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Less than three weeks after drawing the curtains on the 2018 Championship, the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team officially kicked off its 2019 campaign at Aragon (Spain) for a two-day private test with Chaz Davies. The test also has a historical meaning, as it marks the official debut of the WorldSBK-spec Panigale V4 R, the latest racing model by Ducati, recently unveiled during the Ducati World Première and presented to the general public at EICMA in Milan (Italy).

Davies focused his work on getting progressively more comfortable with the new bike, fine-tuning the ergonomics according to his needs and gathering plenty of useful data for the development process. The Welshman completed 61 laps in total, with a personal best of 1:51.180. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will resume action tomorrow with Davies for another day of testing ahead of its first collective outing, with Alvaro Bautista alongside Davies, at Jerez (Spain) on November 26 and 27.

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 1:51.180
"It was really exciting to take the Panigale V4 R out on track for the first time, it felt like Christmas, when you get a wonderful new toy to play with. Usually it takes me a bit of time to learn and understand a new bike, but honestly it felt the opposite today. I was really comfortable straight away, after the first out lap I felt like I wanted to push immediately, which is pretty cool. Overall, it was a really positive day, we've made a lot of steps forward and finished most of the work on the ergonomics. We have plenty of new things to evaluate and lots of data to process. The main goal today was to get progressively more comfortable with the bike and start tailoring it to our needs. Tomorrow, we'll keep the same approach, working on the basics and refining little things before we start to push harder and understand the full potential of the bike a little bit better."

Marco Zambenedetti, Technical Coordinator on track for Ducati Corse
"We're happy with the way the first day of testing went. We managed to complete our work program and clocked the first laps, gathering very positive feedback regarding the power delivery and range of use of the new engine. Now we'll keep moving forward with the development and work on the base setup, both here and in Jerez, where Alvaro Bautista will join Chaz in the garage."