PJ Jacobsen at speed on the Rahal Ducati Moto Panigale V2 during a three-day test at Jennings GP in Florida.

The recently established Rahal Ducati Moto team successfully concluded its inaugural three-day testing session at Jennings GP in Jennings, Florida.

Despite the challenging weather conditions in the lead-up to the test, team riders PJ Jacobsen, Kayla Yaakov, and Corey Alexander were greeted by clear skies on Tuesday morning, providing a welcome respite from the earlier heavy rain. The team, determined to make the most of the favorable weather, diligently assembled three brand-new Ducati Panigale V2s, which had not yet experienced any track time. The riders, along with their newly formed crews, worked closely to establish a comfortable and effective rapport with their new bikes, addressing and resolving any minor issues that surfaced during the test.

The riders covered an impressive number of laps over the three days, with PJ clocking a fastest time of 1:15.4s, Kayla – 1:15.6s, and Corey – 1:16.2s. They leave the Jennings track with a good base ahead of their maiden race with the RDM team in just three weeks’ time at Daytona International Speedway.

PJ Jacobsen:

“It’s been a good first test, just getting the bikes on track and getting to know everyone, it’s a steady building process, and it has gone really well. The first day I wasn’t too comfortable so I worked with all the crew and the feeling improved as the test progressed. I’m now feeling a lot happier and we just have to keep chipping away to find the best set up for Daytona.”

Kayla Yaakov was happy with the first Rahal team test.

Kayla Yaakov:

“I’ve really enjoyed the first test and getting to know the team that Ben and Graham have assembled. Everyone worked really well together and starting off in this way is very important ahead of the season. They did a great job of building three bikes overnight and reacting to all the issues that come up when building new bikes! I feel we improved steadily as the test progressed, there were a few small things here and there, but we’ve worked through them together which is key, and that’s why we’re here testing. The final day was super positive, and we were able to find a competitive base setting. I am very happy with what we were able to learn and achieve this week, and I have full confidence that this team can deliver some awesome results this season!”

Corey Alexander:

“The most important thing was getting all the team together. This isn’t just a normal ‘new team’ but a completely new team of people, bikes, everything! We worked through the kinks that you expect to find when rolling out new bikes that have never been on track and overall, considering where we were a week ago, we’re in a good place for sure! I’m a slow burner and take my time to find my groove, so having the three days has been great to get to a place that I’m comfortable with ahead of Daytona.”

Ben Spies, Rahal Ducati Moto Team Principal:

Cory Alexander worked on getting comfortable with the little Panigale.

“I’m extremely happy with how the first test went. Obviously it was a little nerve wracking for the first time working all together with new mechanics and riders and gelling together, but everybody worked really well and we got three good days to work with and plenty of laps. We leave this test with three happy riders and some good baseline set ups headed to Daytona.”

Graham Rahal, Rahal Ducati Moto Co-Owner:

“Unfortunately I was unable to be at the first test, but I was certainly there in spirit! Ben and the team all kept me updated throughout the three days and it sounds like it was a very productive and successful first test. Putting together a set of people that haven’t worked together before is always challenging but I’m thankful to Ben, James and all the team for their commitment to the project. Now we’re on countdown to Daytona and I can’t wait to see PJ, Kayla, and Corey out on track!”