POSITIVE DEBUT FOR DESMOSEDICI GP9 WITH CASEY STONER The day following the Grand Prix of Catalunya gave the MotoGP riders the chance to start a two-day test, with the Ducati Marlboro Team bringing forward a first outing for the Desmosedici GP9...
POSITIVE DEBUT FOR DESMOSEDICI GP9 WITH CASEY STONER
The day following the Grand Prix of Catalunya gave the MotoGP riders the chance to start a two-day test, with the Ducati Marlboro Team bringing forward a first outing for the Desmosedici GP9 - which was originally scheduled for Casey Stoner tomorrow. With uncertain weather forecasts for tomorrow, Stoner and test riders Vittoriano Guareschi and Niccolo Canepa put the machine through its paces, whilst Marco Melandri spent the day focusing on his GP8 and will test it tomorrow.
It was a positive debut for the machine in the hands of the World Champion, so much so that the Australian set the best time of the day with a 1'41.533 on qualifying tyres.
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team)
Best lap on race tyres - 1'42.632; on qualifiers - 1'41.533
"I'm happy with the way today has gone. The objective was to understand whether this new chassis concept has potential and I'd say that for now it looks to be the case. We were quickly into some decent times using the same set-up as the GP8. We barely changed anything to adapt it to the characteristics of the GP9 and I immediately felt an improvement so that is positive. I'm sure that with more time to work on it we can go much faster, although that is not the current brief. We'll have time to test it in the winter. Tomorrow we'll get back on my GP8 because we have some important tyre testing to do. There is still a lot of the 2008 season left and we want to be competitive."
MARCO MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
Best lap on race times - 1'44.326
"We have done a lot of tests with the electronics, set-up and tyres. I've found a rear tyre that gives me a better feeling but we're still a long way from where we need to be. We still need to find something to get back to the kind of feeling I had in China."
FILIPPO PREZIOSI General Manager Ducati Corse
"We took the decision to allow the factory riders to test the GP9 because it would have been more difficult at a later stage of development and eventually we'd have had to go backwards in certain areas. There are some things that are possible to analyse with data such as in the engine or the cycle part but other areas where it is absolutely essential to have the riders' opinions. So it was important to get their feedback to understand if the choices we've made have been the right ones and to get their suggestions. Some changes we've made to the cycle part could seem more revolutionary than others but in reality we continue to evolve the initial concept that we designed with the GP3. So it's not a change in the direction of development, but another step forward in the same direction. With the 990 the seat supports and the footpegs were attached to the frame. With the 800 they are both completely separate and on the GP9 the front part is even more dedicated to support and the dimensions become more limited. The fact we've used carbon fibre in the production of the chassis is not the most relevant point, it is more the shape that is different from before. Casey's first impressions have been positive. Tomorrow Marco will try it and I hope his feeling with the new bike is better than with the current one."