Former 125GP champ Terol tastes Panigale power

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While the official Ducati team were riding the full 2015 WSB version of the 1199 Panigale R at Motorland Aragon the Althea Racing Ducati team – which now features former 125ccGP champion and three time Moto2 race winner Nicolas Terol, plus main Ducati superbike test rider Matteo Baiocco – used the existing 2014 Evo version at Valencia.

The new riding duo will get the chance to ride the 2015 SBK spec Panigale at Jerez next week.

Unaffected by rain the former WSB venue of Valencia was nonetheless windy at times but both riders reached lap times of 1’35.00, according to the team, before finishing up on day two.

Terol’s big leap into the WSB world went well according to rider and team, with the Spanish rider saying on the final day, “I came here with the strong desire to do well, and my approach with the bike has been very good. I immediately felt at ease, I really like the Panigale and lap after lap I was able to improve. I’m pleased because there was solid progression and especially today we had good pace. I’m getting on well with the team and there is great communication between us.”

For former BSB runner Baiocco, this test was most important in getting to know his new team before they start work together on the new bike at Jerez. “I’ve only ridden the EVO once this year so I had to get back into the swing of things here. It’s been four years since I was last at Valencia so I also needed to get to grips with that. The team is new to me but we’ve been getting on very well. We’ve completed important work here without focusing on times but taking things step by step without rushing. I’m pleased with these two days in which I’ve been quite fast. Now we’ll go to Jerez to test the bike in its 2015 configuration and where we’ll have lots to work on.”

Baiocco has been part of recent tests with Ducati to get the 2015 WSB racebike prepared, as part of the Ducati’s monthly test team outings at Mugello.

The Althea team’s 2015 Superstock 1000 pairing of Luca Salvadori and former CIA insurance Honda WSS rider Raffaele De Rosa were also lapping with Terol and Baiocco at Valencia.

Gordon Ritchie

By Gordon Ritchie