Chaz Davies feels the developments his Aruba.it Racing Ducati squad has made on the Panigale R over the past 12 months will make a significant difference compared to his last outing under the lights in Qatar, as he looks to defend his runner-up spot in the World Superbike championship.

The Welsh rider holds a 16-point advantage over Tom Sykes in the riders' standings heading into the season finale and is confident the improvements his squad has achieved this year will provide him with the tools to fight off the Kawasaki rider.

In 2014 Davies was left trailing down the order by a lack of straight line speed on the pacey Losail circuit but feels confident of challenging for the podium to add to his five race wins and 17 rostrums in total this year.

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"I quite enjoyed the night format last year once I got used to it. We had two good races and considering how much we were down on speed last season I was happy with the results," Davies said. "We knew our biggest problem was the straight rather than the corners but this year, having made a big step forward with regard to the engine and with a chassis that I'm now really confident with. I'm excited to get started and will work hard to close the season with two really strong races."