Just a few days after the Ducati Desmosedici GP13’s official unveiling at Madonna di Campiglio, the Ducati Development Team was already busy at Jerez for the first of a number of tests planned for the coming weeks in preparation for the new season.
The three-day test, which started on Saturday at the Andalusian circuit, concluded on Monday. The team, with new test rider Michele Pirro and regular Franco Battaini, worked on the development of the GP13, which will return to the track in two weeks in Sepang at the hands of Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden.
Unfortunately, the bad weather that has hit Southern Spain in recent days prevented the team from completing its scheduled work program, as track time was limited for both riders.
Bernhard Gobmeier was present at the track for the first time in his new role as Ducati Corse General Manager. "Unfortunately we had some bad luck with the weather, and for two days we were able to do almost nothing," Gobmeier said. "It rained almost the whole time. Today we squeezed three days of work into about five hours, which obviously required skipping some of the steps we had planned. Anyway, some interesting and positive results emerged, in terms of both the chassis and electronic strategies that we tried. If nothing else, we established a clear line to follow in our next test at Jerez. Anyway, I was very pleased to see how concentrated the guys on the test team worked. Everybody was very motivated."
Michele Pirro, the 26-year-old Italian from San Giovanni Rotondo, added, "The big problem was the weather. That’s always a risk with Jerez in January. Fortunately, we were able to do some laps this afternoon and gather some important data for developing the bike. It was nice to get back on the track after two months."
The next test, which will be attended by the Ducati Team riders, will take place at Sepang (Malaysia) 5-7 February, and will be the first of three pre-season tests organized by IRTA, with the season-opening MotoGP race scheduled for the first weekend of April in Qatar.