Chaz Davies has got 2016 underway with a foundation-laying test at Portmaio with Aruba.it Racing Ducati alongside fit-again team-mate Davide Giugliano.
Taking on a raft of new parts for the Panigale 1199R the Welsh rider looked to pick up from the positive steps forward made at the end of last year.
Davies gave a glowing report on Ducati's latest chassis and electronics updates including new anti-spin and engine-braking software as well as new Ohlins front forks.
Having completed 119 laps over the two days at Portimao, Davies was delighted by the initial feeling with the updates and also had time to run his first race simulation of the new year, posting a fastest lap of 1m 42.7s – one second off of Giugliano's pole position time from last June albeit in much cooler conditions.
“In the first day, we focused entirely on the new electronics, especially considering that we only had half a day of track time since the tarmac was humid in the beginning,” Davies said. “We've found some advantages compared with 2015, but we still have some tweaks to make. Also, we confirmed that we're heading in the right direction with the new fork. We wrapped up the second day with a race simulation, which we learned a lot from.
“In general, we worked methodically, without rushing anything, to understand the new parts. I'm definitely satisfied and ready to move forward in Jerez.”
Davies and the factory Ducati squad now travel to Jerez for a second two-day test on the 26-27 January and will be joined by a number of rival World Superbike teams.