Davide Giugliano says Ducati can be confident about its chances heading into the forthcoming rounds of the 2014 World Superbike Championship after proving competitive at the 'hard' Motorland Aragon circuit.
A venue that hasn't been kind to Ducati in the past, particularly with its long back straight proving a particular disadvantage for the twin-cylinder machine, Giugliano and Chaz Davies were nonetheless both front runners throughout the weekend, even if the final results didn't quite reflect it.
Indeed, Giugliano was in the hunt for the podium in race one when he was caught on the final lap by Jonathan Rea. Passed into the hairpin, Giugliano's attempts to undercut him on the exit simply resulted in contact that would send him down.
Remounting to finish eighth, before going sixth in race two as he suffered with tyre issues, Giugliano was frustrated with the results but pleased about the pace.
“It's been a tricky weekend for us,” he said. “In the morning we had a good chance to do well, we couldn't have beaten the Kawasakis as they have been really strong here but the podium was definitely within our reach. Unfortunately the contact with Rea put me out of the running for the podium but we came extremely close.
“In race 2 I really struggled; conditions were hotter and the different rear tyre didn't make things easier for us. But we knew this was one of the hardest tracks for us and so we have to be fairly satisfied – if the bike has improved so much that we can be that close to the front here then we should be happy.
“My team has worked really well, the bike is riding well and so I thank my whole team and everyone in Ducati for their hard work."