After presenting its new lineup and livery at Neuchâtel (Switzerland) two weeks ago, the Mission Winnow Ducati team officially started its 2019 campaign at Sepang (Malaysia), home of a three-day official MotoGP test.
In the first day of testing, characterized by hot, sunny conditions – with more than 30 degrees outside and 55 on the tarmac – Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso started their respective programs slightly after 10 a.m. and took advantage of the track time to work across the board and evaluate technical upgrades on the Desmosedici GP19, which was already taken to the track for a shakedown by the official test rider Michele Pirro in the previous days.
Petrucci finished the opening day in fifth place in the standings – characterized by narrow gaps, with the first 13 riders within a second – with a personal best of 2:00.051, posted in lap 8 of 54. Dovizioso finished just 0.146 seconds behind his teammate in 2:00.197 with 49 laps to his tally.
Danilo Petrucci (#9, Mission Winnow Ducati) – 2:00.051 (5th)
"It's been a positive first day. Despite the fact that we didn't try a flying lap, I was able to be quick right away this morning with medium tyres. On the other hand, we still need to improve when temperatures rise and grip levels decrease, so tomorrow we'll focus on this. Physically I don't feel fatigued, which means I followed the right conditioning regime over the winter break, and for tomorrow we have a couple of longer runs on schedule during the hottest time of the day. We have a solid base already, which is the most important thing. Also, I have to say it was pretty emotional to go out with the new livery for the first time."
Andrea Dovizioso (#04, Mission Winnow Ducati) – 2:00.197 (8th)
"Today has been really positive because we found the track in good conditions already and the weather stayed dry. We made some comparisons but we haven't found substantial differences yet so we need to make more evaluations in the following days. We have a really good base, and the work done by Michele Pirro is always helpful to this end, because he can try some components beforehand, saving us precious time. Also, I felt great physically, so I'm pretty happy overall."
The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action tomorrow for the second of three days of official tests.