The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team enjoyed a positive start to its campaign in Aragon, home of the third round of the WorldSBK championship, which returned to Europe after the first two events overseas. In difficult weather conditions, with temperatures lower than 15 degrees and strong winds, both riders ended the first day of practice within the top five, qualifying directly for Superpole 2 (scheduled for 10:55 CET).
Chaz Davies, who took the first, historic victory of the Panigale R in WSBK in Aragon last year, competed constantly at the front, posting the best lap during FP1 and closing the day in second position, 0.375 seconds behind the provisional best lap posted by Tom Sykes with a 1:50.712. Davide Giugliano’s performance was characterized by a crescendo instead, with the Italian rider capable of taking more than two seconds off in between the two sessions, climbing the time sheets and posting the fourth best time (+0.638) at the end of FP2. Both riders confirmed the positive feedback regarding the latest technical upgrades tested earlier in the week in Valencia, especially the new Akrapovic exhaust.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) – 1:51.087 (2nd)
“I’m quite happy with today’s performance. The Panigale R was competitive right away after the tests, and we only made small adjustments to the setup. We just need to find a bit more grip. I like the new exhaust, apparently it gives us a bit more power, but we need to keep working on this area. Given the weather conditions, tyre choice will also play a pivotal role towards the races, so we’ll crunch all the data and then focus on pace.”
Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #34) – 1:51.350 (4th)
“This morning we had a few issues, struggling with the overall handling of the bike, and the weather conditions weren’t exactly ideal as well. Together with the team, we managed to get progressively closer to the front in the afternoon, but we still have work to do, especially in terms of race pace. Still, we collected important data and we’ll go into detail to improve the setup and be ready for the race tomorrow.”
Weekend schedule (CET):
08:45 – 09:00 SBK Free Practice 3
10:30 – 10.45 SBK Superpole 1
10:55 – 11:10 SBK Superpole 2
13:00 SBK Race 1
09:25 – 09:40 SBK Warm-up
13:00 SBK Race 2