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The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team finalizes the 2016 winter tests in Jerez

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After testing in Aragon (Spain) last week, the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team resumed action in Jerez de la Frontera (Spain) with Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri for a three-day, final test of 2016.

Both riders were able to make several comparisons and evaluate engine, electronics and chassis upgrades developed for the Panigale R, including a new swingarm, both with qualifying and race setups. The worsening weather that characterized the last day on track also allowed Davies and Melandri to make several runs in wet conditions, which rarely unfolded during the championship.

Davies and Melandri clocked 184 and 161 laps respectively, completing their programs. The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team will resume action on January 24-25 in Jerez de la Frontera for the first tests of 2017.

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) 1:39.116
“It’s been a good test. We’ve been quite lucky with the weather overall and we’ve gone fast, setting good lap times given that our bike is not that much different but our pace has taken a step forward compared with last winter’s tests and the race here. I never broke the 1’40 mark before but set a 1:39.1 on Thursday, and I still feel like we’re leaving 4 or 5 tenths out there. On the last day, we lapped quite a lot in the wet, gathering some good indications even though track conditions can change quickly here. Now we will keep working on the new parts and overall balance, but our base package is solid.”

Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #33) 1:39.694
“I’m happy with the way these tests went. We tried several upgrades for the 2017-spec of the bike, with positive feedback, even though we need to make further evaluations especially in wet conditions. Everyday I feel more comfortable on the Panigale R, and our pace is quite good. We’re not far from the front. I still miss something on a single lap, and we struggle a bit on new tyres, but I really like the overall character of the bike. Our priority now will be to make the most of the potential of our electronic package, which is highly developed. During the break I’ll keep training hard and in January I will try my first race simulations to be ready for Phillip Island. It won’t be easy, but I can’t wait to give it a go.”