Chaz Davies during pre-season testing at Portimao.
Despite some inclement weather throughout the weekend, the Ducati Superbike Team was able to complete most of the work scheduled for the four-day test that concluded today at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao, Portugal.
With four days of track time available to them, the Ducati Superbike Team and riders Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano arrived in Portimao with a full testing schedule. Unfortunately, rain fell throughout most of Friday and again over the weekend, conditioning the first half of the tests although this did provide the team with ample opportunity to test wet weather settings.
The newly-formed factory squad was nevertheless able to make up for lost ground on Sunday afternoon and on Monday and, under the guidance of SBK Project Director Ernesto Marinelli and Team Manager Serafino Foti, worked primarily on testing the new 2014 ?hlins suspension, complete with RSP25 fork and RSP40 shock. The riders also worked with their respective technicians on the set-up of their 1199 Panigale bikes, as they concentrated on improving grip and finding the right setting with which to handle the undulating Portimao track.
The Ducati Superbike Team will return to the tracks during official testing at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia on 17 and 18 February, just a few days before Round 1 of the 2014 Superbike World Championship
gets underway at the same track with the opening races scheduled to take place on Sunday 23 February.
Comments at the end of testing:
Davide Giugliano - Ducati Superbike Team #34
“We’ve got a lot done in the end. Unfortunately although the rain ruined the first two and a half days it was nevertheless useful as we were able to build confidence with the 1199 in the wet. I’m happy with what we’ve achieved, we’ve worked with the new material and I feel comfortable with it. I can say that I feel increasingly at ease with my Panigale. It’s just a pity about the red-flag at the end of the day today as this prevented us from making a final exit on fresh tyres which would have allowed us to close the test even more positively and to better understand the bike’s potential.”
Chaz Davies - Ducati Superbike Team #7
“Despite the slow start, we were able to get a lot done and overall it’s been a positive test, although I can’t help but wish we’d had more dry time. Out of the four days we were only really able to get down to work in the dry today. It was important to test the various development pieces and understand how each one works, rather than finding a general set-up with which to make a fast time. It would have been nice to be able to up the pace, but unfortunately we ran out of time. Anyway we will take what we have learned here in Portugal and move on to the next tests in Phillip Island.”
Ernesto Marinelli - Ducati SBK Project Director
“The rain over the last three days limited us greatly, cutting into the time we had to test the many components that we had with us in Portimao. We nevertheless managed to complete most of the scheduled work and feedback has been positive. Chaz and Davide are working very well and they are providing precise and important data with which to improve the performance of our bike. I’m more than satisfied with the new setting for 2014 which was at 100% during these tests. The return of Feel Racing personnel was a bit like a homecoming. Together with Serafino Foti we have created a united, tight group and this is fundamental as we prepare for a season that will surely require all of our energies.”