Chaz Davies feels the potential from his Aruba.it Racing Ducati Panigale V4 R is vast but has a “mountain” of development work due to change in Ducati method from its outgoing V-twin.

Ducati is debuting its highly-anticipated Panigale V4 R Superbike this winter in preparation for the 2019 World Superbike championship as it looks to end Kawasaki’s and Jonathan Rea’s domination in the series.

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Davies, who finished runner-up to Rea in three of the past four seasons, has been getting to grips with the new Ducati with two days of testing at Aragon followed by another two-day run at Jerez.

While Davies was unconcerned about looking too deeply into the outright lap times, ending the final day in Jerez just over one second off timesheet-topper Rea, he says his focus has been adjusting to the new Ducati and given the change from a V-twin to a V4 engine he feels little of what his previous bike excelled at will be relevant for 2019.

“There is very, very little that you can carry over,” Davies said comparing the two Ducatis. “It is really tempting to go ‘ah, we were a bit better there or we were worse there’ but it is not useful at all.

“We might as well concentrate on what we have got now and get the best out of what we’ve got. I’m very sure it has more potential that what we had so I will concentrate on that. There is no relevance at all everything is completely new.

“I am pretty convinced it is right [switching to V4]. I think they have done everything they can do with our previous bike but I think it is the right move, I am pretty confident. I am not the expert Gigi is the expert and he knows what potential there is in a lot of different packages. They are obviously getting it right in GPs.”

Davies says aside from adjusting his race start procedure for the new Ducati it has the potential to beat the V-twin in all areas once the required development is completed.

“It still feels like there is a mountain to climb on putting it together,” he said having received a positive feeling with a new swingarm in Jerez. “There is so much information but it is about putting it together.

“It is just too early to say. The potential seems like it is there but it is hard work between now and Phillip Island and even beyond Phillip Island and into next season. It needs to be hard work.

“The key is being at 99% and not being over 100% just trying to make it work or trying to get 25 points. That in the past has been the strategy but I am hoping that we can find some margin with this package.”

Having spent the past five seasons on the Panigale V-twin bike, taking 25 World Superbike race wins in that time, Davies says a he’ll look back with a tint of sadness given his fond memories but is relishing the fresh challenge going into next season.

“I think for a Ducatistas a Ducati Superbike is two cylinders so that is probably means more to them than it means to me,” he said. “But at the same time it is a bit sad as I have had a lot of good success from the twin. But everything moves on and we need something a bit more competitive.”

Davies will undergo surgery next week on his injured collarbone, having broken the bone twice this season, in order to gain enough time to fully recover in December ahead of pre-season testing in late January.

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