Chaz Davies says his opening test day on the Aruba.it Racing Ducati V4 R “felt like Christmas” as winter preparations got underway for 2019 at Aragon.

The Welsh rider completed 61 laps on his first day of testing the new race-specification Panigale V4 R at Aragon as the sole factory rider – with 2019 team-mate Alvaro Bautista contesting the final MotoGP round in Valencia this weekend – getting to grips with the new Ducati challenger ahead of its World Superbike debut next season.

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Focusing on getting comfortable with the new bike, ergonomics and data collecting, Davies admitted his surprise at how quickly he felt in sync with the V4 R.

“It was really exciting to take the Panigale V4 R out on track for the first time, it felt like Christmas, when you get a wonderful new toy to play with,” Davies said. “Usually it takes me a bit of time to learn and understand a new bike, but honestly it felt the opposite today.

“I was really comfortable straight away, after the first out lap I felt like I wanted to push immediately, which is pretty cool. Overall, it was a really positive day, we've made a lot of steps forward and finished most of the work on the ergonomics.

“We have plenty of new things to evaluate and lots of data to process. The main goal today was to get progressively more comfortable with the bike and start tailoring it to our needs.

“Tomorrow, we'll keep the same approach, working on the basics and refining little things before we start to push harder and understand the full potential of the bike a little bit better.”

Davies ended the unofficial times third-fastest out of the six World Superbike contenders in action at the Aragon test, setting a best effort of 1m 51.180s, 1.5s off pace-setter Jonathan Rea on the new Kawasaki ZX-10RR.

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