Ducati buoyed by Mugello test

autosport.com

Fri, 25 May 00:55:11 2012

Ducati technical chief Filippo Preziosi says a robust test programme at Mugello has provided useful information as the squad bids to find improvements and close the gap to Honda and Yamaha.

Three days after Valentino Rossi's surprise second-place finish at Le Mans - which owed much to the adverse conditions in which the race was staged Ducati moved to Mugello with a raft of small improvements to test, including a modified engine and an aluminium swingarm.

Preziosi said testing such items had proved very constructive, but insisted Ducati will need to trial them at several circuits in order to validate their effectiveness.

"I'd say it was a very useful test because we were able to gather interesting information on the different areas of the bike for which we had planned a robust test program," Preziosi said.

"We worked on different configurations of the electronics, engine and chassis, including an aluminium swingarm. Now we want to go to other tracks, which is exactly what we'll do in Barcelona and Aragon, to test the validity of the solutions we've found, in order to understand if we've effectively taken a small step in the right direction."

Speaking before the test, Rossi said Mugello could prove vital in finding a fix to the engine issues currently plaguing the GP12.

"The Mugello test is important because, except for the engine which is a bit too abrupt, we most of all lose time in the electronic management of the engine. We have some interesting stuff to test on that front that can help us exiting turns better," Rossi told Italia1.

"The engine we'll test will have some small modifications - unfortunately too small, in the sense that it won't solve us so many problems - however if it allows us to go a bit quicker that ain't bad."

Rossi played down the significance of his Le Mans result, his best ever for Ducati, saying that the team needed to find a way of replicating its pace in the dry.

"It's certainly a hugely important result, but unfortunately it doesn't make us go quicker in the dry too.

"It would be nice to gain a few tenths and trying to stay with those ahead of us the objective is to close the gap to Dovizioso, Crutchlow and Bautista, who are usually quicker in the dry."

After a rain-affected first day, Rossi managed 76 and team-mate Nicky Hayden 81 on the second and final day on Thursday.

 

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