The bikes and the equipment were shipped directly from Phillip Island to Buriram, w hile the riders and teams went back to Europe with another intercontinental trip on their schedule, to Thailand this time, only 3 weeks after.
Alvaro Bautista couldn’t have had a better start of the season, with three statement wins in Australia that propped him up at the top of the table. The Spaniard has been in top form lately and the confidence he reached with the new Panigale V4 R is truly imp ressive. In turn, Chaz Davies was forced to tackle the Australian round in the aftermaths of his back problems, which had kept him sidelined for the better part of January. The Welsh rider has still some way to go before he is perfectly tuned in with his new bike, though some signs of improvement were already evident during the second round in Phillip Island. The week-end was full of ups and downs for the other two Ducati bikes and their riders, Eugene Laverty and Michael Rinaldi. The Irishman made it to Thailand with 12 points after crossing the finish line in all three rounds; the same didn’t apply to Rinaldi, who was forced out by a mechanical problem during the third round.
For the fourth year in a row the Superbike championship stops at the Chang International circuit. The Thai racing track is quite linear, with very long straights alternating with slow bends. It remains to be seen how the new Panigale V4 R will perform on the Asian track without the aid of two preliminary test days, which in turn were available in Australia. After the positive results achieved at Phillip Island, the Ducati t eams will work hard to make sure their riders will be up to the task at Buriram, too.