Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri launched the Aruba.it Ducati Superbike team today in Arezzo and it was a sign of how seriously the WorldSBK effort is being taken as not only was Ducati Corse boss Gigi Dall’Igna on the stage, so was the company CEO Claudio Domenicali.
As it was announced with MotoGP, Ducati has a clear target to win the championship. “In 2016 we scored 11 victories and six in a row. With this result we can only aim at winning the championship,” said Dall’Igna. “There is a strong synergy between MotoGP and the WorldSBK teams. This doesn’t mean that what we develop in the premiere class is transferred in the production series. On the contrary, the ideas that we develop and test in the Superbike championship are then transferred in MotoGP.”
Regarding the rider line up, Dall’Igna said with enthusiasm: “Chaz Davies is already an icon for the Ducati world. He has conquered the heart of the Ducati fans as we can see in every events he attends, starting with the World Ducati Week. He is the only rider to have won with the Panigale so he is a very dear and precious rider for Ducati.”
With Marco Melandri joining the team, the Italian engineer adds another important piece to the puzzle. As he had done with Lorenzo, also with Melandri, Dall’Igna won a title, this time it was with Aprilia back in 2002. “Marco is a pure talent, we won a championship together and he has won in all the categories in which he has competed.”
The target is clear: “Already last year our target was winning the title, but we didn’t make it. We renew the challenge with such an important line up. We finish the 2016 season with a strong performance and we start a new season even stronger”, concluded Dall’Igna.
Thanks to the partnership with Aruba.it, that has a contract signed till 2019, stability is key factor for the team, together with the innovation and constant work carried out by the engineers in Borgo Panigale.
“The 2017 bike looks the same as last year, but the engineers have worked hard”, said Davies, who in two days will turn 30. “Every part has been improved with a special attention to the aerodynamics and the electronics setting. We worked a lot also on the suspension to get more rear grip and control. What I like more of the Panigale? The strong point is the agility of the bike. I can drive as i like, I can brake as hard as I like, I feel one with the bike. I won in total 16 races with the Panigale and every year the bike has improved. I aim at beating the Kawasaki and winning the championship.”
“Chaz is the reference”, said an emotional Melandri. “He is very strong and together we want to work to beat the Kawasaki and get the title. In the test, I had a fantastic start with the Ducati bike, I feel it suits my riding style. I found a very professional and passionate team and I’m also very motivated. It’s true I won a lot and in all the categories I competed, but I also missed some championships. I’m more mature and I really missed the races. I’m working hard and now I have the chance to do something great with an Italian bike. It’s the ideal combination. I’m moved and i look forward to be on the grid at Phillip Island.”