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 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
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
Borgo Panigale (Bologna, Italy), Monday 27 January 2014 – With just a few weeks to go before the start of the 2014 Superbike World Championship at the Australian circuit of Phillip Island on 23 February, the Ducati Superbike Team has been officially presented to fans, enthusiasts and press in an exclusive live streaming event from the Ducati Auditorium in Borgo Panigale.
Monday, 27 January 2014 12:23 Published in Industry News
A Sunday to remember for Chaz Davies, who repeated first race success and got a double race win at Aragon. The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team rider was unstoppable under MotorLand Aragon heat and crossed the finish line with a big margin over Sylvain Guintoli, still Championship leader after race 2.
Sunday, 14 April 2013 16:21 Published in Reports, Results & Points
A close battle characterised the first qualifying session for the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at MotorLand Aragon, and saw Irishman Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) topping the timesheets with a 1’58.548 set with few minutes to go.
Friday, 12 April 2013 15:40 Published in Reports, Results & Points