New Ducati Marlboro team manager Vittoriano Guareschi proved his promotion won't stop him having a hands-on role by personally shaking down all ten of the factory's 2010 MotoGP race bikes at Sepang on Wednesday.

Following Livio Suppo's surprise decision to quit as Ducati's MotoGP project director for a senior marketing position at HRC, Guareschi was moved to the newly created role of team manager, while Alessandro Cicognani assumes the title of project director.

Suppo was present at Sepang in HRC colours on Wednesday, while Guareschi got back in his leathers and joined factory test riders from Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki out on track.

With race riders not allowed to test until Thursday, Guareschi's main task was to make sure the new Ducatis were functioning properly - and he checked not only the factory machines of Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden, but also the satellite GP10s of Mika Kallio, Aleix Espargaro and Hector Barbera.

"I was the only person riding the Ducatis today and I rode all of them!" a smiling Guareschi told on Wednesday evening. "And not one bike is similar to the others. One is long, one is short, one has a brake lever here - the controls are all completely different!

"All the bikes were built at Ducati last month, but had not been tested," he continued. "So I did two laps on each of them to make sure the brakes, clutch, electronic systems and everything is working ok.

"It is my first time riding at this track - I rode it on the two-seater but that is totally different - and it's fun. It's a technical track and difficult to understand the line because it is hard to see the end of the corners.

"I did a best lap time of 2min 8sec, not bad as I only did one quick lap with each bike and then into the pits. I also only used one set of tyres, because the test team don't have a lot of tyres available for the year."

As a long-time Ducati MotoGP tester, Guareschi is perfectly placed to comment on the difference a rider feels between the new-for-2010 'big bang' engine and the former 'screamer' design.

"The big-bang has more drivability and it is easier to 'understand' the power," he replied. "The old engine released full power all at once, like a turbo! The new engine is much friendlier and it is much easier to control the engine with the throttle.

"In terms of the best lap time there is not a big difference, but during a race - when the grip from the tyres goes down - the 'big bang' has an advantage.

"I think everyone in MotoGP is using 'big bang' now," he added.

Guareschi also revealed some of the new parts Stoner and Hayden will evaluate during the first 2010 test.

"Nicky has two different fairings to try; one big and one smaller, while Casey has two different swingarms; one carbon and one aluminium. But there are also different swingarm designs as well as different materials.

"The difference between them all is in terms of stiffness and how that translates in terms of feeling and rear tyre grip. In hot conditions with low grip, like here, it is important to have flexibility in the swingarm.

"I helped to develop the new swingarms myself as the test rider."

Testing at Sepang continues on Thursday and Friday.


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