VALENTINO ROSSI MAKES DUCATI DEBUT AT VALENCIA AS HAYDEN COMPARES NEW ENGINES The first day of the long awaited post-season MotoGP test at Valencia started with grey skies and light drizzle this morning, which left the track unsuitable for the...
VALENTINO ROSSI MAKES DUCATI DEBUT AT VALENCIA AS HAYDEN COMPARES NEW ENGINES
The first day of the long awaited post-season MotoGP test at Valencia started with grey skies and light drizzle this morning, which left the track unsuitable for the opening hour of the session between 9 and 10 when, luckily, the sun emerged to gradually dry the track surface.
At 10:55am Valentino Rossi arrived in the garage where Filippo Preziosi, Jeremy Burgess and his crew as well as engineers and technicians from Ducati's Reparto Corse were waiting for him. At precisely 11:46am the official Ducati test rider Franco Battaini took to the track for a first shakedown on the black 'carbon' coloured GP11 and finally, at 12:23, the nine-time World Champion rode the Ducati Desmosedici for the first time.
Rossi started out on a Desmosedici GP11 fitted with a 'big bang' version of the engine, which he used for virtually the entire day as he worked on geometry and other settings. As the day drew to a close he made one final run on the 'screamer' version.
Nicky Hayden made several outings on both versions, also starting on the 2011 'big bang' before switching to the 'screamer'. The American completed 54 laps with a best time of 1'33.882.
NICKY HAYDEN (Ducati Marlboro Team) 9th - 1'33.882
"The 2011 season is already on us and we have some big decisions to make. We had a lot of things to try today, especially in terms of the engine. The rain didn't help anybody because we lost some time this morning with the rain and when we were eventually able to get out on the track the conditions weren't ideal. Anyway, we were able to get some laps in and I can say that the 2011 version of the big bang engine is definitely an improvement. We switched to the screamer at about three o'clock and in some areas it's also really strong, I like it. Before making a choice to move forward with we need to test some more, get all the data together and make a calm, considered decision."
FILIPPO PREZIOSI, General Director Ducati Corse
"It has been an exciting day for sure. The main thing that hit me today was Vale's positive feedback and his capacity for analysis. Today he tested the GP11 with the 'big bang' engine on a standard setting, which he modified step by step to adapt it to his riding style. His first comment when he lifted his visor up was a positive one about the power delivery and then he gave some impressive technical details. We certainly have a lot to do to adapt the bike to his riding style but it is really nice and very interesting to work in this way. We worked on the geometry and setting today to see how the bike responded and to get a bit of experience working with both Vale and Jeremy (Burgess). At the end of the session he went out on the screamer version but we will make more of an analysis between the two engines tomorrow because they deliver the power in very different ways - the big bang has a more regular power curve whereas the screamer is more aggressive but also more powerful. Nicky tried both versions today and this evening we will have a look at all the data."