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The General Director at Ducati Corse gave his impressions from the last Official MotoGP Test of 2010, outlining the work to be done on the Desmosedici in the winter months.
The conclusion of the Valencia Test gave the MotoGP factories a wealth of information and data with which to proceed in their winter work, as they begin planning and preparations for the development of their 2011 prototypes. For General Director of Ducati Corse Filippo Preziosi and his team at the Bologna factory they have feedback from Valentino Rossi to take into account after the nine-time World Champion conducted his first ride on the Desmosedici.
In a press conference at the end of the second day at Valencia Preziosi reviewed the Test, highlighting both the positive areas and those which will need close attention in the coming months as the GP11 is developed.
“As the journalists put the most focus on the lap times it's quite clear that maybe Valentino has to adapt to Ducati, but mainly Ducati has to modify the bike to suit Valentino's needs,” said Preziosi. “I'm quite happy with Nicky's lap time because it was 0.5s from Casey, which was one-tenth less than qualifying practice, so it means he is consistent. To be optimistic I think we know the bike will work even without Casey, so we have to find the way to understand how to modify the bike in order to give Valentino the confidence to push. I think this is the main thing. For sure his shoulder didn't help, but the test was really crucial because we have a lot of ideas to modify the bike to suit Valentino's needs.”
Going into further detail, Preziosi continued: “He likes a lot the rear grip, he told me he struggled a lot with the Yamaha with rear grip, so this is something he liked. Also the engine, and he liked the traction control. He does not have a good feeling from the front, and I think we have to work on that. With that kind of tyre it's very easy if you're not believing in the bike then you're not pushing, if you're not pushing then the temperature of the tyre goes down and without the temperature the tyre is not performing. If this is not happening then there is no way to be fast. This is something we know very well. If you are not confident with the front you are not pushing and therefore the lap time is not good.”
The areas highlighted for improvement by the Test largely met Preziosi's expectations, as he explained: “I was expecting to work a lot on the bike, because I think we had a bike that could be fast but not easy to understand in every way. Nicky at the beginning of last season was really in trouble but he is a hard worker, never gives up, and in the end he was fast and consistent. So there is a way to be fast, and sometimes people who have no experience of a top level bike are in better condition to understand the bike. So the fact that Karel (Abraham) has the same lap time as Valentino for me means something. So we have to find a way to have a bike that is easier to understand from the beginning for people who have lengthy experience of other bikes.”
Finally, Preziosi reviewed the initial steps in his new working relationship with Rossi: “What is unbelievable is his way of doing the Test, and how positive he is. On day one I was surprised at how clinical he was with every detail, but on day two I was really astonished at how he is positive and calm. It's very strange for someone who is such a winner but has a bad Test. Maybe this is the reason he won nine world titles!”
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