Work remains for the Ducati Team

Friday, 2 March 2012

Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden declared the new electronics introduced at the second Official Test of the season at Sepang to be a breakthrough, though they are still searching for an ideal setup on the GP12.

The Ducati Team made progress with the new electronics package introduced at the second Test at the Malaysian circuit, with Rossi and Hayden satisfied with the results of development in that arena which helped to reduce their gap to the front considerably compared to the first test. However, they are still searching for an ideal setup and ended the day tenth and eleventh.

Rossi stayed on the track until the last minute to complete as much work as possible for the Ducati engineers, while Nicky Hayden continued testing into the afternoon despite still not being in perfect physical condition. On the American’s very last exit, he had a minor low-speed fall in Turn 1 that left him unharmed.

Valentino Rossi 2’01.550 (57 laps)
"One small positive note to the day is that we reduced the gap to the front a little bit. It was 1.2 seconds, and now it’s 1 second. It’s also nice that the new electronics work well, but it hurts being down on the timesheets compared to all the others. We tried a bunch of things to take a step forward from the first test, but unfortunately, we weren’t able to do it and we were actually worse. It was harder for me to ride well compared to three weeks ago, especially my corner speed. It’s true that this test was more difficult in terms of weather and track conditions, but it seemed to affect us more than the others. Honestly, I expected to do better than tenth. We were also unfortunate because at the best part of the day, when I did a 2'01.5 and we had some tyres to try to lower the time further, we had a problem with the fork that cost us some time. Maybe without that we would have cut another three or four tenths and been further up, but our pace is still about seven tenths back. We’re not pleased with how it went this time, but we have to try and work hard and see what happens at Jerez."

Nicky Hayden 2’01.609 (44 laps):
"Of course I would prefer to have been closer to the front, but it’s my first real test of the year. The bike feels better on braking and into the corner, and I like the feedback it gives me. Also, the lap times don’t seem as affected when the track gets hot and greasy. We need to work on some chatter and on corner exits. We have plenty of ideas, as there are a lot of things we didn’t get to try this week because of the weather. Toward the end, I lost the front end in Turn 1 and crashed, but it was an easy one and I’m fine. I’m happy with how my shoulder is coming along. I hope that with three more weeks of recovering and rehab, it should be close to 100 per cent for Jerez."

Filippo Preziosi (General Manager, Ducati Corse):
"It was sunny for the last day of the Sepang test, and after almost completely losing the first two days to rain, we had to concentrate a lot of work into a relatively short time. Clearly, situations like that make it more difficult to achieve maximum performance because the setup changes continuously. Today Valentino is tenth and Nicky is eleventh, and obviously we would prefer to be further up. Anyway, they both liked the new electronics package that we had for this test. We’ll keep working hard between now and the next test at Jerez, where we’ll try to put everything we have together and optimize

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