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The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team stepped on the podium with both its riders in Race 1 at Portimão (Portugal), as Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri took second and third position respectively, a result that confirms a competitiveness shown since day 1 in Portugal.
 
Starting respectively from ninth and fifth position on the grid, Davies and Melandri initially enjoyed the fight in the peloton, and eventually separated themselves to defend their position until the checkered flag. The Welshman and the Italian thus scored their fifth and second consecutive podium respectively.
 
Due to the reverse grid for Race 2, Melandri and Davies will start from seventh and eighth position on the grid tomorrow. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will resume action at 09:50 (CET -1) Sunday for warm-up ahead of Race 2 (scheduled to start at 15:00).
 
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 2nd

“To be honest, this was the best that we could do today. Rea has been on another level here so far, but I felt pretty confident about our pace going into the race. We got off to a good start, picking up five positions in the first few corners, but unfortunately I didn’t feel particularly comfortable from half-way point onwards. We had a few warnings and, even if I wasn’t riding too hard, I felt that we were still on the limit. At that point I was still pulling away from Marco but not catching up with the front, so I just tried to play with my style a bit to see what I could learn for Race 2. We need to understand how to improve to get the best out of both myself and the package.”
 
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) – 3rd
“It was tough out there today, because during the race we couldn’t use the tyre we’ve been working with all weekend. Safety comes first, but this gave us some issues with our electronics’ setup, especially with power delivery and engine brake. I couldn’t push as hard as I wanted to, struggling with grip throughout. When I saw that Camier was coming back strong, I tried to give my 100 percent without making mistakes, but for sure we’re looking to improve our performance for Race 2 in order to be able to fight at least with Chaz until the end. It’ll be crucial to get a good start because it’s not easy to pass on this track, but usually we’re strong in this aspect so I’m confident.”
 
Ernesto Marinelli, Superbike Project Director
“Today’s double podium is a good result. Rea made the difference but, considering a difficult Superpole, we can be happy with Chaz and Marco’s performance. Chaz scored important points for the championship, and Marco also rode a solid race. We still need to fine-tune some details with both in order to fight for the win tomorrow, but we are aware of which issues we have to fix and we identified some setup changes, which we’ll evaluate during WUP tomorrow.”

Portimão Race 2: Difficult race for the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team, 3rd place for Melandri, Davies crashes out while 2nd