Ducati came to Sepang with a fresh new look and four riders on their factory machines. Nicky Hayden had revealed at the WROOOM pre-season launch that at Sepang, Ducati would be testing the same machines they ran at the end of season test at Valencia, therefore any improvement would be limited.
However on day 2 of testing, Hayden and Dovizioso find themselves rounding out the top 10 behind all other full-time prototype riders on other machines. It’s worse for Spies & Iannone who find themselves 13th and 15th respectively with Yamaha test rider Yoshikawa sandwiched in between them.
Today, Hayden found himself 1.5sec adrift of fastest man Pedrosa, Dovizioso was 1.8sec adrift of 1st, Spies (who to be fair, has aggravated a previous injury) 2.4sec adrift and Iannone 2.6sec back on the leader. Whilst all riders have reduced the gap from even larger ones yesterday, you can’t help but think that this is incredibly worrying for Ducati.
Whilst other teams make vast progress on their 2013 models, Ducati find themselves rapidly running out of time with only 2 official tests after tomorrow remaining until the season starts. Our friends at Motomatters.com have speculated that Ducati may join the Repsol Honda team at a private test in Austin, USA prior to the second official test at Sepang, something they may very well need…