Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team happy with progress made in Portimao test
Following a tough weekend in Round 10 of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) ended the one day official test with a positive feeling as the pair worked on improvements to their Panigale R’s for the remainder of 2017.
Saturday’s podium finisher Davies was unable to finish the second race as he tucked the front end of his Ducati out of another podium finishing position, but he ended the test feeling positive ahead of Round 11 at Magny-Cours. Spending the day putting in short runs in order to test many new parts, the British rider ended in second position and just 0.398s behind Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team). Finding some new set-up changes he can take with him to France, Davies was satisfied with the day.
The 30 year old put in a lap time of 1.42.711, which was faster than the time he set in Superpole: “We had a lot of different parts to try which we are on the fence with, some positives and some negatives. But it was an important test nonetheless, with a lot of playing around to try various different things Ducati have brought along. All in all it was a positive day; I think we’ve got a good grasp of where we’re at. Everything we introduced today we can use in Magny-Cours, where a repeat of last year would be nice!”
Italian team-mate Melandri wasn’t far behind Davies as he completed the day in third position, setting a time of 1.43.017 which was also faster than his Superpole time from the weekend. Making some changes to his Italian machine throughout the test, the 35 year old was content with his pace over the test as he makes his return to Magny-Cours in two weeks time. With his eyes on beating his team-mate in France, Melandri is feeling optimistic following the test.
“It was a pretty long day but with a positive feeling,” begins Melandri. “I am pretty happy about this. We did many tests of the bike set-up with weight balance or electronics, and it’s pretty good. I am looking forward to the next round, to use this experience and to try to make a better result. We lost the last 60 minutes on the track, when everyone was trying to improve their lap time, but for me it is more important to go home and to the next races with a good feeling. It is not really important to be the fastest guy on track in the test, so we are working for the future.”
Watch the highlights from the test over on the WorldSBK VideoPass, as the WorldSBK paddock prepares for Round 11 of the championship at Magny-Cours.