Davide Giugliano believes his and Ducati's performance in the 2014 World Superbike Championship opener at Phillip Island is a sure sign that the manufacturer is destined competitive again this season.

Giugliano challenged for the podium in both races at Phillip Island in what was certainly the most competitive race showing for a Ducati 1199 Panigale since its race debut in 2013.

Though tyre issues in race one prevented him from securing what would have been the bike's first dry weather podium, Giugliano's eventual brace of fourth positions not only represents a strong start to the season for the former Superstock champion, but leads him to believe that the bike is a strong contender as well.

"In race one I was quite relaxed. I managed to lap fast by only riding at about 70%, saving that extra 30% for the end of the race but unfortunately the grip became an issue maybe five or six from the end. In the second race, I immediately realised that conditions were warmer than the first and so I tried to limit the damage by holding back a little.

"Then later I started to push and was catching those ahead of me - I think I could have battled for the podium if the race had gone full distance but unfortunately they stopped the race after 14 laps. Anyway, overall it's been a great weekend.

"We've shown that, as far as the chassis and my riding is concerned, that we've arrived. We were consistently fast throughout the weekend and this gives us confidence for the next races. The results are very encouraging for me, for the team and for Ducati."

Giugliano's two fourth place finishes represents the best race day results for the 1199 Panigale since its debut. Ayrton Badovini's third place in the wet in Russia remains the bike's best single results



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