Valentino Rossi is confident Ducati will go into the 2012 MotoGP World Championship with a competitive 1000cc package after completing his third outing aboard the GP12 at Mugello.
With Nicky Hayden assuming duties on the Tuesday, Rossi jumped on the bike for Wednesday, less than a month after last testing the machine around the Italian circuit.
Praising the developments made to the bike since then, though Rossi – who completed 80 laps - remains cautious with regard to what Honda and Yamaha will produce, he is nonetheless convinced Ducati is creating a strong package for him.
“It was another positive test,” he said. “We had a number of things to try, including a new step with the frame that I liked. The general feeling was good. I was already happy with the engine the first time I tried it, and now we're also making progress with the rest of the bike. Naturally, we'll have to see when the others try their 2012 bikes, but as far as we're concerned, for the moment we're satisfied; our bike is already good.
“Riding at Mugello is always a pleasure. On top of everything else, the conditions today were perfect, so in addition to the good work we carried out—because I did 80 laps—I enjoyed my time riding.
“Compliments to the circuit for the new additions; the main grandstand is really nice, and of course I hope to see Mugello filled with fans for the race.”
“For this test we brought an updated frame for Valentino to try,” added Filippo Preziosi, “along with several other interesting things, and I'm pleased to report that we received positive feedback. The lap times were better than at the last test, which is additional confirmation that we're working in the right direction.
“A big thank you to Valentino and Nicky, to all the guys on the Team, and Ducati, where they're extremely committed and are working really hard.”
Ducati has forged ahead with development of its 2012 entry, with Honda the only other manufacturer to give its 1000cc model a test run. Yamaha is expected to do the same shortly, though it remains to be seen whether Suzuki will continue next season.