Alvaro Bautista feels he is “ready to tackle the first race” after dominating the timesheet during the Phillip Island test as a final preparation for the start of the 2019 World Superbike championship.

The Racing Ducati rider will make his series debut this weekend at the Australian circuit, having moved over from MotoGP this winter, and impressed at the Phillip Island test by topping every session.

The Spanish rider ended day two of the test with a fastest lap of 1m 30.303s, while he completed a long run in the afternoon session lapping consistently in the 1m 30-31s bracket in a 17-lap race simulation.

Bautista was eager to gain an understanding of Pirelli’s tyre life over a race distance and feels confident having completed his full programme ahead of his competitive debut this weekend.

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“Today was another very positive day. This morning we made a change to the bike’s geometry but we didn’t find what we were looking for so we went back to yesterday’s setting,” Bautista said. “In the afternoon the aim was to do a long-run, to see how the tyres behaved after a number of laps in race trim.

“I’m pleased because I kept a very good pace throughout the entire long-run. These have been two very positive days, and I’d like to thank the whole team, which did a perfect job.

“We’re ready to tackle the first race, and I can’t wait to start.”

On the other side of the Racing Ducati garage, Chaz Davies accepted he will head into the new season less prepared than he wanted having been held back by a back muscle problem over the winter.

“We’re not quite there yet to be honest,” Davies said. “We made some strides this morning and I was quite happy with that. In the afternoon we wanted to change a few things but we ended up going back to this morning’s setting because everything we tried didn’t give me the right feeling.

“We have to put all the data together in the next two days and hopefully on Friday we’ll turn up with a better setting.

“The good news is that last year we also had a difficult test, but then I raced a lot better than I did at the tests. We’ll take the weekend as it comes and prepare for the race in the best possible way.”



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