As the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team continues optimizing the setup of its 1199 Panigale R ahead of 2015 World Superbike, some blistering speeds were obtained at the Jerez two-day preseason test earlier this week – including a new unofficial Jerez track record.During the test, which wrapped up Tuesday, team riders Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies completed about 110 laps each under clear skies. During the test, both Ducati pilots worked with technicians to tweak electronic and suspension setups for improved bike behavior on used tires – something the 1199 Panigale struggled with throughout 2014 SBK.
Times were consistent, and during the final stages of Tuesday’s stage, Giugliano set the top time of the test. His lap? A 1:39.332, which became a new unofficial SBK record at Spain’s Jerez circuit.Following the test, Giugliano says “We’ve had two very positive days, in that we’ve been able to test a lot of small things calmly and methodically. During race weekend we never have a lot of time to be able to focus on certain areas and so we’ve made the most of the opportunity and the good conditions here.“I’m really pleased that, together with the team, I’ve been able to find good feeling with the bike, something that I hope remains unchanged in the next tests that we’ll carry out at Phillip Island before the races. We’ll continue to work however, so as to be as prepared as possible for the opening races.”Davies also commented on the Jerez World Superbike test: “The tests haven’t been easy. Yesterday, on day one, we were able to work quite well and find good feeling with the bike. But unfortunately today some small issues limited our work and meant that we were unable to complete the program or make the most of our time.“My feeling with the bike is not yet perfect, but we’ll continue to work during testing at Phillip Island just before the races. I’m sure that we’ll be able to find what we need at the next tests so that we can begin the championship in the best possible way.”Ducati Superbike Project Director Ernesto Marinelli summed up the progress achieved by team so far.“These first two test sessions of 2015 have been very important in terms of preparation for the opening races. Over the last two days at Jerez we have enjoyed perfect conditions which we are unlikely to see when we return here to race in September,” Marinelli says.“We’ve consolidated the lines of development that we planned in November, and this is positive, but we still have certain things, such as grip and maximum lean, that will require further work. The time recorded by Davide is very important and serves to confirm both the work carried out so far and his great talent. The upcoming season will be very difficult and it’s important to start out on the right foot.”Next up for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team is the final preseason test February 16-17 at Phillip Island, Australia, ahead of the season opener at that same track February 20-22.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.