The 2019 season for the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team concluded at the Losail circuit in Qatar with a terrific three-way battle that involved both riders of the Italian team, Chaz Davies and Álvaro Bautista, who tried everything they could to get the better of the 2019 champion, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki).
After a great start, Bautista immediately slotted right in behind Rea and even took the lead on lap 8 with his Panigale V4 R. Towards mid-race however the Spanish rider suffered excessive rear tyre drop and he started to lose ground. Chaz Davies, following a bad start, recovered several positions and then caught and passed his team-mate to take the chequered flag in second place.
The Qatar Round thus brings an end to the debut season in World Superbike for the new Panigale V4 R which accumulated a total of 17 wins in 37 races, 16 of which with Bautista and one Davies. The Spaniard finished the championship as runner-up with 498 points, while Davies placed sixth with 294 points.
The Italian squad will next be out on track at Aragon (Spain) on 13th and 14th November for the first test with newly-signed Scott Redding, together with Chaz Davies, and will then return to the track again at Jerez (Spain) on 28th and 29th of the same month.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing Ducati #7) – 5th / 2nd
“It’s been a strong end to the season for me and I’m really happy to finish on the podium again. I felt like I put together another good race this evening after a bad start, but it was good fun to battle with the others in the early laps. I got into a good pace and started charging towards the guys up front. After I passed Álvaro, it was quite easy to follow Johnny but then when I pushed a bit more, I was in trouble with the front tyre. All in all, it was a good finish to 2019 and I can’t wait for 2020 to start”.
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #19) – 2nd / 3rd
“Today was a positive day, because after the warm-up and before the Superpole race, we returned to the set-up we had on Friday. I immediately had a good feeling and the second place was important for the starting-grid in race 2. In the early stages I battled with Jonathan but unfortunately, about half-way through the race, I began to lose grip at the rear and I was struggling to stop the bike. In the end I couldn’t do anything about Chaz, but all things considered I’m happy, it’s always nice to finish the season on the podium. I’d like to thank Aruba and all the Ducati squad for doing a fantastic job this year. Unfortunately, the season didn’t go the way we hoped, but I’m very pleased to have begun my first year in Superbike with this team because they have so much experience in this championship and they helped me a lot. Thanks to everyone, I wish you all the best for next year.”