Melandri 3rd and Davies 4th in Friday's practice at Magny Cours, home of the 11th round of the season

 
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29 September 2017
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team took it back to the track today at Magny Cours (France), home of the eleventh round of the 2017 WorldSBK Championship. In warm and dry weather conditions – with approximately 25 degrees outside and 40 on the tarmac – Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies moved forward with the usual setup work, both showing encouraging pace and closing respectively in third and fourth position. 
 
Fourth and fifth in the morning, the Italian and the Welshman improved by circa three tenths of a second, finishing within one tenth from the previous circuit record. Melandri posted a personal best of 1:37.966 while Davies, despite not being able to complete the final time attack, finished 14 tenths of a second behind his teammate, with a 1:37.980.
 
The rain forecast for tomorrow could further mix things up. Nonetheless, Melandri and Davies gained direct access to Superpole 2. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will resume action tomorrow at 08:45 local time (CET) for FP3 in preparation of Superpole and Race 1, which is scheduled to start at 13:00 local time. 
 
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) – 1:37.966  (3rd)
“It's been a positive day. I always enjoyed this track, and it’s really fun to ride the Panigale R in it. We worked well with the team, trying to cover as much room as possible as the forecast predicts rain for tomorrow. We worked on the pace, bringing the tires to race distance, then we tried to gauge our speed with fresh tires towards the end of FP2. I still don’t feel completely comfortable in some corners and we have room for improvement, both in terms of setup and riding. I think that we can have a solid race tomorrow, even though I practically have no experience in the wet with this bike. I hope the weather stays consistent all day so that we have time to adapt to it.”
 
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 1:37.980 (4th)
“Overall, day one was OK and we managed to make small but steady improvements. Unfortunately, we got cut short a little bit towards the end of FP2 by a warning on the dashboard, which prompted us to go back to the pits and verify it while we were on the attack with new tires. I’m still not 100 percent happy with the setup, but we’re going in the right direction. Last year we had a couple of awesome races here, both of which were really fun though in very different conditions, so we’ll try to do our best and put up another good fight with our rivals. There’s a strong chance it will rain tomorrow, but you can never know for sure what the weather is going to be like in Magny Cours. We haven’t done much riding riding in the wet this year, so hopefully we’ll get some time to practice in these conditions before the race itself. We’ll take it as it comes, feeling it out and working step by step.” 
 
 
Weekend schedule (CET)
 
Saturday 
08:45 – 09:10 SBK FP3
10:30 – 10.45 SBK Superpole 1
10:55 – 11:10 SBK Superpole 2
13:00 SBK Race 1
 
Sunday 
09:30 – 09:45 SBK Warm-up
13:00 SBK Race 2
 
News and high-resolution photos are available at: www.ducatipress.com

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