Ducati: New Engine at Laguna MotoGP

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2012 Ducati Team MotoGP

The Ducati Team has made some progress in the past few races regarding GP12 improvements for Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden, but Ducati’s General & Technical Director Filippo Preziosi says much more needs to be done.

Due to these struggles, the team experimented with a new engine at the one-day official Mugello test Monday following the team’s home race at Mugello, in which Rossi had his best-ever dry finish on the GP12 – fifth.

The team remained at Mugello for a further three days to decide what parts to use in the new engine, which will be sealed following the test before the Laguna Seca in under two weeks. This will be Ducati’s fourth engine out of six allowed in the season.

Speaking of the test, Preziosi says “we are working on both the chassis and engine driveability. The problem is really huge. Last weekend was a step, but we know we have to work very hard to improve.

“In Laguna we will seal engine number four as planned. Engine number four is ready to use some additional parts we are developing. Some parts could be delivered directly to Laguna, and some other parts will be delivered in the following races. This depends on the final result, and only when we are sure that these parts give us an improvement in terms of performance.”

The test did not start particularly well on Monday, with rider Valentino Rossi suffering an ECU failure, yet Nicky Hayden was able to put in some good laps and gave some good feedback. Preziosi was however pleased with both the riders’ and the team’s showing, MotoGP says.

Filippo Preziosi says: “Monday was a half test with Valentino because unfortunately we had a hardware problem. So for safety reasons we stopped his test. So we got only half the information we need. It was a good test for Nicky, because we tested a lot of interesting things. At the end he was quite happy. To be honest, Nicky was good all weekend. Valentino did a wonderful race, starting unfortunately far back, but the pace was really good. Overall it was a nice weekend.”

MotoGP reports that apart from the items that could be introduced at the Laguna Seca round, Ducati is also working on further development in the four-day test, which Preziosi says will be made available for the next available testing slot. He did however remain tight-lipped on what the possible upgrades were: “Now we have to finish the test and try some new things. We will offer them to our riders in the next test they will do in August…but it’s a secret.”