This just in from Ducati WSBK:
The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team concludes the last pre-season tests in Phillip Island
The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team took it back to the track in Phillip Island (Australia) for the second and last day of official tests ahead of the 2017 season opener, scheduled for February 24-26. After the rain that hindered yesterday’s program, clear skies and warmer temperatures allowed the riders to make the most of the four hours of track time today.
Both Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies significantly improved their lap times, ending the session respectively in second and third position in the combined rankings. The pair quickly made progress in the morning and then focused on race pace – particularly on tyre management – as the track and air temperatures went up in the afternoon, successfully completing one last “time attack” in the final minutes.
The riders and their crews will now observe a short break ahead of the first free-practice session, scheduled for 09:45 local time on Friday (23:45 CET on Thursday).
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #33) – 1:30.575 (2nd)
“After a difficult first day because of bad weather, we got off a solid start today. In the afternoon the hotter conditions reduced the overall grip but the team has done a great job. We tried new settings, which proved to work very well for me. The thing I’m most happy about is that we managed to finally maximize the grip on new tyres, which had been somewhat a weak spot for us throughout the winter. It’s only a test, but it’s always important to feel good on the bike so I’m hopeful ahead of the racing weekend, which I’ll take step by step.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) – 1:30.893 (3rd)
“Throughout these tests we’ve been careful, moving step by step without making drastic changes to our base setup but also exploring a little bit given the particular nature of this track, which makes our bike a bit more difficult to turn. We’ve been moving in the right direction and getting progressively more comfortable and closer to the mark, but there’s still room for improvement. We also took different tyres to race distance, and I’m quite happy with our performance as far as that is concerned. We have good ideas about our next steps to take, and we’ll evaluate them on Friday.”