At the second of three pre-season MotoGP tests at Sepang last month, Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden struggled to post good times. Both riders worked diligently with the Ducati Team, but were unable to find the proper setup on the GP11 prototypes.
Regardless of Rossi and Hayden’s results, which were similar to the final times in the first Sepang pre-season MotoGP tests, the Ducati Team reported its confident with improving the GP11 before the season kicks off March 20 at Losail, Qatar, but still has much work to complete.
In an interview with Ducati Team Manager conducted by MotoGP at Sepang, Vittoriano Guareschi says the the Ducati MotoGP team now understands "exactly" what they want.
Vittoriano Guareschi (Ducati MotoGP) says: "It’s been an interesting Test for both riders. We tested many new set-ups but it’s necessary to conduct more testing. We need more from Qatar to keep a definite direction."
"The Ducati definitely doesn’t have a big difference in comparison to the GP10 (from last year), we have many small new things and we now understand exactly what we want from the bike to have a good start to the season. We are happy.
"Valentino Rossi’s bike is now getting easier for him to ride, and he and Jerry (Burgess) understand the feeling and the character better every time. But we definitely need more tests and kilometres.
"Nicky started with the old set-up but we made different balances and solutions, and he tried a different position on the bike, raising the handlebar and moving the seating position. After this the engineers in Ducati have what they need for a final decision."
But Rossi and Hayden only have the final two-day MotoGP test at Qatar (March 13-14) to experiment with the GP11s.