Davies and Melandri seeking to end longest Ducati winless streak since 2016
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) opened the season with a double; then Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) won the latter races in Thailand and Spain. And since then, nothing. Six races have come and gone since Davies’ record triumph at MotorLand Aragon, with several podiums and many laps led along the way – but no more wins. An absence of red riders from the top of the rostrum not seen since 2016, when Davies went eight races without taking P1.
To make matters worse, at the UK Round there were no top-4 finishes for the Aruba.it team, a first since Round 2 of the 2015 season. A Panigale-less Parc Fermé is a rare sight, but most importantly, one that the team will have been working hard to avoid at Brno in the past two weeks.
Davies is still second in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, and will run out at Brno with a point to prove: “We're heading to Brno eager to bounce back after Donington, which wasn't an easy round for us. We'll have to take it as it comes, one step at a time. Our first goal is to improve our package, so we just need to head out on the track together with our rivals”.
The same could be said for Melandri, desperate to bounce back after one of his most disappointing weekends in WorldSBK: “We are really keen to do well and our mindset is positive, because each race has been a different story this year”, says the Italian.
Both riders were testing the Brno track a few weeks back, and left the Moravian city expressing similar sentiments. “The test we've done there was OK but we were playing around with the setup, while the racing weekend is where we need to put it all together”, states Davies, who will be searching his first podium at Brno.
Melandri’s record at Brno is excellent, with several wins at the Czech circuit stretching all the way back to his 125cc days – a good reminder of what he is capable of: “The tests done in Czech Republic went quite well even though our priority was to improve the overall stability and not to prepare a specific setup for the race. The track itself is flowing, I always liked it and scored some good results there”.
Meanwhile, junior rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) will face a new challenge at Brno, a track he has only raced at once (in the Moto3™ championship) but experienced more recently at the latest test: “The layout makes it fun to ride, even though there are some bumps. Our test was a positive one, so we're ready to start from a good base but we also know that our rivals were really competitive there. The situation may change because of higher temperatures, so we'll all probably have to make adjustments”.
Will the Aruba.it team bounce back at Brno? Find out this weekend thanks to the WorldSBK VideoPass.