|Dovizioso testing a new faring with the aim of
Photo: Ducati Corse
Ducati newboy Andrea Dovizioso has admitted being both “surprised and pleased” to have left the final pre-
season test in Jerez within a second of fastest man, Cal Crutchlow. Things hadn’t been looking too great for the Ducati team prior to Jerez, struggling at the first Sepang test however Dovizioso did reduce the gap to just over a second at the second test in Malaysia. With little dry track time in Jerez the Ducati boys were running well, including junior team rider Iannone and test rider Pirro. Dovizioso ended the test top Ducati and 0.8 seconds from the front.
Whilst Dovi was keen to big up their fast time he was also sure to highlight uncertainty regarding the Ducati’s race pace, with limited track time at Jerez the Ducati team were unable to test race settings to the extent they’d have liked. The Italian commented: “Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time today, so it wasn’t possible to learn anything regarding the race pace. Still, I didn’t expect to leave Jerez just eight tenths from the leader. I’m surprised and pleased at the same time, as this helps us to realize that we’re not so far from the others when we have a fresh tyre. The weather didn’t allow us to do a race simulation, so we’re not sure what to expect when the tyres are worn. These three days were important for me and for the development, even if we weren’t able to do a great lap time. We should be able to fight for a decent grid position in Qatar, and that’s important, but we’re not sure about the race.”
2006 World Champion, Nicky Hayden was also pleased to be within a second of the front: “We started winter testing in Malaysia with a bigger gap than we had hoped, but since then I feel like we’ve worked well and recovered some of the gap, although part of that is down to this track being shorter. The test team is doing a good job with us, and I achieved my goal for this test, which was to be inside a second from the leader. Yesterday I didn’t feel like I was riding so well, but I went better this afternoon when it finally dried out. There wasn’t much time, but the team did a good job. My suspension guy had a few ideas, and they seemed promising; it’s a good sign that I was a second faster than yesterday on a patchy track. There’s still a lot of work to do, but everyone’s really motivated for Qatar.”