Xavi Fores, who jumped on the Ducati Go Eleven this morning in FP3, was the author of a great Race 1 on the Estoril circuit! Final eleventh position, after a bad start that relegate him penultimate at the first sector. And he showed impressive laptimes, in line with the Top 5, especially in the last part of the race!

The first day of the experienced Spaniard was a kind of sprint; on Saturday, time is very short, and making his debut on a new bike in World Superbike is never easy. The first session started with quite low temperatures, which put the SCX tyres slightly in crisis; Xavi had to quickly gain confidence, already trying to push, to understand the limits of the bike. Towards the middle of the session he was already able to run on the low 38, that means great speed and adaptability. Unfortunately it was not possible to improve further, due to a sharp drop in the rear tyre, but the feeling was immediately excellent. Back in the pits, he was happy and satisfied with the starting point, providing information on the set-up of the Ducati V4-R, so as to be able to sew it on his riding style.

Free Practice 3:
P 1   T. Razgatlioglu   1.36.233
P 2   J. Rea + 0.338
P 3   A. Bautista   + 0.782

P 15   X. Fores   + 1.926

In Superpole Fores had to use the new SCQ, the qualifying tyre, for the first time ever. It’s not always easy to get a good feeling with an all-or-nothing tyre, but he still managed to set a good time that gave him the sixth row. In his best lap he made a small mistake in the third sector, quantifiable in about 0.5 seconds compared to his best, without which he would have been able to gain a couple of rows. In any case, the feeling with the bike was promising for the race!

P 1   J. Rea   1.36.290
P 2   T. Razgatlioglu  + 0.091
P 3   A. Bautista  + 0.617

P 17   X. Fores   + 2.175

In Race 1, rider number 12 showed a truly impressive pace! After a bad start, which saw him pass in penultimate position in the first sector, he set his pace, overtaking rider after rider (about ten) with strong brakings and determination, losing very little time in the battle. Once he freed himself from the pack, he went in pursuit of the Top Ten, setting laps in succession on the 37 and a half. With two laps to go, he entered the battle with Bassani, recovering almost a second from each lap, then overcoming him in the last corners. The only remorse is that he came within a second of the Best Independent, but failed to truly enter the battle. This does not detract from the excellent performance of Fores. With a few small improvements in the set-up, you can really have fun tomorrow, even if the weather looks rather uncertain!

Race 1:
P 1   A. Bautista   33’58.478
P 2   T. Razgatlioglu  + 0.126
P 3   J. Rea  + 4.835

P 11   X. Fores   + 27.516

Sunday schedule (Italian time)
WUP: 10.00 – 10.15
SP Race: 12.00
Race 2: 15.00

Xavi Fores (Rider): 
“I had a lot of fun in the race! I started quite badly, I was at the bottom on the first lap, so I concentrated on my pace to comeback as many positions as possible. The bike was fine, I managed to pass many riders, keeping the pace of 37 until the end; I was in line with the top 5. If we get a better start tomorrow, we can easily fight in the top ten. We are working to improve a little more on our Ducati, and tomorrow we just open the throttle!”

Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):
“I would say that no one expected Fores to be this quick right from the beginning. In WorldSBK, getting on the bike at the last minute, skipping Friday practice, with a bike you don’t know, is very complicated. He did more than what we expected and what could be asked of him, he was riding with fast times. At the start, he did not find the feeling with our gearbox, which is different from that of the Endurance. On the first lap he was far behind and had to make a comeback race, with many overtakes without wasting time. His pace was incredible. Xavi is an experienced rider, who has brought experience to the team and a different point of view on the bike set-up. He needs something different than Philipp, so we are working to get the bike in his direction, especially on the transfer and weight distribution. Today we met each other, tomorrow we will try to improve again!”