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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

First winter test for the Racing – Ducati team with Marco Melandri alongside Chaz Davies

Two weeks after the WorldSBK season finale in Qatar, the Racing – Ducati team took it to the track again in Aragon (Spain) for a two-day test in preparation for 2017. The test also coincided with team’s first outing in its new roster, with Marco Melandri joining Chaz Davies in the pits.

Both riders were able to make several comparisons and evaluate some engine, chassis and electronics upgrades developed for the Panigale R, with positive feedback. Melandri, moreover, finalized the work on ergonomics and riding position, which was defined a month ago in Valencia with the test team.

Davies and Melandri clocked 106 and 118 laps respectively, completing their programs. The Racing – Ducati team will resume action from November 23rd until the 25th in Jerez de la Frontera (Spain) for the last tests of 2016.

Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati #7) 1:50.4
“Going into this test, we had a good list of parts to try for 2017. We got some good confirmation about the new front fork, and we also tried a different fuel tank to optimize aerodynamics, as well as some electronic upgrades. Of course, it’s still early and we have just started to work on the new package, but I’m quite confident we’re going in a good direction. I didn’t lap with my preferred setup and I only used a soft tyre at the very end of the last session, so the lap times could have been better probably, but that wasn’t our priority. Now we’ll go to Jerez, a very different track, to make some more evaluations and further benchmark our potential.”

Marco Melandri ( Racing – Ducati #33) 1:50.7
“It has been an emotional experience to step on the bike with the team colors and make my debut with the new crew. This two-day test turned out to be challenging and productive. I quickly found the feeling on the bike, and overall we’re not far from the front, especially in terms of pace. We still have room for improvement, which is normal at this stage, but we know what areas we must focus on. We still struggle a bit under braking, despite having made huge strides today to this end, and I still have to make the most of my strengths as a rider. That said, I’m really pleased with the bike overall, both in terms of engine and chassis, and I’m also getting closer to an optimal shape physically. Surely, the trend has been positive throughout. In the next tests, we’ll try to define a few more upgrades, but we can start working on the details now.”

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