Riders Ducati pair Michael Rutter and Martin Jessopp have concluded their first major pre-season tests ahead of the new BSB season, with the team now turning focus to the opening rounds of the campaign at Brands Hatch.
The pair used the tests at Cartagena and Guadix to work on the development of engine management strategies using an updated 2009 engine, although new 2010-spec engines will be available for the Easter Weekend meeting at Brands.
"I'm really happy with the tests,” Rutter said. “Having raced these bikes at the end of last year, I knew we had a good set-up with the Ducati chassis but with changes we've made to the engines over the winter we now have 10bhp more across the range so it was a case of re-mapping the electronics here and working on the traction control system. We had a range of maps to try and everything went to plan.
"I've been trying to get my head around being able to nail the throttle coming out of the corners and let the electronics take care of any big slides. After a career spent relying totally on feel, it's a very different method and takes times to adapt. We decided that the best way was to run a tyre which had lost the best of its grip. If we'd tried to do the same on new tyres, the extra grip might well have caused me problems. But after seven days of testing I'm finally getting used to it and looking forward to the first race.
Jessop was also happy with the test and admitted it was 'like being back home again' having campaigned a four-cylinder bike in recent years.
"At least the four-cylinder bike I raced had the same basic Magneti Marelli electronics package, so I was already used to riding with a well-sorted traction control system,” he said. “I remember how much learning it took to get used to the four-cylinder bike but it's taken no time at all to get back into riding a Ducati. I'm still braking too late and scrubbing too much speed but its coming. It's amazing how much more corner speed you can run on a Ducati."