Jakub Smrz says it was an easy decision to switch back to Ducati machinery for the 2011 World Superbike Championship, despite making great strides with Aprilia towards the end of 2010.
The Czech rider began last season riding the PATA B&G Ducati 1098R, but ended it on an Aprilia RSV-4 after the team made the unprecedented decision to switch bikes following a run of poor reliability.
Though he struggled initially, Smrz found his form towards the end of the season, securing front row starts and a fourth place finish at Imola.
Despite this, Smrz returns to the Ducati stable for 2011 with the newly-formed Effenbert-Liberty outfit, but while he accepts the RSV-4 is a newer package, he says he is comfortable on the 1098R.
“It was difficult to change bike last year,” he told Crash.net
. “It was difficult to get used to the bike, but even though it started going well, I was happy to change back to Ducati because it is a bike I know really well.
Indeed, Smrz admits changing mid-season made it difficult for him to fully adapt to the chassis and the set-up without the advantage of any prior private testing.
“I didn't have a problem getting used to the engine, it was the chassis and set-up. The Aprilia technology is much newer and it was difficult to get used to the suspension, frame and bike and get a good set-up.”
Smrz was rewarded for his return to Ducati with a career-best second place finish in 110 races at Donington Park.