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Aruba.it Racing Ducati unwrap 2017 challenger

Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri helped reveal the Aruba.it Racing Ducati Panigale R ahead of the 2017 World Superbike championship.
Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri helped reveal the Aruba.it Racing Ducati Panigale R ahead of the 2017 World Superbike championship at Aruba's HQ in Italy.

The factory Ducati squad heads into the new season with strong momentum after Davies stormed to seven wins from the final eight races in 2016 to strike back against the recent Kawasaki domination and have looked strong contenders during pre-season testing.

Davies will be joined by experienced hand Marco Melandri at the Aruba.it Racing Ducati squad this season with the Italian making his racing comeback after a frustrating end to his time in MotoGP with Aprilia in 2015.

Aruba has renewed its partnership as title sponsors for the factory Ducati squad as the Italian manufacturer targets its first World Superbike title since Carlos Checa claimed the 2011 crown.

Davies is targeting the 2017 World Superbike crown and has been impressed by the level of development achieved over the winter when comparing his Panigale R from the recent pre-season tests compared to the 2016 version.

"The bike looks the same but the team in Bologna has worked so hard this winter to improve the bike," Davies said. "For me it is a very important season. I want to keep winning, I won a lot last year but this is a new year, the important thing is to keep the good job and work going for this season.

"The bike certainly feels like my own now having won so much with the Panigale R, 16 race wins, and every year the bike gets better and better.

"I feel at one with my bike and I think it will keep being like this. That is very important to aim win against Kawasaki and win the championship."



New signing Melandri has been thrilled with how quickly he has integrated into the team and feels he and the factory squad have come together at 'the right moment'.

"The project is fantastic so far and the main features of the Panigale R were wonderful for me," Melandri said. "I found a very prepared and professional team and this gave me a great stride to start this year. I have a huge motivation, more than ever.

"I had a lot of wins but I also lost some championships so the time has come to reach our main goals, to bring forward an important Italian brand with titles. This is my dream and I want to share it with you.

"I think when you miss racing and you haven't got anything then you realise how much you want to reach your goals. I have already learnt so much from our team and from Ernesto Marinelli. I think the right moment has come for all of us."

The Aruba.it Racing Ducati squad heads to Phillip Island in Australia for the final pre-season test just days before the opening round at the same venue on the 24-26 February.


by Haydn Cobb



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Chaz Davies, Aruba.it Ducati [Credit: Ducati Media]
Chaz Davies, Aruba.it Ducati [Credit: Ducati Media]
Chaz Davies, Marco Melandri, Aruba.it Ducati [Credit: Ducati Media]
Davies rear facing camera, Donington WSBK 2017
Camera on Davies bike, Donington WSBK 2017
Electronics on Aruba.it Davies bike, Donington WSBK 2017
Akrapovic on Davies bike, Donington WSBK 2017
Chaz Davies, Aruba.it Ducati [Credit: Ducati Media]
Davies, Imola WSBK 2017
Davies, Imola WSBK 2017
Jonathan Rea, Davies and Sykes, WSBK race2, Imola WSBK 2017
Davies, WSBK race2, Imola WSBK 2017
Fores and Melandri, WSBK race2, Imola WSBK 2017
Davies, WSBK race2, Imola WSBK 2017
Jonathan Rea, Davies and Sykes, WSBK race2, Imola WSBK 2017
Jonathan Rea, Sykes and Davies, WSBK race2, Imola WSBK 2017
Fores and Melandri, WSBK race2, Imola WSBK 2017
Fores and Melandri, WSBK race2, Imola WSBK 2017

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SoSlo

February 14, 2017 2:28 PM

Einar: I really hope Marco will enjoy the Panigale and his racing this season. But I am really, really surprised that Ducati give him this opportunity after how he ended his Motogp career with them. He was so bad on the motogp bike, that they are were considering sending him to a shrink.
Your memory is cloudy. Ducati DID send MM to a sports psychologist because he didn't like their crap bike. Rather than change the bike to suit the rider, which is what all teams do, they sent their rider to a therapist. Don't forget that all 3 Ducati riders were riding at the back of the grid. Ducati simply and inarguably built a bad bike that they enver updated as is evidenced by the fact that many world champs have come and gone from that team and all have done squat. Even Casey did worse each successive year and then his 1st year on a Honda he wins the title, tells you a lot about the Ducati. I'm a big Chaz fan, but Melandri has a way stronger pedigree than CD and



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