Álvaro Bautista and Chaz Davies, the two Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team riders, have concluded two days of winter testing at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve circuit in Portimão.
After last weeks’ test at Jerez, this one in Portugal gave a further opportunity to the team, engineers and riders to gather as much data as possible for the development of the brand-new Panigale V4 R, the four-cylinder machine that this year will be making its track debut in the Superbike World Championship. As it is a totally new project, the riders were not on a quest for outright performance, but instead they concentrated on putting together information to allow the engineers to analyse all the work carried out so far.
By working on all sectors of chassis, electronics and engine – as befits a new project – at Portimão the team positively concluded this important stage of the season, before departing for the official test and the opening round of the season at Phillip Island in Australia in two weeks’ time.
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #19) – 1:41.934
“For me these days testing at Portimão have been positive. Yesterday was a bit more difficult than today because it was my first time ever here at Portimão, a very difficult circuit to learn and full of ups and downs, so I struggled a bit, but today I felt a lot better on the bike and managed to improve. It’s the last time we test the V4 R before leaving for Australia, so I wanted to do as many laps as possible to get to know the bike better. We are confident because we’ve found a good base even though we know there’s still a lot of work to do.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 1:43.361
“It’s been a couple of testing days in more ways than one! Physically I’m not really recovered from the twinge in the back I picked up in the Jerez test, so it hasn’t been the most comfortable time for me. On the flip side I’m very happy to have finished the test because I didn’t think it was going to be possible, but I did some good physio between the tests that allowed me to lap. Portimão is really important because it’s another track where we need to find a good base set-up for the V4 R, while I try and get fully acquainted with the bike. We’re not there yet and we’ll keep on working but I’m confident and looking forward to getting to Phillip Island for the opening round.”
The next appointment for Aruba.it Racing - Ducati will be the official team presentation on Monday 4th February at the Aruba Global Cloud Data Centre in Ponte San Pietro near Bergamo.