Ducati says it is focussed on trying to match the corner grip of rival MotoGP factory Yamaha after proving its straight-line speed advantage in Qatar.
The Bologna-based manufacturer enjoyed a strong showing in the season opener at Losail, as Andrea Dovizioso finished a close second behind Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo.
Its other factory rider Andrea Iannone crashed out of the lead of the race, having topped two practice sessions and set a new top speed record for the entire series of 351.2km/h (218.2mph) aboard the Desmosedici GP16.
Now Ducati admits, having established itself as the class of the field in a straight line, it must try and address the deficit to Yamaha through the corners.
“We started well, it's very positive,” Ducati sporting director Paolo Ciabatti told Motorsport.com.
“On a level playing field technically with Yamaha and Honda, we could show we were strong and we knew we were expected [to be strong]. Have you seen our power in the straight?
"The Michelin changed a lot, we saw it between the practices and the race, so we are not sure of anything for the next rounds.
“But we have our ideas to improve the bike, as it still moves a lot in terms of grip in the corners compared to the Yamaha.”
Nothing to prove
Ducati is at the centre of rider market speculation currently, as Jorge Lorenzo weighs up whether to stay at Yamaha or throw in his lot with its Italian rival for 2017.
But Ciabatti says Ducati doesn’t need to prove anything more to attract a top rider: "We have to set ambitious targets, but I can say that the riders have a precise idea of the competitiveness of the Ducati.
“We don't have to forget that the race in Qatar was won by the World Champion…"
Additional reporting by Lena Buffa