The fifth round of the Superbike World Championship, held at the Imola circuit this weekend, was hit by bad weather this afternoon, which led to the cancellation of all track activities. After the rain began to fall more intensely, Race Direction decided to send the riders out for a lap in the Safety Car and then get them to line up on the grid for an evaluation of the track conditions. After consultations with the riders, the right decision was taken to cancel the second race which had initially been scheduled for 14:00 CET.
In the morning, the ten-lap Superpole sprint race took place on a dry track, and this saw a double podium for both Aruba.it Racing – Ducati riders, Chaz Davies and Álvaro Bautista, who finished second and third at the flag behind Rea. While championship leader Bautista struggled to keep the pace of the Kawasaki man, Davies immediately powered into the lead from pole position, but a mistake at the Variante Bassa at the end of the opening lap dropped him down to third. Chaz then managed to pass his team-mate, setting fastest lap and the new circuit record on the way, but he was unable to close the gap separating him from Rea.
Following the Imola results, Bautista still has a firm grip on the leadership board with 263 points, 43 more than Rea, while Davies lies in sixth with 85 points. The next race in this year’s Superbike World Championship – the Spanish Round – will be held in four weeks’ time at Jerez de la Frontera from 7 to 9 June.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) – 2nd / -
"It’s a bit of a shame we never got the chance to do race 2 here at Imola but unfortunately in the wet this track has quite a few limits. Imola is not a normal circuit, and with these ups and downs you get a lot of standing water especially in the corners and these conditions meant that they had to cancel today’s race. It was the right decision, but I’m sorry for all the fans who stayed here in the rain all afternoon just to see us race. The positive thing is that we managed to do the sprint race, and judging by the result, it was a pity not to have been able to do the full-length second race. After a tough start to the season, I’m starting to see the light and my feeling with the Panigale V4 R is improving all the time. I go home from Imola knowing that I’ve made a lot of progress in view of the next races."
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati #19) – 3rd / -
"Unfortunately the bad weather affected the second race, and it was raining really hard. The track conditions were dangerous, with a lot of water in some parts and streams crossing the track. It was too risky for the riders and it was the right decision to cancel the race. We feel really bad about that because we know that there are a lot of Superbike fans here, but rider safety is the most important aspect. Having the support of all the Ducatisti is incredible and even though I didn’t win a race, it was one of the best weekends in my entire career because I really felt their support. For this reason, I feel a bit sorry for them, but I think they will understand the situation.”
Monday, 13 May 2019 17:04 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Two more wins at Assen for the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati rider, Álvaro Bautista, who equals Rea’s record of eleven victories in a row
Today was another memorable day for the championship leader Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati), who added another two victories to his start-of-season winning streak. With success in both races, the 34-year-old from Talavera de la Reina took his number of wins to eleven, equalling Jonathan Rea’s record set in the second half of last season.
While in the first race Bautista, who started from pole, took control right from the start, powering away to win over the Kawasaki rider with a margin of 3 seconds, in Race 2 he had to fight until the mid-point against a fierce group of contenders made up of the two Kawasaki men, the pair of Yamaha riders and his team-mate Chaz Davies. After passing leader Rea on lap 6, Álvaro fired in an impressive series of sub-1m35s laps, setting a new circuit record on the way, and he crossed the line almost five seconds ahead of home rider Van der Mark (Yamaha).
Chaz Davies brought home a seventh place in Race 1 and a fifth place in Race 2. Starting from seventh on the grid, the 32-year-old Welshman was not able to get in amongst the fight for the podium in the first race, because of a contact at the first turn, and he had to settle for the same position at the flag. In the second race, after an excellent start, he passed four rivals in the first six laps to slot in behind Bautista in second place. Unfortunately, at around the half-way point, he lost a bit of ground and ended the race in fifth place.
With eleven wins to his name, Bautista remains firmly in control of the championship standings on 236 points, 53 ahead of Rea, while Davies has moved up to sixth place with 76 points. The next World Superbike round, Ducati’s home event, will take place in three weeks’ time at the Autodromo di Imola, from 10 to 12 May.
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #19) – 1st / 1st
“I’m very happy because I won two races at a circuit which was maybe not very favourable for us, and where the Kawasakis had always won in the past. The weekend didn’t get off to the best start on Friday, but in any case we managed to be consistent and competitive. Today we did two full-distance 21-lap races and I can tell you that I used up all my energy, but my training helped me a lot. In the first race in the morning there were very cold conditions, but I tried to get a good start and set my own pace right from the start. I was able to open up a bit of a gap on my rivals and manage the situation well to go on to win Race 1. In Race 2 to be honest I didn’t expect to see Rea ahead of me at Turn 4 because he was on the third row, but he made an incredible start. In the early laps I was taking it easy, trying to stay up and study him well but I could see that his pace was a bit slow so I decided to pass him. I always tried to give my all, in fact we also improved on the circuit record, so it was another wonderful weekend.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) – 7th / 5th
“Jumping onto the podium at Aragón was great then coming here and not getting a podium could be a bit of a disappointment, but I felt like I put together a decent second race. The first race was tough, I had a bit of contact with Johnny in the first corner, got pushed out and just didn’t make any progression in the race. The second race was good, I got a decent start and got up to second for a lap but then just struggled a bit with the balance of the bike after six or seven laps and in the longer corners in particular. We need to look at that and become more comfortable in these areas. It would have been nice to stay in the fight close to the podium, but it just goes to show that we have some work to do to improve in every track.”
Serafino Foti (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Team Manager)
“We’re clearly very happy because this weekend at Assen was another extraordinary one. Álvaro equalled Rea’s record of wins in a row, demonstrating once more his strength and talent even on a circuit with different characteristics to the previous ones. Even though we’ve won all the races so far, the championship is still long so we must remain focussed and continue working. As for Chaz, we’ve also seen some progress here, this weekend he fought hard to bring home the best result possible. We know his true potential and we’ll continue to work hard to put him in the condition to fight for the podium all the time. I want to thank all the guys in the team and everyone back in the factory for their commitment and the great job they’re doing.”
Monday, 15 April 2019 11:10 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Álvaro Bautista couldn’t have got off to a better start in World Superbike this weekend at Phillip Island, as the 34-year-old Spanish rider dominated the opening round of the championship held at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia.
After his triumph in race 1, Bautista went on to take two more wins, the first in the ten-lap Superpole Race, in which he held off Rea, and the second in race 2, when he crossed the finish line with a lead of 12 seconds, again over Rea.
With these results, Bautista has immediately taken the lead of the championship standings, with 62 points, a lead of 13 over his rival from Northern Ireland.
Team-mate Chaz Davies showed some signs of improvement in race 2. In the morning his technicians made some major modifications to the set-up of his Panigale V4 R in an attempt to give the Welshman an easier bike to ride. Davies managed to take the chequered flag in seventh place.
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati #19) – 1st
“It has been a perfect weekend and my Superbike debut couldn’t have been better! We made a clean sweep of everything by winning race 1, the Superpole race and race 2. If people had said to me before that I would have won three races, I wouldn’t have believed them, but we worked hard during the tests to prepare a fantastic bike. In this morning’s Superpole race I had a lot of fun fighting with Rea, I knew that he was very strong and that he was always pushing. The pace was incredible and I had to concentrate so hard, but in the end I got the better of him. In race 2 the track conditions were more difficult than in the morning, and it was important to save the tyres because of the higher track temperature, so I pushed hard in the early laps to try and manage the situation at the end. I’m so happy with the results, today is a day I will never forget! A big thanks to the Aruba team, to Ducati and to my crew for making this all possible! Now we have to continue to work hard, we’re only at the beginning and I think it’s going to be a very top-level championship.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing Ducati #7) – 7th
“We managed to make some progress in race 2 and I felt a bit better with the V4 R, which is the most important thing. After yesterday’s result, we had nothing to lose so the guys in the team made some major changes that allowed me to slightly improve my race pace. I’m still a bit disappointed because we didn’t expect this result, but we picked up a lot of useful data to understand what I need for the next race. My congratulations to Álvaro, because he was really impressive all throughout the weekend.”
Stefano Cecconi, CEO Aruba and Team Principal
“It was virtually a perfect weekend for Álvaro, he dominated almost every session and showed he had the margin to manage every situation. We have got off to the best possible start, but we must remain with our feet firmly on the ground and continue to work hard to achieve the maximum results possible on the other tracks with both of our riders.”
Monday, 25 February 2019 14:36 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Making his debut in the Superbike World Championship for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team, Álvaro Bautista today achieved a truly extraordinary feat by winning the opening round of the 2019 season with the new Ducati Panigale V4 R. The last time a rookie rider won on his debut was in 2007 and what makes the 34-year-old Spanish rider's win even more remarkable is the fact that it was also the very first race for the bike. Starting from third on the grid after the Superpole, Bautista took control of the race on the opening lap, increased his lead every time around and took the chequered flag almost 15 seconds ahead of Jonathan Rea.
Team-mate Chaz Davies was in a bit of difficulty during the 22-lap race, the Welshman never being able to attack, also due to excessive rear tyre wear, which especially in the final stages forced him to slow his pace and he eventually finished in tenth place.
Tomorrow will see the other two SBK races on the schedule for this first round of the championship; the ten-lap Superpole Race at 12:00 (02:00 CET) and Race 2 at 15:00 (05:00 CET).
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #19) – 1st
“This victory has given me such incredible satisfaction and I’m really happy to have won my first World Superbike race! For sure we worked well throughout the winter months and this allowed us to prepare a competitive bike for the first round. Today I wasn’t able to set the pole because I still have to understand how the qualifying tyres work, as they are completely new for me. In the race however I was really confident because I knew I had an excellent pace, and my strategy was to take the lead as soon as possible and then keep a consistent pace. I could see that the gap was increasing lap after lap, even though I was trying to manage the tyre wear, especially towards the end of the race. I’m really happy and I’d like to thank Ducati, Aruba and the guys in my team, now we’ll see if we can keep this up.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 10th
“For me it was rather a disappointing race. Initially I was quite happy and after a good start I more or less maintained the pace with a decent group. Then I suddenly had such a massive drop of rear grip, so much so that I felt like I was riding in sand: we’ll have to look at the data to figure out why it was like that. I know how to manage a race at Phillip Island and I felt like I was relatively conservative for most of the race, but I hit trouble at two-thirds race distance and wasn’t expecting it. It shows we are inexperienced with this new bike; I had a pace that I thought could see us into the top 6 but that wasn’t the case today.”
Marco Zambenedetti (Ducati Corse Track Technical Coordinator)
“Today for sure we did a great job! We are seeing the results of everything we’ve done in the last few years and the fact that we believed in a new project that represents a historic turning-point for Ducati. We knew we could be competitive and we knew we had the technology and the working method to succeed. Álvaro has given us such enormous satisfaction by taking the V4 R to victory, and even though he is a very experienced rider, he is still a rookie in this category. Tomorrow we’ll try and also get Chaz into a condition where he can express his true potential, because we’re convinced that he can. We’ve still got a lot of work to do because despite this first win we’re only just at the beginning.”
Saturday, 23 February 2019 09:52 Published in Rider and Team Releases
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."
Saturday, 26 January 2019 23:39 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) took the 2018 WorldSBK crown in style at the Acerbis French Round, slicing past teammate Tom Sykes in the early stages of Race One and imperious from there on in to take victory number 13 of the year. Unlucky for some, but far from it for the now four-time Champion. Sykes took second from his record-breaking pole, with Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) completing the podium after a three-way fight for third.
It was Sykes who got the holeshot from pole, getting a lightning start and leaving teammate Rea to trail him in second – albeit in very close company. Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) kept his P3 from the front row as they shot off the line, with Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) slotting into fourth as the field made their way around Lap 1. But Rea remained threatening in second and feinted a number of moves, before the reigning Champion pounced for the lead not long after.
Just off that fight at the front, Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) took an early tumble, followed not long after by a DNF for Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) in that same mid top ten group. Rea was then pulling away from Sykes and Sykes from those on the chase as Fores hustled past Savadori and took over in third, but the Italian stayed close and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was beginning to hone in on that battle.
Rea crossed the line for win number 13 and his fourth crown in style, with Sykes just behind his teammate in another impressive 1-2 for Kawasaki. Fores was able to fight off Savadori, and both just stayed ahead of Davies by the flag. Davies needed to finish second to stop Rea taking the crown, but after a mid top ten qualifying and still recovering from a broken collarbone, it was a tall order. The Welshman nevertheless put together an impressive ride in difficult circumstances – much like his races in Portugal. His teammate Marco Melandri , after a tough qualifying, moved through from p12 on the grid to take sixth.
Seventh went to Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) as he moved up from tenth on the grid, getting past Toprak Razgatliouglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) at mid-distance and steadily pulling away from the Turk, who came home in P8. Loris Baz (GULF Althea BMW) had been fighting him in the latter stages but couldn’t make it stick, and just at the end was pipped to ninth by Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia).
Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) took P11, ahead of Jordi Torres in P12 for MV Agusta Reparto Corse.
Four titles in a row, 13 race wins this season and two rounds still to go make for another amazing season for Jonathan Rea. See him race as the 2018 champion for the first time on Sunday in Race Two from Magny-Cours, with everything LIVE on WorldSBK VideoPass from 15:15 (GMT +2).
Saturday, 29 September 2018 19:16 Published in Reports, Results & Points
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) has taken his second win of the weekend at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli after a scorcher of a race around the Rimini track.
Sunday, 08 July 2018 12:29 Published in Reports, Results & Points
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) had his Superpole snatched away from him at the last moment a couple of hours earlier, but that mattered little to the reigning champion by the time Race One rolled around.
Saturday, 07 July 2018 14:45 Published in Reports, Results & Points
After claiming two podiums overseas at Laguna Seca (United States), the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team is ready to resume action in front of its fans at Misano (Italy), home of the ninth round of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship and second "home round" after Imola.
Tuesday, 03 July 2018 12:40 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) has taken his second win of the weekend at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, becoming the most successful rider in MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship history at the US racetrack in the process.
Sunday, 24 June 2018 18:23 Published in Reports, Results & Points