Ernesto Marinelli has described Ducati's first double podium in almost two years as a 'gift to the Ducatisti who never stopped believing' as the Italian firm steadily works its way back to prominence.
The most successful manufacturer in WSBK history, the introduction of the new 1199 Panigale – which replaced the ultra-successful 1098/1198 machine – from the start of 2013 has warranted a long and frustrating development process.
After a difficult first year in partnership with Alstare, Ducati took much of its project in-house for 2014 with assistance from key members of Feel Racing, which anchored many of its past WSBK titles.
Signing Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies to its rider line-up, Ducati has subsequently enjoyed a significant upturn in fortunes this season and though it is still seeking a first win with the Panigale, a run to second and third in Portimao signalled the bike's best race yet.
It is a result that Superbike Project Director Marinelli says is testament to the efforts and hard work by the entire manufacturer to get back to up speed.
“We're extremely pleased with this double podium, something we've not seen since 2012. I think it's a nice gift to the Ducatisti who never stopped believing in us, even when things were not going so well.
“This is another sign of our growth, and crowns the hard work of all of our guys in Ducati, the team and riders who always give their all. This weekend we've introduced several components, including new ECU software.
“All of the material has worked well and both Chaz and Davide are pleased, a sign that the work carried out by our development team and test rider Matteo Baiocco at home is going in the right direction