The first race in this weekend’s 400th round in the history of the World Superbike Championship saw positive performances by both riders of the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team.
Starting from a row-4, P12 grid slot, Chaz Davies ran a very aggressive race to step onto the podium once again after his win in the last round at Laguna Seca, this time in second place behind winner Rea (Kawasaki). In the tussle for supremacy in the first turn following the start, Álvaro Bautista almost made contact with his team-mate, unfortunately losing a lot of positions that put him down in sixteenth place at the end of the opening lap. The Spanish rider then made an incredible recovery to finish just a few seconds away from the podium in fourth place.
Tomorrow the ten-lap Superpole Race will be held at 11.00 CET, with Race 2 starting at 14.00.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) – 2nd
“I’m really happy with second place in today’s race, especially after my poor Superpole qualifying performance and twelfth place on the grid. Portimão is a strange track, different from Laguna Seca, and it’s very tricky to pass around here, so for this reason I’m happy to have got onto the podium again. I made a really good first lap, made the passes stick and went forward from there. The start wasn’t that good but I did go very deep into turn 1 and I think I caused Alvaro to stand the bike up a bit so I apologize for that. It wasn’t my intention to cause him any problems but it just happened, I saw the gap and was committed in the turn.”
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #19) – 4th
“I’m really happy with the performance we showed today, even though unfortunately we missed out on a chance to fight for the victory in the first corner due to what happened at the first turn with my team-mate and I was lucky not to touch Lowes and crash. I lost a lot of positions so I tried to recover and do my best. It was difficult to overtake other riders because I didn’t have much traction and I couldn’t make my lines so I needed more time to overtake. When I was alone our pace was even faster than the winner, so I’m happy with the performance but not the result. At least we have two races tomorrow to try and get better results than today.”