2009 MotoGP rookie of the year Mika Kallio hopes that two of the main changes made to the Ducati Desmosedici over the winter will play into his hands.
The Finn will start preparations for his second season with the Pramac Ducati team when he takes to the Sepang racetrack alongside his rivals during testing on Thursday.
“Tomorrow will be the first time that I have ridden the 2010 bike,” Kallio told Crash.net
at Sepang on Wednesday. “I was still using the 2009 bike during the last test at Valencia. It will be exciting to see how the new bike is. I have heard some comments from Stoner and Hayden. Everything seems quite positive.”
The headline-grabbing change for the GP10 is the switch from an even-firing 'screamer' engine to a 'big bang' design, as used by Ducati's Japanese rivals.
“The new [big bang] engine could be the biggest improvement,” confirmed Kallio. “Last year I was complaining a bit about the power delivery. We tried to solve the problem but the [screamer] engine character was always there.
“Now they have improved this area and tomorrow we will see if it suits me also.”
But while the revised engine is the most obvious change, Kallio believes a new front fork could offer the most progress for him personally.
“We have a completely new Ohlins front fork, which I will use for the first time tomorrow,” he revealed. “For my side the biggest problem last year was front feeling.
“Normally I like to brake really late and it worked well for me in other classes. I was quite a hard braker. But last year, I don't know why, I couldn't get that feeling.
“I couldn't completely trust what was happening between asphalt and tyre. We worked on it all year but there was always something missing, so I hope the new fork will solve that.”
The rear of the Ducati has also been redesigned, with several swingarm options available.