After having unveiled the new livery of the Desmosedici GP20 bikes on the last 23rd January in Bologna, the Ducati Team has finally taken to the track for the first of three days of Official MotoGP Test at Sepang Circuit in Malaysia.
For both Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci, the day started a few minutes after 10 am this morning when the sky was still bright, and the track conditions were perfect to begin the demanding testing program. Eleventh and fifteenth respectively before the lunch break, the Ducati Team riders were hoping to resume their work in the afternoon finding the same weather conditions. But a sudden downpour disturbed the program leaving just two more hours of dry track before the rain started to fall again a few minutes before the session end.
Dovizioso closed in 11th position in 1:59.666, while Petrucci ended the day 14th, just 0.263 s behind his teammate. The first day of testing featured close gaps and quick paces with the top 14 riders within less than 1 second and under the 2-minute lap time. The Ducati Team riders will still have two days available at the Malaysian race track where test rider Michele Pirro concluded the preparations for the test during the Shakedown.
Andrea Dovizioso (#04, Ducati Team) – 11 (1:59.666)
“It has been a hard day. We have introduced a few new items, and we had to focus more on certain aspects of the bike setup. We hope to be able to use our time better tomorrow and to concentrate on the rest of the program. We would like to work on the new rear tyres because we think that this is a fundamental aspect. We are trying to improve the riding style and the bike setup because we believe that these will help us to take the right advantage from the new solutions brought by Michelin”.
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 14 (1:59.939)
“I am happy to be back on track. Today we didn’t focus on the lap time, but we worked on trying to rebuild a good feeling with the bike after this long break away from my Desmosedici GP. It had been difficult at the beginning, but in the afternoon, I think I was able to find the right path that will help me also improve in the next days. Today there were mixed weather conditions that made hard to understand our real potential: I always ran with used tyres and with the rain we couldn’t try the new items that we need to test. In general, it was a positive day, and it leaves me confident for tomorrow”.