AREZZO, Italy — After finishing last season with 11 wins, including six in a row, the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team is preparing to tackle a 30th Superbike World Championship season.
During a presentation Wednesday at the Aruba Data Center IT1 in Arezzo, of the sporting activities, riders and bikes for the 2017 championship. Now in its third year, the partnership between Aruba.it and Ducati has been characterized by constant competitive growth, and the time has come to aim for the Riders’ and Manufacturers’ world titles.
The new livery of the factory Panigale R machine, which presents evolutions in chassis, engine and electronics, was also unveiled. Riders this year will be Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri.
During the event, media, sponsors and team partners were also briefed on the sporting program and the technical changes in the championship, which gets underway Feb. 24 at Phillip Island in Australia.
The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team is now set to leave for Australia for two days of pre-season testing at Phillip Island Feb. 20-21, just a few days before the opening round of the season the following weekend at the same circuit.
“Eleven wins and a total of 22 podiums in 2016 represent a record and are a perfect example of the constant progress made over these last two seasons, but our objective remains the title and we are here to aim for it under the sign of continuity and evolution,” said Stefano Cecconi, CEO of Aruba S.p.A and Team Principal. “Above all, by renewing and reinforcing our links with Ducati and represent it, together with Feel Racing, as the factory team in the Superbike World Championship in the future. Then, by extending our commitment with Chaz Davies, a rider of universally recognized merit and quality, and by flanking him with a champion of the calibre of Marco Melandri, who has already demonstrated true speed and professionalism right from the first tests with the bike and the team. Finally, we have also made several technical and organizational changes, and we are convinced we have all the right cards to succeed.”
“The start of a new season is always an exciting moment,” said Davies. “We are ready to start from scratch, even though we hope to maintain the form we had in the final part of last season. During the winter I realized that nothing stays still in this sport, we are all anxious to improve and redefine our own limits. Aruba.it and Ducati are giving everything to improve the bikes we have at our disposal, and every day we make another step towards our aim, but the best is yet to come.”
Melandri is also ready to return to action.
“I’m really excited about this opportunity,” Melandri said. “My feeling with the Panigale R and the team has been great ever since the start, and lap after lap we have discovered our potential, getting closer and closer to the leaders. It’s difficult to make any forecasts because the SBK championship is more competitive than ever, but I can’t wait for the lights to change at Phillip Island to have that feeling of adrenaline again that only racing can give you. It’s not going to be easy to beat our rivals, but we’ll do everything possible to be ready on time, after which…anything is possible.”