Three days at Valencia and three days at Jerez for testing - with only two and half days out of the six completely dry - hopefully may have ben enough for the Ducati to gather sufficient feedback on which of the two chassis and swingarm they tested and the direction they have to take to be ready for the next tests at Sepang in February.
Only Nicky Hayden and test rider Michele Pirro were able to the development work as Andrea Dovizioso was caught out by a neck problem that didn’t allow him to ride, while Andrea Iannone just worked on just getting to know the Ducati - above all the electronics - and improving his pace.
Oddly enough while every other rider has had issues with the Desmosedici’s understeer and problems in corner entry, the Italian rookie is impressed by how much he can push his machine on corners …
Here’s what the three riders said after the final day of testing - which was a washout - only Hayden did 18 laps in the wet doing a comparison test between the hard and soft rain tyres.
“Things didn’t go as smoothly as we had hoped, but the test has been useful despite everything. On the first day, we struggled a little bit getting up to speed, but we improved somewhat yesterday. We were able to evaluate the new frame and swingarm, as well as a few new settings. Today, though, the weather hasn’t been kind to us. I did three exits in the wet, but it hasn’t been dry enough for slicks. It would have been nice to ride in the dry today, as we wanted to confirm a few things and improve our pace, but nonetheless, we got through some things and have a lot of information to work with. Thanks to the guys for all the hard work this year. Now we’ll look forward to February at Sepang,” said Hayden.
“It’s a shame about the problem with my neck,” said Andrea Dovizioso. “It’s something I had experienced at the GP in Malaysia, where I crashed twice, and in Australia, where I crashed once, and both times I had physiotherapy treatments and anti-inflammatory medicine. It re-emerged last week two days after a crash on my motocross bike, but the same treatment worked and I felt fine when I came to Jerez for the test. Unfortunately, it happened again after just a few laps, and this time we weren’t able to resolve it with physio and anti-inflammatories. It seems that the problem is probably bigger than we had previously thought, and I’ll have to undergo some further medical tests.”
“I am very pleased after these three days of testing. We worked very hard on Wednesday and Thursday without stopping. Today, unfortunately, we were conditioned by the rain which forced us to skip the final day of testing. Overall I am still very happy: I did more than 130 laps and as a rookie obtaining encouraging results and increasing my feeling with the Ducati lap after lap. The road is still long, but I have all the support I need to learn how to manage both the tires and the electronics, which are very different compared to Moto2. I’m going home happy and anxiously look forward to return to riding my Ducati. 2013 will be an important year for me. See you at Sepang for the next test, February 5 to 7! said Iannone.