Chaz takes second in season opener
The 2017 WorldSBK season opener at Phillip Island (Australia) yielded a great result for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team as Welshman Chaz Davies rode a tactical race and finished in second position, only 0.042 seconds behind winner Jonathan Rea.
In fourth and third position on the grid respectively after Superpole, Chaz and teammate Marco Melandri took the lead thanks to a blistering start and then constantly fought in the leading group. As it often happened in the past, the Australian track led to a hard-fought, exciting race, with seven riders at the top and narrow gaps.
The battle, however, penalized Melandri, who was forced off track at turn 2 after disputing the same line with another rider. Conversely, Chaz was able to play defense and wait until the final laps to attack, missing the victory by only 0.042 seconds.
The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team will resume action tomorrow at 11:25 local time (01:25 CET) for WUP. Race 2 is scheduled to start at 15:00 (05:00 CET). Due to the new grid regulations for Race Two, Davies and Melandri will start in 8th and 10th position respectively.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) – 2nd
“We’ve made a good step forward for the long distance today, but the race itself was a bit of waiting game, as always here in Phillip Island. We had to look after the tyres, playing cat and mouse, and it was a good show. I tried not to get caught too much in the battle and basically reacted to what was going on around me. We almost won, but we still lacked something on the straight. I could pass, but only after the finish line, so we’ll have to try something else. Anyway, we adopted a different strategy compared with the past, a bit safer, to not give away points. That’s the key at this point of the season, because more favorable tracks for us will come soon enough. But, I can’t wait to have another go at it tomorrow.”