The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team goes back to its roots this weekend at the Donington Park circuit in Britain, where the Superbike World Championship for production-based machinery first got underway 32 years ago. After the Misano weekend, the Italian team has now arrived in England for the eighth round of 13, which marks the start of the second half of the season.
Even though he has an advantage that is now down to 16 points over his chief rival Rea (Kawasaki), Bautista continues to lead the table with 330 points, but the 34-year-old from Talavera de la Reina knows that he cannot afford any more setbacks in what will be his first race on a Superbike machine at Donington.
For his part, his 32-year-old Welsh team-mate Chaz Davies, who in his lengthy career has not yet won an SBK race at Donington, is refusing to give up and will continue to work hard to improve and find the right feeling with his Panigale V4 R.
The SBK World Championship returns to action therefore at a track where, out of the 52 races held so far, Ducati riders have won 17 times, the last of which however in 2011 with Carlos Checa: on just two occasions (1995 with Carl Fogarty and 1996 with Troy Corser) have they scored a double win.
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will be out on track on Friday at 10:30 local time (11:30 CET) for the first free practice session, while the weekend schedule sees Race 1 take place at 14:00 (15:00 CET) on Saturday, the Superpole Race at 11:00 (12:00 CET) on Sunday, followed by Race 2 at 14:00 (15:00 CET).
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #19) – 1st (330 points)
"I have to learn from my mistakes of the last two rounds, because I think I was a bit over-confident; now we just have to concentrate on the next round. Donington Park is a track that I know quite well, but I’ve only raced there on smaller category bikes and never in MotoGP. The next two rounds at Donington, and immediately after at Laguna Seca, should be a bit different and interesting for us because they take place on two tracks where we don’t have any data with the Panigale V4 R. In any case our performance is quite high, so we’ll see if we can achieve the same level reached so far this season.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 8th (114 points)
“Donington is my home race, so it’s always nice to go back there. At the Misano round, we still didn’t feel like we’ve got a base set-up at the moment so I don’t know what to expect. The priority for me and the team is just to find something from the bike to make some steps forward. I’ve had some decent results over the years with Ducati, but only podiums, so I know we can go well around there. We’ll analyse the work schedule before going out on track on Friday morning, and together with the guys in the team, try and come up with something good for the weekend.”
The Donington Park circuit
For the Superbike World Championship, everything began way back in 1988 at the famous Donington Park circuit. Since that very first year – when the two winners were Davide Tardozzi (Bimota) and Marco Lucchinelli (Ducati) – the British track has been the venue for 52 World SBK races, and it always attracts an enthusiastic crowd. Set in amongst the splendid Leicestershire countryside, there are plenty of vantage points from which to view the magnificent Donington Park circuit, with corners like Craner Curves and Coppice to name but a few.
Circuit Record: Sykes (Kawasaki), 1’26.641 (167.16 km/h) - 2017
Fastest Lap: Rea (Kawasaki), 1’27.605 (165.32 km/h) - 2016
Track Length: 4.023 km
Race Distance: 2 x 23 laps (92.529 km), 1 x 10 laps (40.230 km)
Corners: 12 (5 left, 7 right)
Wednesday, 03 July 2019 13:51 Published in Rider and Team Releases
The two Aruba.it Racing - Ducati riders Álvaro Bautista and Chaz Davies wrapped up a one-day private test today that the Borgo Panigale squad organized at the Autodromo di Imola in preparation for the Italian Round of the Superbike World Championship, which will be held here in just over two weeks’ time.
The track day gave an opportunity to both riders to put in some serious lapping on board their Ducati Panigale V4 R machines and prepare for their home race, which as every year promises to be a true spectacle for the Ducatisti.
For championship leader Bautista, it was the first time ever that he had seen the Imola circuit, but the 34-year-old from Spain immediately got to grips with the difficult ups and downs of the track, one of the four circuits on the calendar where he has never raced (the others are Portimao, Magny-Cours and El Villicum), while for his 32-year-old British team-mate it was a welcome return to a track which saw him pick up a double win both in 2016 and in 2017, on both occasions with a Panigale V2.
Towards 5 pm, track activity was disturbed by a sudden downpour, which however did not prevent Álvaro from putting in a few laps on rain tyres, the Spaniard making use of the chance to lap with a Superbike and Pirelli tyres in wet conditions.
There was a good turn-out of enthusiastic fans who filled the main grandstand of the Imola circuit, and who at the end of the day also had a chance to enter the pit-lane, where Álvaro and Chaz greeted them in front of the Ducati garages for an autograph session.
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #19)
“Today was a really positive day because I had a chance to test at Imola, a track I’ve never been to before. Now I’ve got some markers for the race weekend, which is the most important thing, and also I have to say that we were lucky to have the rain towards the end of the test because this allowed me to lap in the wet for the first time with this bike and these tyres. I’m very pleased because I started becoming confident with the bike also in these conditions, which are the only ones we haven’t encountered this year. I want to thank the Autodromo di Imola and all the fans who came here despite the bad weather, let’s hope we can also arrive at a competitive level during the race weekend.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7)
“Today was not so bad, although it took a while for the track to dry out this morning, then we got some laps this afternoon and we were getting some decent data. Unfortunately, the day was cut short by a bit of rain but we still got some useful information here for the race, just to short cut the learning curve in the weekend. There are still a couple of question marks over some changes we made today, which we were looking to verify before the rain came, but overall the feeling is not so bad. I’m looking forward to racing here in front of the home crowd in a couple of weeks. Imola is always a special place, and the fans here are so enthusiastic.”
Wednesday, 24 April 2019 20:35 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Ducati notches up 350 victories in the Superbike World Championship, as Álvaro Bautista takes another triple of wins at MotorLand Aragón
This weekend was a truly extraordinary and emotional one for the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati rider Álvaro Bautista, who with nine wins in a row continues his unbeaten run in his debut season in the production-based series. In front of his home crowd, the 34-year-old from Talavera de la Reina left his rivals trailing as he dominated both the 10-lap Superpole Race and the 18-lap Race 2 in the afternoon, winning both by a wide margin. The win in Race 2 was the 350th for Ducati in World Superbike ever since the start of the championship back in 1988.
Team-mate Chaz Davies stepped onto the podium again today after disputing two gutsy and hard-fought races. After just missing out on third place in the morning’s Superpole Race, the 32-year-old from Wales scrapped with Rea and Haslam (Kawasaki) and Lowes (Yamaha) in the second race, and only a mistake at the start of the final lap denied him the chance of finishing second.
With nine wins to his name, Bautista remains firmly in control of the championship standings on 186 points, 39 more than Rea, while Davies is in seventh place on 56 points. The next World Superbike round will take place in a few days’ time on the Assen TT circuit, from 12 to 14 April.
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati #19) – 1st / 1st
“It has been an extraordinary weekend for me. Winning three races here in Spain in front of my family, my friends and the Spanish fans was really great. In all three, I was able to make my own strategy, that is get a fast start and maintain my own pace. For sure the conditions in the three races were different, especially today in the Superpole Race which took place in the morning when it was very cold. Luckily it got a bit warmer for Race 2, but you could really feel the wind. Despite this, I was able to stay focussed, understand the situation on the track and push hard all the way. In the end we have won nine races out of nine and I’m so happy about that. The team has done an incredible job, we are on the right path and I’d like to thank Aruba, all Ducati and my team because the congratulations should also go to them.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing Ducati #7) – 4th / 3rd
“It was a strong weekend for me, but I’m a bit disappointed about losing second place in Race 2. At the start of the last lap, I went in deep at Turn 1 and left the door open for Johnny, after which there wasn’t much chance of getting it back. At any rate, I was happy to back up yesterday’s result with another third position. It wasn’t easy in the wind, but we worked well this weekend to make big progress and I hope to build on that next weekend at Assen.”
Stefano Cecconi (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Team Principal)
“It was another perfect weekend for Álvaro, which makes us really happy, but we are just as satisfied by the fact that Chaz got back on the podium and that he is getting more and more accustomed to the new Panigale V4 R. We hope that he will continue this string of positive results in the next few races.”
Monday, 08 April 2019 09:35 Published in Rider and Team Releases
The third World Superbike round of the season began well for Álvaro Bautista, who immediately proved to be right on the pace in his home race with the Ducati Panigale V4 R. In today’s two free practice sessions, the 34-year-old Spanish rider was the only man to get under the 1’50 mark when he set a lap time of 1’49.692 in the morning FP1, and he then shaved off a few hundredths of a second in the afternoon run to finish the day on top with a time of 1’49.607.
Team-mate Chaz Davies started the day well with fourth-quickest time in the first free practice session in 1’50.920. For the afternoon, the Welsh rider made a few small modifications to the bike to try and further improve on his time, but his effort came to nothing in the last few minutes when the rain began to fall. Chaz ended the first day of practice in ninth place overall.
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #19) – 1st - 1’49.607
“The weekend here at Aragón has begun really well because I immediately found the right feeling with the bike, like in the first two rounds of the season. My confidence level with the Panigale V4 R continues to grow rapidly and here on my home circuit it all seems even easier. Today we did a good job but we have to keep one eye on the uncertain weather conditions for the weekend. I’ve never lapped with this bike in the wet and so in case of rain I will have to get used to the conditions very quickly. If it doesn’t rain tomorrow, I’m very confident I can do a good qualifying run to start on the front row for race 1."
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 9th - 1’50.920
“This morning’s session was quite decent, but then I had a frustrating second session in the afternoon. We played around with the bike a little but it felt like it changed quite a lot, and I got a bit more comfortable with it at the end of the second session then three-quarters of the way round my fast lap I hit a wall of rain so had to abort. I felt we made a bit of progress with some of the vibration issues we’ve been having but it changed the bike quite a bit so there are pros and cons. With a good run I think we shouldn’t be in too bad a shape with race pace so we’ll try again tomorrow.”
Saturday, 06 April 2019 04:25 Published in Rider and Team Releases
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team on the starting blocks in Thailand for Round 2 of the Superbike World Championship
After rewriting history at Phillip Island, with a triumphant debut for Álvaro Bautista and the new Panigale V4 R, the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will be back in action this weekend at the Buriram circuit in Thailand for the second round of the Superbike World Championship scheduled for 15-17 March.
Due to its particular layout and the torrid heat present in south-east Asia, the Buriram track undoubtedly represents a tougher proving-ground for the two men in the Italian squad, Álvaro Bautista and Chaz Davies. For the Spanish rider it will however not be a brand-new circuit, as the 34-year-old already took part in the MotoGP race last October, when he finished in eighth place.
Team-mate Chaz Davies, following a difficult start to the season, has yet to express his true potential, but he is convinced he can make a major step forward by improving his performance on a track where he won last year.
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will be out on track on Friday morning at 10.30 local time (CET +6) for the first free practice session of the weekend.
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #19) – 1st (62 points)
“Australia was a dream weekend and I couldn’t have asked for a better start in World Superbike. In Thailand I got a good result last season in MotoGP, so I’m feeling confident but Buriram is a track that has different characteristics to Phillip Island because there are more mixed sectors. For sure our rivals will be tough to beat, so we have to remain focussed and work really hard during the weekend. Anyway we will go to Thailand with the same mentality, I know the right feeling with the bike now so I will try and find it there as well. The Panigale V4 R is still a completely new bike, and the potential is high but we’ve got a lot of work to do to get it to 100%. I don’t know if Buriram is a Ducati track or not, we’ll just have to see what happens.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 8th (15 points)
“The next race is Thailand, where I think we’ve probably got a bigger bank of information now so that’s something to work on. As for me, from a comfort point of view and understanding the bike, I’m going into Thailand knowing it much better than what I did when I turned up at Phillip Island, which is positive. We had a win and a third place last year which were good results so it shows we’ve got pace there, it’s just a matter of getting the bike in the ballpark. I’m looking forward to Thailand and I think that we can do a lot better than what we did in Australia as long as we can put the information to good use.”
The Chang International Circuit
Designed by the German architect Hermann Tilke, the Chang International Circuit opened its doors in 2014 and this year will be the fifth time the circuit hosts a round of the World SBK championship. Situated around 400 km north-east of the capital, Bangkok, the city of Buriram in the state of the same name, literally means the ‘city of happiness’, and its hot and humid climate is a typical characteristic of its South-East Asia location. The 4.554 km track incorporates 12 turns and its facilities can accommodate more than 100,000 people, with several grandstands around the circuit offering a virtually complete view for fans.
Circuit Record: Rea (Kawasaki) 1’32.814 (176.64 km/h) - 2018
Fastest Lap: Rea (Kawasaki) 1’33.436 (175.46 km/h) - 2017
Track Length: 4.554 km
Race Distance: 2 x 20 laps (91.081 km)
Corners: 12 (5 left, 7 right)
Race 1: 1. Rea (Kawasaki); 2. Fores (Ducati); 3. Davies (Ducati)
Race 2: 1. Davies (Ducati); 2. Van der Mark (Yamaha); 3. Lowes (Yamaha)
Bike: Ducati Panigale V4 R
Race Number: 7
Age: 32 (born on 10 February 1987 in Knighton, Great Britain)
SBK Races: 178
First SBK Race: 2012 Imola
First Win: 2012 Nürburgring
Pole Positions: 6
First Pole: 2015 Laguna Seca
World Titles: 1 (2011 Supersport)
Bike: Ducati Panigale V4 R
Race Number: 19
Age: 34 (born on 21 November 1984 in Talavera de la Reina, Spain)
SBK Races: 2
First SBK Race: 2019 Phillip Island
First Win: 2019 Phillip Island
Pole Positions: -
First Pole: -
World Titles: 1 (2006 125cc)
Wednesday, 13 March 2019 16:29 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Championship leader leaves Portugal with sixth consecutive win, his best streak in his WorldSBK career.
Sunday, 16 September 2018 15:54 Published in Reports, Results & Points
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) has won Race 2 at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola, equalling Carl Fogarty for the most wins in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship in the process. Victory number 59 came after a stunning battle with Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), who fought off several attacks from the reigning champion before having to settle for second place.
Monday, 14 May 2018 11:38 Published in Reports, Results & Points
Stunning win by Chaz Davies in Race 2 at Aragon with the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team, Marco Melandri 3rd and back on the podium
After finishing on the podium with a 2nd place in Race 1, Chaz Davies took a stunning win in Race 2 at Aragon (Spain) with the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team. Marco Melandri also rode a solid race to finish 3rd after constantly fighting at the top.
Monday, 16 April 2018 10:26 Published in Rider and Team Releases
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team on the podium in Race 1 at Aragon with Chaz Davies (2nd), 4th place for Melandri
After a positive start to its campaign in Friday's free-practice, the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team took yet another podium with Chaz Davies in Race 1 at Aragon (Spain), home of the third round of the 2018 WorldSBK championship. The Welshman, who started from 11th position due to a crash during Superpole, showed his character by storming back through the field – twice, due to a restart – until he reached the leading group, then defended second position under the checkered flag.
Saturday, 14 April 2018 13:23 Published in Rider and Team Releases