|Hayden got his best result of the season, in Jerez
After Sunday’s Jerez Grand Prix, the MotoGP grid was out on the track again yesterday, for the first of their ‘in-season’ official tests; a chance for teams to continue their development of their prototype machines. For Ducati, it was especially important, as both factory riders, Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden were able to finally swing their legs over the laboratory Desmosedici that Michelle Pirro rode in the race on Sunday.
It was a similar story for the factory Ducati pairing in the race. But this time with Hayden getting his best result of the season, a lonely 7th. A decent achievement, given he still hasn’t fully recovered from an injury to his right arm. Dovizioso finished behind in 8th, having being hassled throughout the race by CRT rider, Aleix Espargaró.
Yesterday, Dovi and Hayden completed a back-to-back comparison test of their current GP13’s, and the one that test rider Michelle Pirro brought home in 11th in the GP. They confirmed what Pirro found, that development was heading in the right direction. Corner entry in particular, was found to have improved again. Positions from yesterday’s test do not really echo the progress that the bike has made, though the gap to the front, is an improvement on previous official tests. After completing 47 laps, Dovizioso finished 7th, just seven tenths off the top. “It was interesting to try the bike with the newframe, which we should have soon to use in the races, although I still don’tknow exactly when. We were able to do a comparison with my current bike, andthe lap time wasn’t bad at all, while corner entry is better, especially infast turns. This is the first true change this year, and although it’snot as big as I’d hoped, we’re going in the right direction.”
Hayden, who still isn’t in an ideal condition to be putting in laps all day, was equally as up beat. He finished just a tenth of a second behind his team mate, in 8th. “Today went pretty well. We knew that with mycondition, we wouldn’t be able to test a lot, but it was important to comparethe lab bike that Pirro raced yesterday with my own. The positive thing is thatwe confirmed that the development is going in the right direction. Corner entryis easier, and that leads to a small improvement with turning as well.Hopefully they’ve got some more good information today that will help them tocontinue improving the bike.”