Two days after the Valencia Grand Prix, which saw Andrea Dovizioso wrap up the 2018 championship with a superb win in the rain, the 2019 MotoGP season has been getting underway with two days of official testing, today and tomorrow, at the Ricardo Tormo circuit.
The riders only went out on track towards midday, when the track had totally dried out following overnight rain, and they were able to lap on slick tyres until approximately 15.40, when the weather got worse and everyone opted to bring an early end to the first day of testing.
The 2019 Ducati Team riders – Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci – joined in the test by Michele Pirro, were able to carry out some back-to-back tests between the 2018 and the 2019 versions of the Desmosedici GP.
Andrea Dovizioso completed a total of 38 laps, ending the day in fourth place with a time of 1’31.846, while Danilo Petrucci finished in eighth position with a best mark of 1’32.100 in his 43 laps. In tenth was Michele Pirro, who also crashed, and he completed 19 laps today, the best of which was 1’32.220.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 4th (1’31.846)
“Unfortunately the day wasn’t very prolific because in the morning, with the track surface still partially damp, there weren’t the conditions to go out on track. We had to wait a lot, in the end we didn’t do many laps, and in addition we had to prepare a base set-up with the 2018 bike, because during the race weekend we were unable to lap in the dry. The tests we had scheduled must be done well and in a precise way, because the decisions we will take during these tests will have an effect on the definition of the bike we will use next year. We wanted to do a good back-to-back test but when we were ready, in the afternoon, it began to rain. Tomorrow morning, we hope to find the track dry and to be able to lap all day.”
Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team #9) – 8th (1’32.100)
“My first day in the factory team was a fantastic feeling, for me it was like the first day at school! The team welcomed me so well and I immediately felt at ease with them. We were able to work with both bikes, and it’s a pity the rain came when I was lapping strongly and there was a lot of rubber on the track. We did a lot of laps with used tyres and we were quite quick. The new bike is an excellent starting point and doesn’t have any negative aspects, but I’ll also have to work to improve my riding style. It was a good start and I hope to continue this way also tomorrow.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Team #51) – 10th (1’32.220)
“Today we did several tests on various components and we gathered some useful information, but unfortunately the weather wasn’t much help and we started our laps late and finished early. However, we’ve already been able to identify the path we have to follow over the winter months, and this is a positive fact. Unfortunately, I also crashed because the shoulder I injured at Mugello is not quite right yet and even though the painkillers have an effect, I don’t always have total control of the situation. When you have this type of physical problem, these things can happen, but it’s just a matter of gritting my teeth until the end of the month and then I’ll have an operation to finally resolve the situation.”