To finally see the end of the string of losses at Assen that stretches back to 2011 we had to wait until Sunday's Race 1, postponed due to snow on Saturday. As in the past weeks, Alvaro Bautista rode the Panigale V4 R with masterful expertise. Despite the polar climate, the Iberian rider set the pace from the Superpole and came out on top in both races. All that was missing was a victory in the Superpole Race, but this only because the stage was cancelled by the shifting of Race 1 to Sunday. Chaz Davies on the other hand struggled more than expected in the Netherlands, and unfortunately the progress seen at Aragon wasn't replicated this time around. The Welshman finished the races in seventh and fifth place, but it's clear that Chaz can do much better.
Next on the schedule is the race in Imola, where historically the reds of Borgo Panigale have always achieved excellent results. The 2016 and 2017 editions of the Imola race saw the triumph of Chaz Davies, in both editions riding to decisive double wins, without forgetting the five wins of Carlos Checa on the track from 2010 to 2012. Ruben Xaus (2001-2003), Regis Laconi (2004), Troy Bayliss (2006), Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio (2009) were also able to triumph on their Ducatis at Imola. Since this will be the first race on the Imola circuit for the new Ducati Superbike, a day of testing was organised on 24 April so the two riders could get a feel for the track. While Chaz knows the circuit very well, for Alvaro it's a totally new track that he's never raced on before. And it's clear that this day of testing is critical with the race just around the corner.
The Imola track is only 40 kilometres from Borgo Panigale, so it's logical to consider the Italian round as Ducati's home race. As always many Ducatistas will fill the stands of the Imola track throughout the weekend, offering their loud support to the riders and Ducati teams on the track with the cry of #ForzaDucati!