Gigi Dall’Igna refused to get carried away in the wake of Alvaro Bautista’s stunning World Superbike debut at Phillip Island, and believes MotoGP experience is more relevant than ever to extract the most from Ducati’s Panigale V4 Superbike.

Bautista was inspired around the Australian circuit as he eased a way to wins in the two full-length races, achievements that were complimented by hard-fought success in a head-to-head duel with Jonathan Rea in the series' inaugural ‘Superpole Race'.

Not bad for the Spaniard and Ducati’s V4 Superbike, both making their debuts in the class this weekend. And this early success came as no surprise to Dall’Igna, who attributed the wins to an intelligent winter of work preparing for race distance.

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But Ducati’s other runners failed to trouble the podium runners, with team-mate Chaz Davies registering a best result of seventh over the first race weekend of the year. As well as enjoying an injury-free preseason, Dall’Igna feels Bautista's two years on Ducati MotoGP machinery is more than beneficial in his current environment.

“The connection with the MotoGP is more important with the bike now than the past," said the Italian. "The architecture of the bike is more close now with the MotoGP. So I think we can put on the Superbike more experience that comes from MotoGP. This can solve the problem, find the way and speed up all the process to build up a good bike.

“You know Bautista is one of the best riders in Superbike, I think, at the moment. He’s not the only one. Johnny is for sure another strong rider. Chaz is another strong rider. Haslam is another strong rider. We have to battle with all these riders.

“Chaz has a lot of health problems during the winter tests so he cannot push really hard. If you cannot push really hard you cannot find a good compromise, a good set-up. I think this is the main problem of Chaz at the moment.

“For sure the bike is small. It comes from the MotoGP. There are some things that can help him to find out the way before Chaz. But I’m quite confident that working hard with Chaz we can find the way.”

On what made the difference over the three races, Dall’Igna offered, “Honestly speaking I think there is not one big advantage. The compromise is the key.

“We arrive at the end of the race with good tyres in comparison with our competitors because for sure the power of the engine is a little bit more than the others. It’s only a bit. It’s not completely different to the others.

“For sure we have some other weak points that we have to work with because at the next races our riding comparison with the value of our competitors will be more close."

Did he feel Bautista made the difference? “You know Bautista is one of the best riders in Superbike, I think, at the moment. He’s not the only one. Johnny is for sure another strong rider. Chaz is another strong rider. Haslam is another strong rider. We have to battle with all these riders.”

But still, Dall’Igna exercises caution. The first ever World Superbike treble does not mean his expectations for the season ahead have changed.

“Honestly speaking no [they haven’t changed]. We are not ready to be on the top for all the races. We have some weak points on the bike and we have to solve it to be sure to fight for the final championship in the right way.

“The stability of the bike is an issue at the moment. The turning of the bike is another weak point of the bike. We have to play a little bit more with the set-up and find out some answers to these questions before being really competitive.”

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