Rain Plagues Mugello Ducati MotoGP Test

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2012 Ducati Testing at Mugello

The Ducati MotoGP team wrapped up a three-day test Thursday at Mugello, attempting to find the optimal setup on the GP12 that Valentino Rossi struggled on at the season opener in Qatar.

Besides normal test rider Franco Battaini, Ducati’s Nicky Hayden was at the test during the final two days, making up some test time he lost due to recovering from a shoulder injury over the winter test period.

But neither Battaini or Hayden got in many laps; the weather was a mix of sunshine and heavy participation for all three test days. Although heavily affected by the rain, Hayden and Battaini were able to tweak both dry and wet settings.

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team GP12 MotoGP) says: “We came here looking to make up time lost due to my missing the Valencia test and having limited time at the Malaysia and Jerez tests, but it was pretty much a wash.

“It’s a shame because Ducati gave me the opportunity to come and had a race-spec GP12 here, along with my whole team. Yesterday we made two exits with slicks and also did a bit of riding in the wet, but today the conditions were wet but also cold and windy, completely unmanageable.

“With two back-to-back races coming up, there wasn’t much to be gained by risking testing in the wet. I’ve learned during my career that you can’t control the weather, so there’s no need to complain. We’ll just look forward to the race at Jerez.”

Filippo Preziosi (Ducati Corse General Manager) says: “We had very unstable conditions at Mugello. “We tried to optimize our work by doing some setup tests with Nicky, including some rain settings, given that he rode so little during the first two winter tests. With Franco, particularly on the relatively nice first day, we started doing some tests that will be useful for preparing updates for Vale and Nicky to try during the post-race test in Estoril. I really hope we get sunny weather in Portugal!”

As for the season-opener at Qatar, Hayden placed sixth, the highest Ducati to finish. As for Rossi, he struggled, finishing 10th.

Hayden pic from Qatar MotoGP