Chaz Davies believes the development progress Ducati has made with its MotoGP bikes in recent seasons means direct benefits will be felt getting the new V4 R up to speed in the World Superbike championship.

The Aruba.it Racing Ducati rider was on hand to reveal the team’s 2019 colours on the V4 R alongside new team-mate Alvaro Bautista at the team presentation.

Davies feels Ducati’s former Superbike model, the Panigale V-twin, is difficult to directly compare to the V4 R due to the different engine configurations but with the new model closer related to the Italian manufacturer’s MotoGP challenger the Welsh rider expects a similar rate of development to form in WorldSBK this season.

After almost six years without a win in MotoGP for Ducati, until the breakthrough 2016 season, the Italian squad has become the closest rivals to the recent domination by Marc Marquez and Honda, while many in the paddock see the GP19 bike as the strongest package on the grid.

“I really feel like the base is incredibly strong because of the work that has been done in GPs over the last couple of years,” Davies said. “That gives a direct crossover to this bike and that really shortens the learning curve. Especially in racing situations.

“To take this thing to the top step I don’t know as it is an impossible question for me to answer but I trust a lot in Gigi [Dall'Igna] and the rest of the engineers in Bologna that they’ve done a fantastic job to put all of their GP knowledge into this bike. I think that is really going to pay dividends into this season.”

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Davies had his pre-season tests at Jerez and Portimao hampered by back pain but he remains confident of recovering in time for the 2019 season opener at Phillip Island later this month.

“I am working to be 100% fit for Phillip Island,” he said. “These little things are little stumbling blocks that get in the way but the objective is to be there for Phillip Island with no problems.

“So we will continue to do some physiotherapy between now and then so then I can display it is in the best possible light in a couple of weeks time.”

Davies will have one final pre-season test at Phillip Island (February 18-19) before the opening round at the Australian circuit on February 22-24.

Ducati’s last World Superbike titles came in 2011 with Carlos Checa and Althea Racing with the 1098 R.

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