The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team suffered one of its toughest weekends since the start of the season at the Donington Park circuit in the eighth round of the Superbike World Championship.
After Álvaro Bautista’s crash in yesterday’s first race, the 34-year-old from Talavera de la Reina tried to limit the damage against Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) – winner of the three races this weekend and new championship leader. Both in the Superpole Race this morning, reduced to eight laps after a multiple crash on oil involving six riders, and in Race 2 in the afternoon, Álvaro tried not to make any mistakes, bringing home the best result possible at the flag with a fourth and a third place.
Team-mate Chaz Davies was unable to go any higher than a seventh and ninth place in today’s two races. The 32-year-old Welshman is still finding things difficult with the Panigale V4 R and this weekend was never able to get a good feeling that will allow him to get back and fight amongst the front-runners.
After leading the table since the first race of this season, Bautista now finds himself in second place on 352 points – 24 down on Rea – while Davies is in eighth place on 130 points. The next round of the Superbike World Championship will take place in one weeks’ time at the Laguna Seca circuit in California, from 12th to 14th July.
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #19) – 4th / 3rd
“Today it was important to finish the weekend with a podium, after yesterday’s crash. In the Superpole Race I tried to stay with the front group and pushed as hard as I could; unfortunately, my Panigale V4 R was moving around a lot and I had to make a big effort to ride it and keep it upright. In Race 2 I made a good start, and tried to stay in the front group despite the same problems I had in the Superpole Race. Here at Donington we were struggling a lot, but I’m quite happy to have achieved the best possible result. We’re analysing the data to try and improve the weak points of the bike and tackle the Laguna Seca race stronger than before.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing Ducati #7) – 7th / 9th
“It was a really tough day. After the Superpole race, I was optimistic that we could potentially have a decent long race. We made some changes and felt the bike was a bit better. The start and the first few laps were good and I got up to fifth place, then things got a bit more difficult. After a few more laps my pace faded, because I had pretty bad arm pump as well. Donington is a bit of a strange circuit that requires a lot of physical effort; today things were tougher especially with me fighting the bike as much as I am. Unfortunately, there’s not much to be happy about after a weekend like this one, but now I can’t wait to get to Laguna, which is a track I like a lot.”