Ducati looking to regain wet advantage

Autosport

Ducati is aiming to recapture its advantage in wet weather conditions at Phillip Island this weekend.

Typically wet conditions have favoured the Desmosedici, with three of the team's last four podiums coming in the rain.

The introduction of a new chassis at Misano one month ago upset that trend however, while at the same time both Honda and Yamaha have improved in the wet.

Team manager Vittoriano Guareschi reckons the team needs to up its performance in the wet, particularly given the adverse conditions predicted for Australia this weekend.

"The forecasts indicate it could also rain in Australia, and it's always cold when we're there," Guareschi said.

"If that's the case, we'll start with a setup that wasn't bad in Malaysia, but we know that we'll have to improve, because the others are now more competitive in those conditions.

"We've identified some ideas that we hope could improve our performance in the wet, and we'll try them on the track if the track conditions are similar to those that we had at the last race."

Nicky Hayden, who beat Valentino Rossi to fourth place in the rain last weekend at Sepang, said the team needed to capitalise on the initial gains of its new chassis.

"We've got some work to do," he admitted.

"I've liked the new chassis since I've been on it, but now it's time to find a direction for improving it further.

"We also want to figure out how to regain the advantage we used to have in the rain, and judging by the forecasts, we might get a chance to work on that in Australia."

Valentino Rossi, approaching his penultimate grand prix on a Ducati, added: "Racing a MotoGP bike [at Phillip Island] is a lot of fun, but it was a difficult weekend for us last year, so we'll have to try very hard to do better.

"In addition, the forecasts show that there will be inclement weather, with rain and cold, so we're expecting challenging conditions. We'll really have to do our best."

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