New Ducati V4 R hits track for the first time alongside WSBK competitors
Reigning WSBK champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) has put in a strong opening day on track around MotorLand Aragon, ending the first day of winter testing fastest as unofficial times were recorded at the Spanish circuit. But it was Ducati stealing the headlines, with the debut of the V4 R.
Beginning 2019 with an all new ZX-10RR, Rea was able to use the opening day to work on different settings as he looks at which direction to take for what is set to be a competitive season, putting in 72 laps and the fastest unofficial time.
New team-mate Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) prepares for his debut with the Provec squad, and has been working on getting the first kilometres under his sliders. With 67 laps put in on his opening day, it has been about working on set-up of the championship winning machine.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) made his all-important first steps with the Panigale V4 R, taking to the track in the morning he began to understand his new beast. 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.”
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team had their duo of Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes out on track, as they spent day one of 2019 evaluating some key components in the chassis, working on suspension with Ohlins and working with some new electronics hardware. Lowes set the second unofficial fastest lap time, and with 76 laps recorded he wasn’t wasting the track time he was offered. Whilst van der Mark recorded 72 laps throughout day one.
It wasn’t only Davies who got the first test of the V4 R, as Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team) was out on track with the powerful beast. Getting used to the sensational new bike, he spent his day working with the Aruba.it Ducati squad as well as his new BARNI team and put in 74 laps around MotorLand.
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