The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team was out on track today at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Australia for the first day of official tests that mark the start of the 2019 Superbike World Championship season.
Today was characterized by a convincing performance by the team’s new signing, Álvaro Bautista from Spain, who powered his Panigale V4 R to an impressive fastest morning lap of 1’30.743, a time that was even quicker than Marco Melandri’s race record. Bautista, who completed a total of 61 laps in the four hours of track time available today, showed that he is rapidly getting to grips with his new bike, and he remained at the top of the timesheets almost all day.
Team-mate Chaz Davies had to overcome a few more difficulties and he could only end the day in thirteenth place. Faced with a technical problem in the first session, he was only able to notch up 21 laps. In the afternoon, the track conditions worsened due to the strong winds and Chaz, who added another 35 laps to his total, focussed on building up his confidence with the V4 R, the Welshman recording his best lap of the day in 1’32.783.
The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team will be back on track tomorrow at 09.10 local time (CET +10) for the second and final day of testing before the opening round of the championship itself, which will be held from Friday 22 to Sunday 24 February at the same circuit.
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #19) – 1’30.743 – 1st
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) – 1’32.706 – 13th