If you are a Ducati engineer at the Bologna factory then there is a good chance that you could be spending Christmas day with a spanner or a laptop in your hands.
As Valentino Rossi recovers from successful surgery on his shoulder (that took place on Sunday), Ducati MotoGP boss Filippo Preziosi is planning a demanding programme of work for the engineers at the Bologna factory as they take the data from Nicky Hayden’s and Valentino Rossi’s test sessions back to Italy to refine the GP11 Ducati.
Rossi’s mixed results after his first test on the Ducati have caused more than a few ripples of concern, and the Ducati team have felt the need to come out and publicly state that they are 100% committed to getting the Ducati GP11 into the best shape possible for Valentino Rossi’s debut season.
Filippo Preziosi said:
“As the journalists put the most focus on the lap times it’s quite clear that maybe Valentino has to adapt to Ducati, but mainly Ducati has to modify the bike to suit Valentino’s needs.”
“I’m quite happy with Nicky’s lap time because it was 0.5s from Casey, which was one-tenth less than qualifying practice, so it means he is consistent. To be optimistic I think we know the bike will work even without Casey, so we have to find the way to understand how to modify the bike in order to give Valentino Rossi the confidence to push.”
“I think this is the main thing. For sure his shoulder didn’t help, but the test was really crucial because we have a lot of ideas to modify the bike to suit Valentino’s needs.
“After these two days of tests we will go back to Ducati for a meeting, where we will decide which path to take between the two engines, the big bang and the screamer, although the information we have is pointing towards the former.”
“It will be a decision we will make by analysing the data in depth as well as planning the way forward around all the other things we learnt at the test. The objective is clearly to allow Valentino to ride like Valentino! We know we have to improve the bike in order to achieve this, especially the front end. He has given us some very precise information and now it is down to us to use it. We would obviously have liked to give him the opportunity to go faster today but even though that wasn’t the case he has impressed everybody over the last two days with the way he works, his calm approach and his positive attitude towards everything.
“Nicky also worked very hard, as usual, and set a good lap time on the new Bridgestones as well as the ones we were already using, which is another big positive. Now we have to work to give them both a more competitive bike for the next test.”
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