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Last round in Europe for the Racing – Ducati team: Davies and Melandri ready to tackle Magny Cours

After returning to the track in strong fashion at Portimão (Portugal), with Marco Melandri twice on the podium and Chaz Davies fourth in both races despite a fractured collarbone, the Racing – Ducati team is determined to collect even more prestigious results at Magny Cours (France), home of the 11th round of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship and last European race ahead of the final outing in Argentina and Qatar.

Davies is keen to consolidate second position in the championship by increasing his 20-point lead. Melandri, on the other hand, is determined to confirm his recent form to climb back to fourth in the championship. The Magny Cours round will also be the last one of the year for the Racing – Junior Team, which competed in all European rounds with Michael Ruben Rinaldi, who showed a steady growth and finished first among “Independent” riders in four occasions so far. The Racing – Ducati team and the Racing – Junior Team will resume action Friday, September 28, at 09:45 (CET) for the first free-practice session.

Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati #7) 
“We’ve done well at Magny Cours in the past couple of years. We always had a good pace, winning three races out of four. I enjoy the track, it’s quite basic but also technical, with a lot of tight turns. It forces you to push more each lap, trying to turn quicker or brake deeper, and it presents different challenges compared with most other circuits on the calendar. Physically, I’m feeling a bit better, stronger and with less pain compared with Portimão. In the last few days the collarbone hasn’t given me any trouble in day-to-day activities, so I hope the weather stays consistent and we’ll try to get the most out of our time on track.”

Marco Melandri ( Racing – Ducati #33) 
“We head to Magny Cours with good momentum. We worked well at Portimão, finding the right feeling with the bike quickly, and I personally like the track a lot. Despite being mostly flat, its layout makes it challenging and fun. There are many changes of rhythm and a good mix of fast and slow corners, so it’s really complete in general. It looks like the weather will be stable, with warm temperatures in the day. I hope we don’t struggle with the gearbox ratio because, if start it off on the right foot, we’re going to have some fun!”

Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Junior Team #21) 
“We approach this final round as another chance to shine and finish on a high note. Clearly we would have liked to ride in each race, I’d have done 10 more without even thinking about it, but the most important thing is that I had a chance to grow with the team, both on a personal and professional level. Challenging stronger opponents made me a better rider, but I don’t want to stop here. The track itself is technically not the best for us, but we already improved our stats in Portimão and we want to continue on this path at Magny Cours.”

Circuit information

Country: France
Name: Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours
Length: 4.411 km
Corners: 17 (8 left, 9 right)
Pole position: right
Race distance: 21 laps/92.631 km

Fastest lap: Sykes (Kawasaki), 1:36.366 (164,780 km/h) – 2014
Circuit record: Sykes (Kawasaki), 1:37.864 (162,262 km/h) – 2016
Superpole: Sykes (Kawasaki), 1:36.366 (164,780 km/h) – 2014

Race 1: Rea (Kawasaki), Melandri (Ducati), Sykes (Kawasaki)
Race 2: Davies (Ducati), Lowes (Yamaha), VD Mark (Yamaha)

Rider information

Chaz Davies
Bike: Ducati Panigale R
Race number: 7
Age: 31 (Born 10/02/1987 in Knighton, Wales)
SBK races: 172
SBK wins: 29
SBK podiums: 78

Marco Melandri
Bike: Ducati Panigale R
Race number: 33
Age: 35 (Born 07/08/1982 in Ravenna, Italy)
SBK races: 148
SBK wins: 22
SBK podiums: 70

Michael Ruben Rinaldi
Bike: Ducati Panigale R
Race number: 21
Age: 22 (Born 12/21/1995 in Rimini, Italy)
SBK races: 14
SBK wins: –
SBK podiums: –

Weekend schedule (CET):

Friday (September 28th)
09:45 – 10:45 SBK FP1
12:30 – 13:10 SBK FP2
16:05 – 16:45 SBK FP3

Saturday (September 29th)
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 (September 30th)
10:10 – 10:25 SBK Warm-up
15:15 SBK Race 2

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