As the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship paddock begins to countdown the days until the season opener, Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Team uncovered their 2018 Panigale R’s this afternoon at the Global Cloud Datacenter IT3 of Aruba, as they prepare for the Yamaha Finance Australian Round.
Continuing with the strong line up of Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri, the Italian team are hoping to make a big impact in 2018 and with the stunning red machines they already look the part. Joining the grid from MotorLand Aragon onwards will be Michael Ruben Rinaldi with the Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team, who was also present in Italy to reveal his 2018 colors.
British rider Davies secured the runner-up spot in 2017 - taking seven victories and 18 podium finishes, whilst Melandri made history as he took Italy’s 100th WorldSBK victory and ended the season in fourth position overall.
In front of the members of the media Luigi Dall'Igna and Paolo Ciabatti were joined by members of the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Team and the riders, ahead of what is set to be a stunning WorldSBK season.
Davies explained, "It will be an emotional season. 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 honor to properly send it off before the Panigale V4 debuts on track. The injury sustained last November has kept me busy during the winter break. I worked hard to make sure I'm ready for the season opener. 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."
Melandri added, "This season I can count on one year of experience with the Panigale R, and I want to make it count, especially in tough times. Last year we clinched many podium finishes but in some cases we found ourselves struggling and that's the first thing we need to improve. I think the new regulations will bring more riders into the podium fight, so we need to be more consistent. We know which areas we need to focus on, so we only have to get our heads down to it. We want to achieve bigger goals."