Be Wiser PBM Ducati
Sat, 04 Nov 2017
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team took it back to the track at Losail (Qatar) for the final race of the 2017 WorldSBK Championship. Chaz Davies, second under the checkered flag as in Race 1, thus seized the goal to finish the championship in second position with 403 points to his tally. Marco Melandri, third in Race 1, struggled with grip issues to finish in sixth position.
Thanks to a blistering start from third row, Davies took the lead going into turn 1 and dictated the pace early on. After saving a near crash at turn 5, the Welshman managed the race from second position given that Sykes, his rival for runner-up position, was forced to retire. Melandri faced an uphill race due to lingering grip issues. The Italian, who in his first year on the Panigale R took 13 podiums (including one win) to finish fourth overall, fought valiantly to take sixth position.
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team would like to thank Ernesto Marinelli, Superbike Project Director, for the great work done together in the past three seasons, which resulted in 24 wins and 73 podiums overall, and wishes him the best for his future professional endeavors. The team will resume action on November 22-24 at Jerez de la Frontera (Spain) for the first winter tests ahead of the 2018 championship.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 2nd
“We sealed second position in the championship, which was our goal going into this round, so I’m very happy. It’s been another tough race. I probably made the best start of my career, then got my head down while keeping an eye on Sykes’ position. I nearly crashed at turn 5, it felt like a rodeo but we hung on to it. Once I saw Sykes was out, I just tried to control the gap as second place was the best we could do today. Thanks to Ducati and Aruba.it for another exciting season, I’m looking forward to 2018.”
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) – 6th
“Despite the great work done with the team in these three days, we couldn’t find grip and in Race 2 we had to manage a few extra issues. I didn’t have much traction at maximum lean angle, and even on the straight the bike was moving a lot and I couldn’t open the throttle at 100 percent. I would have liked to finish the year with a different result but, looking at the bright side, we had some memorable races and we still have plenty of room for improvement. Now we’ll recharge to start winter testing, which will be very important, in our best shape. We want to be title contenders in 2018.”
Ernesto Marinelli, Superbike Project Director
“It’s been a very intense weekend. With Chaz we managed, thanks to his incredibile determination, to take second position in the championship, which we barely missed last year, even though we always race to win. It’s been a special round for me, as it was my last race with the team. I want to thank from the bottom of my heart Ducati, Aruba.it, and the guys in the team for all their efforts, and all the Ducati fans for the great moments we shared, which I’ll always remember.”