The Aruba.it Ducati World Superbike squad is to remain unchanged for the 2016 season. Today, Ducati announced that they will be retaining Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano as their riders for next year, making it three seasons in a row the Ducati line up has remained the same.
The announcement is no real surprise. Davies has excelled in 2015, chasing likely 2015 champion Jonathan Rea all year, and currently beating last year's champ Tom Sykes into third place. Teammate Giugliano has had a much tougher season, suffering a couple of huge crashes which have caused him to miss five of the ten rounds held so far. There was some doubt as to whether Giugliano could continue racing, after crashing and fracturing his vertebrae for the second time in a year. Giugliano is set to sit out the rest of 2015, but hopes to be fit again for 2016. Ducati test rider Michele Pirro will replace Giugliano at the upcoming Jerez round of WSBK.
Below is the press release announcing the re-signing of Davies and Giugliano.
Chaz Davies, Davide Giugliano and the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team together again in 2016
Arezzo/Borgo Panigale (Italy), Thursday 17 September 2015 - The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team confirms the agreement made with both of its current riders, Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano, for the 2016 season.
Contract renewal for Davies and Giugliano ensures that the Italian squad and manufacturer can count on the talents of the two riders and on the continuity of the experience of the last two seasons completed by the Welshman and the Italian on board the Panigale R. 2016 therefore marks the third year that the Ducati line-up remains unchanged, and the second year for the Davies-Giugliano pairing within the Italian team.
Davies, currently second in the general standings, has obtained a series of great results this season, accumulating fourteen podium finishes, including four wins, from the twenty races run thus far. Strengthened by his fourth win achieved prior to the summer break at the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia, the British rider is feeling confident ahead of the final three rounds of the season and subsequent winter testing. Unfortunately Giugliano has had an extremely unlucky year, with two accidents at Phillip Island and Laguna Seca meaning that he has been able to compete in only 10 of the season’s 26 races. Despite his prolonged absences, the Roman rider has nevertheless scored two pole positions and reached the podium on three occasions, and is now keen to return to the track as soon as possible together with his team-mate and the rest of the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #7)
“I’m very happy to have put pen to paper for another year with Ducati and the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team. This year we’ve made progress race after race, obtaining some very strong results especially in recent months. I believe it is important - for me, the team and for Ducati - to keep that continuity and I consider this a really good opportunity because I am confident about the development and improvement in performance. Together with Ducati and the team, we’ve continued to move in the right direction right from the start, but we can do more and I’m convinced that next year the bike will allow me to be even faster. The contract renewal is great payback for my work and I hope to be able to reward the team and Ducati with great results in 2016.”
Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #34)
“I’m really pleased to have renewed with the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team. Ducati has always meant a great deal to me and to have the chance to continue to work with these people, who show such professionalism and compassion, is fundamental for a rider like me. The team is like a big family, of which I feel very much a part. I am of course very sorry for how this season has turned out, after what happened at the start of the year in Australia and then also at Laguna Seca but in those races that we have completed we’ve always given it our all and scored some important results. I am therefore very happy to be able to continue on the path that I’ve started along with the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team members. Physically, it will take a little more time for me to return to full fitness. We don’t yet know exactly when I’ll be able to begin winter testing but I’m doing all I can to be back on my Panigale R as soon as possible.”
Stefano Cecconi – Team Principal
“We’re very pleased to be able to continue the relationship with both our riders, thus giving maximum continuity to the work completed this season, which has brought both us and our fans great satisfaction. Chaz will be able to continue on the path that has already seen him score a crescendo of fantastic results this season and reach a very high level of competitiveness and synergy with his bike. Davide, owing to his double injury, was only able to take part in a few races and was not 100% fit but he nevertheless showed great talent and speed: we are therefore confident that we will see him reach his full potential in 2016.”
Paolo Ciabatti – Ducati Corse Sporting Director
“We never had any doubts about reconfirming our riders because we are convinced that they are two of the greatest talents in the current Superbike World Championship. This season Chaz has been able to demonstrate his maturity, as well as his speed, finally scoring the first win for the Panigale R. Davide has had a really unlucky season, but we are sure that he is an extremely fast rider and so we want to put him in the best conditions in which to be able to show his full potential next year. The development work on the Panigale R for 2016 is progressing according to plan, with the aim of providing our two riders with an even more competitive bike, which will allow them to be frontrunners in the next Superbike World Championship.”