Scott Redding and Chaz Davies explain how their Saturday at Portimao panned out following Race 1 in Portugal
Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) collected his first two MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship victories at Jerez just one week ago, but after Race 1 of the Motul Portuguese Round at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, the Ducati factory team appear to be struggling with Redding qualifying in eighth place and finishing seventh.
Redding showed some good pace in the first part of the 20-lap race on Saturday as he fought with Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) and Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) for third place. However, as the race went on he found himself falling back down the order, finishing behind van der Mark and Lowes as well as Michel Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) and Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha).
Redding’s teammate Chaz Davies qualified in 13th place after Tissot Superpole before finishing Race 1 in 11th place, making up two positions. It was a contrast for Davies who had shown impressive race pace in Jerez to claim second place in Race 2. Both riders have given their reaction to their Saturday performance.
Redding said: “I had a bit of an interesting day. In the morning I felt quite good and then in Superpole I hd a crash down into Turn 5 before we put the qualifying tyre on. When we put the qualifying tyre on, I didn’t feel that good. It was what it was for the qualifying and I didn’t let that get to me.
“My target was to get on the podium for the race. I got off to a pretty start, I fought my way through the field and got my way up to a podium position. I was struggling a lot with the bike during the race, the last six or seven laps were a disaster. I was struggling a lot with the front, there was no grip. I just couldn’t make lap time; I had no grip to make the bike work.”
Davies explained that he felt he had an issue with the electronics during Race 1: “It was not the best of days today, it was tough. To come here, it’s a totally different track and it threw up some different problems. I had what seemed like an electronic issue from the second lap and we have to investigate exactly what happened, but I had some erratic behaviour from the bike. It was pretty hard to understand what was happening and to manage my race. In the first part of the race I was really slow and then I let the race come to me a little bit. I was on the back of a group of three riders, and all I could do was try to get to the front of that. 11th was all we had today.”
With two races tomorrow, including the Tissot Superpole Race, the ARUBA.IT Ducati – Racing outfit will be hoping work completed on the bikes improve their performance as they looked to bounce back from their Saturday performance. Redding showed in the early part of the race that the pace can be there for Ducati and this is something they will look to use heading into Sunday.
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