World Superbike took to the track again today after the long summer break, which has lasted since the previous round in the USA in mid-July. The mid-season appointment was two days of collective testing at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve circuit in preparation for the next round of the championship at this track in two weeks’ time.
All the teams and riders were present, including the two riders of the Italian team - Álvaro Bautista and Chaz Davies – who were anxious to set up their Ducati Panigale V4 R machines in view of the final part of the season. Four testing sessions were scheduled over the two days for a total of eight hours of track time.
Still not 100% fit after the incident at Laguna Seca in which he stretched the ligaments in his left shoulder, Bautista put in more laps than any other rider on the first day (66), recording the third quickest time in 1’42.087. Today on the other hand, he preferred not to stress his shoulder too much before the Portuguese Round, cutting short the work programme early in the morning session. The 34-year-old Spanish rider was ninth quickest in the aggregate standings with the best time he had set yesterday.
These were two intense days of testing on the other hand for Chaz Davies, who finished Day 1 yesterday in eighth place with a best time of 1’42.487. The 32-year-old Welshman continued his work load in view of the next round on this track, trying some different solutions at the rear, dropping his time by three-tenths and finishing the test in eleventh place with a time of 1’42.161.
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #19) – 9th (1’42.087)
“These two days of testing have been very positive even though on the second day we weren’t able to do many laps. Unfortunately, the shoulder is not yet in a perfect condition and I felt a bit of pain. We preferred to stop early so as not to make things worse and to be in the best condition in a couple of weeks’ time. In any case, yesterday we did a lot of laps and all things considered I’m happy because I found a good feeling again with my Panigale. This was the first test since the last round at Laguna Seca, now we’ve got a few more days to fully recover.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 11th (1’42.161)
“It was a good two days and great to get back into the swing of things and actually just verify the progress that we have made since the test here in January. Coming here six months later, I felt like the bike responded pretty good all in all. Over the two days we worked on the chassis mainly, things felt good and the bike was working well. I go away from here pretty confident and can’t wait for the final part of the season to start.”
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will be back on track at Portimao in two weeks’ time for the tenth round of the Superbike World Championship at the Portuguese circuit from 6th to 8th September.