Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden returned to action today at Misano for a one-day test that the Ducati Team spent doing chassis and electronics tests.
The American, who only rode in the morning due to his still-healing right hand, tried the frame and swingarm that his teammate had used in yesterday’s race, and he had a positive first impression. Meanwhile, Valentino tried a version that had the same geometry but a different stiffness.
Franco Battaini work on testing electronic developments.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 53 laps
“It was a good day. Today we tried a different chassis that had a different stiffness, but honestly, I didn’t like it a lot. It was an improvement in some areas, but we had some new problems in other areas. In the end, it’s not a real improvement, so I don’t think we’ll use it again. But the positive thing is that we tried a new swingarm that I liked a lot because it gave me more edge grip and more rear grip under acceleration, and it helps the bike to stay more stable on corner exits. So of the two things, one worked. I think we’ll use the new swingarm starting in Aragon, so there we’ll see what our potential is on another track.”
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 14 laps
“In order not to stress my hand too much, we only did two runs today—one with basically my race bike, and one with the new frame—but it was nice to get an idea of the chassis. I wasn’t sure if I would even be able to notice the difference, but I could actually feel more than I expected. I felt better with it, for sure. I had more confidence because there’s better front grip for braking into the corners, and because of that, also better turning. I think it’s certainly a step in the right direction, straight away, and I’m happy with the work Ducati has done. Because I was able to brake a bit differently, I’ll probably need to stiffen the fork spring a bit, but already, it was a good step. I’m quite happy, and at Aragon we’ll start to work on the setup.”
Filippo Preziosi, Technical Director
“It was a very useful test: We had prepared a chassis that was the same as that used by Valentino in yesterday’s race in terms of geometry, but different in terms of rigidity. Valentino gave us feedback that will allow us to design an evolution that has the positive characteristics that he noticed, and which match what we expected from the calculations we had made, but without losing precision. We also had a different swingarm that Valentino liked, so we’ll bring it to Aragon. Nicky did his first comparison between the pre-Misano frame and swingarm and those used by Valentino yesterday. His initial comments were positive, but we’ll have to check again at Aragon when his physical condition is better. Based on the data we gathered today, we’re speeding up production of the next step of the frame, which could arrive before Valencia.”