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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here we go, Let The Games Begin!!!

The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team starts its 2016 campaign with a two-day test in Portimão

Both Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano completed their respective programs, posting encouraging lap times.

Davies and Giugliano completed a total of 119 and 77 laps respectively on the 2016 specification of the Panigale R, laying the foundations in terms of a base setup for the upcoming season. As for the latest upgrades, the Welshman and the Italian gave a positive feedback on both chassis and electronics, focusing primarily on the new Ohlins front forks and the latest versions of anti-spin and engine-brake strategies.

The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will return to the track on January 26-27 in Jerez de la Frontera (Spain).

Chaz Davies, 1’42.7
“In the first day, we focused entirely on the new electronics, especially considering that we only had half a day of track time since the tarmac was humid in the beginning. We’ve found some advantages compared with 2015, but we still have some tweaks to make. Also, we confirmed that we’re heading in the right direction with the new fork. Today, we wrapped up the session with a race simulation, which we learned a lot from. In general, we worked methodically, without rushing anything, to understand the new parts. I’m definitely satisfied and ready to move forward in Jerez.”

Davide Giugliano, 1’43.6
“We tried several upgrades in these first two days, focusing on setup. Physically, I feel good and I’m getting back into my best shape. Also, we’re working well together with my new technicians, using a different method compared with what I was used to, and I’m sure it’ll pay off. We’re in the process of defining the complete package, taking steps in the right direction. We’ll make further evaluations in Jerez, then we’ll draw more definitive conclusions in Australia.”
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Day One....

2013 World Champion Tom Sykes was fastest on Day 1 of the Jerez test, with Chaz Davies piloting his Ducati 1199 Panigale R second fastest by the end of the day, just over a tenth and a half behind. Reigning champion Jonathan Rea ended the day third, just ahead of new Kentucky kid on the block, Honda’s Nicky Hayden.

The morning gloom saw most stay off track until later in the day, with the first hour of action only seeing one timed lap, set by Leon Camier. The MV Agusta rider today evaluated a new, lower fuel tank; a different one to that tested by fellow team member Marco Melandri in November.

Kawasaki left it until the sun had settled in to really begin their work and Rea left it a little later to turn up the wick, putting in a lap quick enough for P2 with an hour and a quarter to go. His teammate similarly waited until later to set his best lap, with Sykes the only rider of the day to set a lap in the 1:40s. 2015 Champion Rea ended the day three tenths down on his teammate’s best lap.

Aruba.it Racing riders Davies and Giugliano on the Ducati 1199 Panigale R both managed times in the 1:41s, with Davies faster than his teammate by a sizeable margin of around 7 tenths. The Welsh rider looks to have retained the experience gained during 2015 to keep the Ducati on the level of their closest competitors, whereas Giugliano will more be looking at recuperation and acclimatisation after having been sidelined for so much of 2015 due to injury.

The two Hondas of Nicky Hayden and his teammate Michael Van der Mark put in the most laps earlier in the day, with Hayden putting in a time good enough to secure fourth after heading the timesheets during a good portion of the afternoon. Ex-rookie Van der Mark finished the day in P7, half a second behind his MotoGP™ Legend teammate Hayden.

Alex Lowes and Sylvain Guintoli kept the new Yamaha YZF R1 in the top ten by taking P5 and P9 respectively, with the British rider managing a 1:41.505 by the end of the day. Lowes reports to still be missing some strength in his arm after crashing in Jerez before Christmas, consequently only putting in just over half the laps managed by his teammate, 2014 Champion Guintoli.

The fastest man in WorldSSP today was reigning champion Kenan Sofuoglu, whilst Swiss rider and rookie Randy Krummenacher ended the day impressively in-touch with the World Supersport superstar, only a tenth and a half behind his number-1-plated teammate by the end of the session.

With no red flags or interruptions on Day 1, teams will be looking for a repeat performance tomorrow to enable them to continue getting the most out of these two days in Andalucia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Day Two.... lotta good stuff here!!....

2013 World Superbike Champion Tom Sykes remained fastest as the second and final day of testing concluded in Jerez, with recovering Roman Davide Giugliano just over a tenth in arrears. 2015 Championship runner-up and Ducati teammate Davies was third fastest, both just in front of experienced rookie Nicky Hayden on the Honda.

Fog earlier in the day left conditions difficult until midday, after which most riders were able to set more representative lap times. Sykes’ lap of 1:39.924 was the fastest of the day and of the test, as well as being quicker than his own Pole Position time from 2014. The Aruba.it Racing Team riders of Giugliano and Davies proved the only two capable of putting in a lap time within the same half second, 0.123 and 0.186 behind respectively. Giugliano escaped uninjured from a minor lowside at Turn 1 whilst pushing hard during the afternooon, the only consequence of which was an interruption to his race simulation.

The Honda duo of Nicky Hayden and Michael van der Mark also improved their lap times today and both by over a second. Hayden ended the day fourth with his teammate only marginally further back in fifth, the gap between the two smaller than previously.

Barni Racing rider Xavi Forés impressed by topping the timesheets for a good portion of the afternoon after ending yesterday’s session in eighth. Today, his 1:40.761 was over a second faster and good enough to keep him in the top six at the close of business.

The mood at Kawasaki remains buoyant after the two days of testing in Jerez, with Sykes fastest on both days and his teammate comfortable on a ZX-10R he is working on refining. Reigning Champion Rea remains convinced that the new Ninja will be faster and continues his search for the new limit, ending the day seventh overall and just in front of the Pata Yamaha riders of Sylvain Guintoli and Alex Lowes. Australian Josh Brookes rounded out the top ten as he got to grips with his new Milwaukee BMW, the 2015 British Superbike Champion making big improvements since yesterday and making his first real impression on the timesheets.

The fastest of the WorldSSP riders was once again reigning Champion Sofuoglu, with new Puccetti teammate Krummenacher still the Turkish rider’s closest challenger.

To take a closer look at the full timings from today, click here. For an overview of the combined timesheet from both days, click here.
 

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My question is with regards to Nicky Hayden, does this show the talent gap from WSBK to MotoGP? Or do you think this has more to do with the gap in the performance of the bikes when it comes to a factory team in MotoGP?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
^^^ I'm gonna go with a little of both criterii!! I am a bit impressed that Hayden is hangin with the top WSBK riders from last year, especially given that the top four ahead of Hayden all rode the same bike last year!!! And this is Hayden's second test on a Honda Superbike!! Kinda interesting,...
2016 is measuring up to be a pretty damn good year for a couple of reasons.
 

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Yes - me too. Of course the GP riders are at the top level, but the difference isn't huge to the top WSBK riders.

Of course they are riding lesser road-based bikes, but the lap times aren't that different. More a testament to how hard that last half second is to achieve than a different class of rider..

All looks a bit 'status quo' at the top of the WSBK timesheets, apart from Hayden's entry of course. But his relative elevation in this championship has a fair bit to do with being on a more competitive machine. Both for the competitiveness of the bike, and the enthusiasm that might generate.

But you have to rate him just for trying so hard on such a relatively slow bike in MotoGP. Not many would have kept giving their all, while Honda seemed to be giving nothing to the Open class Honda teams. You could imagine him being pretty keen to show what he can do after years of that!

Pleased to see Josh Brookes getting in there from an Aussie perspective too. I've long rated that bloke, even though he's made the odd mistake. He seems to be able to get the best out of a range of machinery.

So yes, with more of the same from last year, plus Hayden and Brookes (and Fores now on a Ducati) we certainly can hold high hopes for the season. In both GP and Superbike.

Bring it on!
 

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Yes, van der Mark was getting pretty quick on it at the end of the year, so for Hayden to come into this class and immediately be faster than him is significant.

VDM being a relatively young, 'gung-ho' Dutch rider in a Dutch team. Hayden's entry into this field is looking pretty good at this point.

Ten Kate must be pretty happy with their riders and their bike. The more competitive bike/rider combinations the better.

As long as Ducati still win, obviously..

:D
 

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I betcha if Hayden was on a pretty much anything other than a Honda or Suzuki, he'd have a real solid chance of going for the championship win! Too bad he's riding for Honda instead of Ducati.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
"No need to talk about it, just try to prove
MotoGP™ Legend and WorldSBK rookie Nicky Hayden on…
…testing:
“The days are going quick, especially with the damp weather. I’m just trying to test myself, learn the new bike…try different things and different stuff on the set up but it’s going ok. I like the bike and I’m happy to be here. Phillip Island is going to be here very quick!”

…the timetable:
"I don’t have anything to compare the new timetable to, so you know something different is probably good for me because everybody has to adjust. Whatever the schedule says, whatever times it says race, I’ll line up."

…Superbike vs Prototype:
“They’re both bikes and you gotta ride them. I came from riding four strokes, through AMA Supersport and Superbikes so I guess in some ways you could say I’m coming home. Bikes are bikes…this is fun to ride and maybe even more fun than MotoGP™. The MotoGP™ bike has more horsepower, but these electronics are a lot better than what I had last year on the Open Honda, so I like that. There’s still more to understand but the bike’s fun to ride!”

…teammate the Flying Dutchman:
“He had some great races last year and I know in Suzuka he also went well; impressed a lot of people there. I haven’t actually really seen him on track yet, but I’m sure I’ll get my chance. He’s a young guy with talent; he’s got his own style and character so I think he’s good for the championship. It’s good to have a fast teammate and share information, too. More data and more cross referencing, which is quite important.”

…Laguna Seca:
“I’m really looking forward to going back to Laguna and seeing what I can do. It’s a special track for me and a special atmosphere. As a wildcard in 2002 I did ok but also in AMA Superbike the year before I had a win there. It’s been a few years now but I’m certainly really looking forward to that race. But it’s a long way up the road, I need to think about Phillip Island first and that’s another good track. I like it and I’ve had a lot of podiums there.”

…critics:
“People are going to say what they want and I don’t get too caught up in worrying about it. I still feel like I got something left to prove, certainly I wouldn’t have come here if I didn’t. No need to talk about it, just try to prove it.”
 
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