News 8 Feb 2018

Strong Panigale R send-off important for Ducati's Davies

Final WorldSBK season approaches prior to next year's V4 debut.

Image: Supplied. Racing Ducati’s Chaz Davies is eager to deliver the current Panigale R a fitting send-off in 2018, when the factory team completes its final season with the twin-cylinder prior to transferring to the V4 next year.

Davies has twice finished runner-up since joining Ducati, but aims to go one better as he enters a fifth-straight season with the Italian manufacturer in the Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK).

“It will be an emotional season,” Davies admitted. “This is my fifth year on track with the Panigale R. I’ve won several races with this bike, which triggers many special memories, so it will be an honour to properly send it off before the Panigale V4 debuts on track.”

With updated regulations due to tighten up the field, Davies is focused on extracting the most out of the Panigale R alongside teammate Marco Melandri and junior team newcomer Michael Ruben Rinaldi, who will contest the European rounds as part of a new development program.

“I worked hard to make sure I’m ready for the season opener,” he continued. “The new rules for sure will make it more interesting for the public. We just need to do our homework, but I don’t see any reasons why we shouldn’t be as competitive as in the past. We’re working hard and there are upgrades in the pipeline for Phillip Island – we’re ready to battle.”

The team was officially launched overnight at Aruba’s high-tech Global Cloud Data Center in Ponte San Pietro, Italy, where Ducati presented the riders and bike for the upcoming season.