The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team resumed action today at Brno (Czech Republic) for Round 7 of the WorldSBK Championship, taking it to the track for three free-practice sessions. Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies, who tested at the circuit about a month ago, found wet conditions in the morning and then were able to focus on their dry setup in FP2 and FP3, closing in third and sixth position respectively, not far from the top both in terms of a single lap and overall pace.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi, on track with the Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team, posted the 8th provisional time overall and first among “Independent” riders despite a technical issue that cut his work short towards the end of FP3. Both Melandri and Davies, as well as Rinaldi, gained direct access to Superpole 2.
The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team and the Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team will return to the track Saturday, June 9th, at 08:45 local time (CET) for the fourth and final free-practice session before Superpole and Race 1, scheduled to start at 13:00.
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #33) – 1:59.795 (3rd)
“Today really demanded our utmost focus as track conditions changed quite a lot between the morning and the afternoon, and the grip was much lower than during the tests here. We had to study and utilize different setups, but fortunately we managed to do a solid job and the team found a good compromise to make me feel quite comfortable on the bike. We can be fairly optimistic for the race, regardless of weather conditions. Rea seems to have a small edge at the moment, but I’m really determined to close the gap.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) – 1:59.970 (6th)
“After a wet FP1, we started working on a ‘dry’ setup for FP2 and on our race pace. We got down to good lap times quite quickly, but then we sort of hit an obstacle, and on this track you can’t really force it, the lap time has to come to you. So, we immediately started analyzing our setup and what changes to make. I feel like we’re getting closer and closer to the mark. In terms of pace, we’re quite competitive, but so far we’ve been struggling to make a hot lap. We’re not actually that far away, we just need to make small improvements for tomorrow.”
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team #21) – 2:00.191 (8th)
“All in all, it’s been a positive first day, because we’ve been competitive in all conditions. We still need to improve a bit, both in terms of a single lap and race pace, but we’re fairly optimistic despite the fact that track conditions during FP1 slowed down our program a bit. Tomorrow’s weather is still a question mark, so we need to be ready to adapt to all conditions and, most of all, avoid making mistakes.”
Weekend schedule (CET):
Saturday (June 9th)
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 (June 10th)
09:35 – 09:50 SBK Warm-up
13:00 SBK Race 2
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