Marco Melandri
Bike: Ducati Panigale R
Race number: 33
Age: 35 (Born 07/08/1982 in Ravenna, Italy)
SBK races: 132
SBK wins: 22
SBK podiums: 64

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

Weekend schedule (CET):

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

Saturday (April 14th)
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 (April 15th)
09:35 – 09:50 SBK Warm-up
13:00 SBK Race 2

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