The agreement between Ducati and Aruba, Italy’s leading web hosting and cloud services company, will last three years.
During the event, in the presence of media representatives from the two sectors (Motorsport and Information Technology), as well as team sponsors and partners, the team illustrated its sporting plans and technical innovations for the 2015 Superbike Championship, which will get underway on 22 February at Phillip Island in Australia.
The two riders, Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano, then revealed the new livery of the factory Panigale R of the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team.
Stefano Cecconi, CEO of Aruba S.p.A and Team Principal, acted as host, explaining the reasons that have led his company to participate together with Ducati in the world championship for production-derived bikes.
Stefano Cecconi: “Over the years our company has achieved important results on a national level, with hosting services that include web sites, datacenters, certified email and digital signatures. More recently, thanks to some acquisitions and the success of our cloud services, we have started a process of international expansion, opening several bases and data centers overseas. In November last year we won the tender to become the registrar of “.cloud” domains, a service aimed at a world market.
“We therefore needed a new and efficient way to support all of this from an image and communications stand point. It was only natural to consider the world of motorsport, not just a very popular sport, but one that also has a strong technological component of innovation, research and development, As a fan, I knew the Superbike championship very well and had no doubts about its suitability, not just because it is a global event with the right coverage, but also and above all because – and here the project turned into the dream – it could perhaps allow us to participate with a much more active role. The initial idea was to create our own private team, a difficult but not impossible project. We were heading along that path and were in contact with many teams and riders, as well as several manufacturers: in the end we chose Ducati.
“During the course of our discussions with Ducati we decided together that perhaps we could do something better, combining and sharing our forces to the benefit of the factory team.
“And it is for this reason that we are particularly pleased today: because we are not just realizing a project or a dream, but the end result of all this is so much more than we had dared to imagine. The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team is born.”
Next to take the stage was Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding, who highlighted the positive sales figures achieved by Ducati in 2014 and underlined the importance of World Superbike for Ducati.
Claudio Domenicali: “We are particularly pleased with our agreement with Aruba, also because both companies share a significant series of values, ranging from technological avant-garde in our respective sectors to the ability to offer ‘made in Italy’ excellence, operating with passion and com-petence to ensure the satisfaction of our users and clients across the world.
“2014 closed very positively for Ducati, in that we achieved a new sales record, delivering 45,100 bikes to customers, a 2% increase with respect to 2013, and we have confirmed the growth trend for the fifth consecutive year. An increment also linked to the integration of new products that, despite the uncertainty of the market, have contributed to the achievement of this important result for Ducati. During the course of 2015, we will start to deliver the new models that we recently presented, among which the Scrambler, Multistrada and the new Panigale 1299, perfect for use on both the road and the track. For customers who prefer more extreme track use, we have further evolved the Panigale R, which has improved in many ways and which maintains the maximum displacement permitted by the Superbike regulations (1199 cc).
“The Superbike World Championship is very important for Ducati and for our history: we have won 14 riders’ titles and 17 manufacturers’ titles and we absolutely want to win again with the Panigale. The three-year agreement with Aruba is the ideal platform to continue this commitment and return as frontrunners in the championship.
“I would like to close by personally thanking Stefano Cecconi and welcoming Aruba, one of our most important partners. I wish our riders Chaz and Davide and the entire Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team the very best of luck.”
Then, Luigi Dall’Igna (General Manager of Ducati Corse) explained the increased involvement of the entire Ducati Corse structure in the Superbike project, also in the light of the new technical regulations.
Luigi Dall’Igna: “The new regulations introduced for the 2015 season will bring Superbikes very close to production models in terms of preparation and also introduce a price-cap for some tech-nical components. In this difficult economic period, I believe that this is the right path to take with a view to keeping costs under control and levelling the playing field. The reorganization that has taken place inside Ducati Corse over recent months means that we can now better capitalize on the synergies between the engineers who work at the Ducati factory and those working at the tracks, for the benefit of the entire Superbike programme. We have also extended to Superbike our partnership with Akrapovic, with whom we have collaborated in MotoGP since last year, and together we have developed a new exhaust that has already given excellent results in the winter tests. Our aim for 2015, which is shared with our new partner Aruba, at this point can only be one: to win again and be protagonists in the championship this season.”
Paolo Ciabatti (Sporting Director of Ducati Corse) and Ernesto Marinelli (Ducati Corse Superbike Project Director) then spoke in more detail about sporting activities and the technical evolution of the new Panigale R.
Paolo Ciabatti: “After a difficult 2013 season, last year we returned to Superbike in an official capacity. We resumed our collaboration with Feel Racing, the technical and logistical structure historically tied to Ducati, and during the season we scored some encouraging results, with six podiums and two pole positions. This year we have reached an important agreement with Aruba, a company that has also become our partner in the management of the team and which will help us in the field of communication, and obviously our ambitions are now much higher, because we want to fight for the title with the Panigale. Together with Aruba we have also shared the decision to give continuity to the organization of the team and we are very satisfied to be able to continue working with Feel Racing and with the same riders as last year, Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano, because we believe that they have the talent to aim for the podium in every race.”
Ernesto Marinelli: “The 2015 Panigale R Superbike is an evolved version of the one we raced in 2014. We have come into line with the new technical regulations and, as well as the normal suspension, brakes and chassis upgrades, the three areas where we have made the biggest changes are the new electronics, the engine and the new exhaust system, which has come from the collaboration with Akrapovic. The electronics package has been totally revised, also because a €8000 price-cap has been introduced by the regulations. Many components have been changed, in particular the sensors, including the IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) platform, which is now in common with production bikes, as well as the new Magneti Marelli MLE, which costs less than a third of the one used last year. Despite the significant difference in price, we have however been able to maintain virtually the same management strategies and update them with new settings. The engine is not as highly tuned as before and is closer to the production engine of the new Panigale R, using the same pistons, but in any case we have succeeded in maintaining the same maximum power output as the 2014 bike.”
After unveiling the new livery of the factory Ducati Panigale R bikes, team riders Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano spoke about the positive results seen in the recent Portimao and Jerez tests and their expectations for the 2015 championship.
Chaz Davies: “We’ve worked very well over the winter and I think that we’re on the right track so to speak. I’m very confident about the upcoming season, and I am sure that we can fight for the positions that count every weekend. The new livery of the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team Panigale R bikes is really great and very aggressive and now I cannot wait to get on track in Australia for the first races of the 2015 season!”
Davide Giugliano: “We’ve made good progress during the winter tests, especially last week in Jerez where I had strong pace and felt already totally at ease on my bike. I must thank all of the guys in Ducati, because they have worked tirelessly over the winter in order to provide us with these fantastic Panigale R bikes. As an Italian rider, with an Italian team, it will be my honour to race with the Ducati for a second consecutive season; we’ll be doing all we can to bring home the best possible results for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team.”
The presentation was broadcast in live streaming on the team’s new website, www.arubaracing.it, providing both the press and the many fans across the world with the chance to watch the event live.
In a few days’ time, the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team will travel to Australia, where the final winter test sessions will take place at Phillip Island on 16 and 17 February, followed by the opening round of the 2015 World Superbike Championship, to take place over the weekend of 20-22 February at the same track.