After a positive start yesterday, the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team successfully concluded its first tests of 2019 at Jerez de la Frontera (Spain). Alvaro Bautista and Chaz Davies clocked 103 and 58 laps respectively, posting the 4th and 10th best time in the combined WorldSBK rankings and moving forward with the development of the Panigale V4 R.
Bautista, who adopted a progressive approach on the recently resurfaced track, made progress with his work on the setup to finish in 4th position overall with a personal best of 1:39.620, more than two seconds faster than yesterday. Davies, on the other hand, narrowed his track activity due to back pain, still managing to complete 18 laps today with a personal best of 1:40.621 (10th). The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will resume action with both its riders in Portimão (Portugal) for two more days of tests, scheduled for January 27-28.
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #19) – 1:39.620
"It's been a couple of positive days. After the winter break, it was important to get back on track, in order to readjust to the speed but also to get accustomed to the new bike. The new tarmac made it a bit more difficult for us. The grip was very low and so were the temperatures, so we couldn't find a good feeling in day one. Today, however, we managed to work better. The track improved and it was warmer outside. We're still focusing on riding position and the base setup in general. We tried some changes that I've liked, and now we'll make more evaluations at Portimão, a track that I don't know, so it'll be very interesting."
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 1:40.621
"Today we focused on the engine, and in the end the lap time was OK given the short amount of time we had on track, but I think we could have made bigger improvements. Unfortunately, it's been a tricky day. I just felt some pain in my back yesterday. It had nothing to do with the crash, but it got worse overnight. I managed to get treatment twice so I was still able to get some laps in, which was very important. It seems we're going in the right direction. Next stop is Portimão, a completely different track, and the foremost priority will be to complete our full program before we head to Australia."