Lorenzo: Latest Ducati chassis "didn't work" in Qatar

Jorge Lorenzo says a new chassis based on the 2017 Ducati MotoGP bike tested on Thursday in Qatar testing “didn't work”.

Lorenzo: Latest Ducati chassis "didn't work" in Qatar
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team fairing
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team

The Spaniard spent the final day of the last test in Thailand comparing last year's GP17 with the GP18, as he struggled for pace on the new bike.

Looking for a chassis which combined the strongest points of the '17 and '18 frames, Ducati delivered a solution which Lorenzo trialled on Thursday.

But the new chassis proved to be a step in the wrong direction, and Lorenzo opted to stick with the frame he set an unofficial Sepang lap record with in January.

Lorenzo, who was fifth fastest on day one of the Qatar test, said: “Here we have some chassis to try to simulate the performance of the 2017 [bike], but they didn't work.

“So, it's going to be complicated to make a mix between the engine and the chassis. For the moment, we are concentrating and focused on the new bike, and I think we have some margin to improve.”

Lorenzo admits he didn't change the set-up of his bike radically after the difficult Thailand test, and thinks the change of circuit has been the biggest factor in his sudden upturn in form.

“No, mainly the track change, and together with the track improve the results,” he said when asked if he had changed the bike much.

“I could be very good from the beginning [of the session], with good pace to the last hour. The temperature of the track went low, and [with] more humidity I didn't have the same feeling.

“We need to understand why, so we change the tyres and everything changes, all the feeling changes.

"But, until the last hour I was very competitive, and I led for a few hours the classification. So I feel much better now.”

Laptime "came easy" for Dovizioso

Teammate Andrea Dovizioso – who was 0.051s behind Thursday pacesetter Maverick Vinales - feels the GP18 is “even better” than last year's bike, and says the laptime is “coming quite easy” in Qatar.

“I’m happy, I have a really good feeling, even better than last year,” he said. “We already improve a little bit the bike from last year in Malaysia with the new bike, it was a little bit better.

“We are still working with the new chassis, new fairing. I’m happy in the way the Ducati works until now, still we have to take a decision about the base, our base for the first round.

“But I’m happy also about the work of today because the lap time came quite easy and this is the only point you can look at the moment."

Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont

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