Melandri (3rd) takes another podium for the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team in Race 2 at Misano, fourth position for Davies2018-07-09 08:54
After clinching second position with Chaz Davies in Race 1, the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team collected another podium in front of its home fans at Misano thanks to Marco Melandri's third place in Race 2. The Italian got off to a strong start from fourth position and stayed within the leading group, engaging a spectacular battle with his teammate Davies and then Rea. Towards the end, Melandri forced the pace to erase the gap despite low grip conditions, finishing just 0.595 seconds behind the winner.
Chaz Davies also rode a spectacular race, and finished less than two seconds away from the podium, in fourth position. Starting from third row, the Welshman pushed hard since the very beginning to climb the rankings and immediately entered the top five. Some problems under acceleration, however, prevented him from taking another podium.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi came back from last row on the grid to finish in eleventh position overall, first among Independent riders. After nine rounds, Davies (278 points) and Melandri (193 points) are respectively second and fifth in the championship, while Rinaldi (59 points) is 14th. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team and the Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team will resume action at Portimão (Portugal) on August 23-24 for two days of testing ahead of round 10, scheduled on the same track for September 14-16.
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) – 3rd
"It's been a super fun race. After a difficult and unlucky weekend so far, together with the team we finally found an ideal setup for the new front tire. Unfortunately, we couldn't ride in FP3 and FP4 and this penalized us in Race 1, but today we redeemed ourselves. I felt comfortable on the bike, I could be aggressive and I fought a nice battle with Rea, even though it made us lose a bit of ground on VD Mark. Towards the end I wanted to attack but, after a couple of big risks, I realized we were too close to the limit. Anyhow, it's nice to go on holiday with a podium and I'm confident we'll soon win again."
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 4th
"Today I felt we had the potential to be in the mix and it was a good battle early on, but after five or six laps we unexpectedly started to struggle with rear traction. I'm a little bit disappointed, because we made some changes after Race 1 but we didn't go the right way. That said, overall it's been a really good, solid weekend, much better than last year, so I can't complain. In the last couple of races we've been consistent and uncovered a few important details. Going into the summer break just missing the podium will put a little extra fire in the belly ahead of the last four rounds."
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team #21) – 11th
"After a tough start, we finally regained confidence during WUP today. It's never easy to climb back from last row, but we can say we partially redeemed ourselves. Usually we can ride well within the top 10 but, at this level, a small drop in performance costs many positions. Our pace wasn't bad, but today's result doesn't reflect our potential. Now we need to wait a month before we test, and two before we race. I can't wait to ride my bike again."
Stefano Cecconi, Aruba CEO and Team Principal
"Today Marco bounced back with a strong race, which he could have ridden probably also yesterday if it weren't for the issues encountered in FP4. We're sorry for Chaz, who faced some more difficulties compared with Race 1 as he and the team tried to make the last step forward. We can't be completely satisfied, but overall we're happy with the results. Now a long break awaits, but first we'll celebrate here in Misano with all our fans at World Ducati Week."
Source: Ducati Motor Holding
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