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Ducati heads into the unknown

“The weekend is a bit of an unknown for us, but we're optimistic” - Vittoriano Guareschi, Ducati.
Already playing catch-up relative to the performance of the factory Yamaha and Hondas, Ducati will be at an added disadvantage during this weekend's inaugural MotoGP at the Circuit of the Americas.

The Honda and Yamaha factory teams both attended a private test at the new facility in March, but Ducati opted against the expensive fact-finding mission.

That means they will have only simulation data on which to base the initial Desmosedici set-up, although home American star Nicky Hayden - like Pramac's Ben Spies - did at least ride the circuit during the US launch of the Panigale road bike.

“Having three GPs in my home country almost seems like a dream to me, and the Circuit of the Americas is really a great track that's nice, safe and new, with great facilities,” said Hayden, a race winner in front of his home fans at Laguna Seca and podium finisher at Indianapolis.

“I've been around it on a street bike, so I know the layout, although it will obviously be much different on a MotoGP bike. The track has a little bit of everything, and it's definitely not easy. It's really long, quite wide, and very technical, with some very particular corners that have open entries - often blind - and tight exits.

“I like a good challenge, and this track definitely offers one. Hopefully the American fans will come out and support the race and set up a nice trend for the next two American rounds.”

Hayden finished eighth during the opening round in Qatar, just behind new team-mate Andrea Dovizioso. The Italian impressed with his single-lap speed, qualifying an excellent fourth, but felt seventh (and 24s from victory) was 'the reality' in race trim.

“I haven't been to the Circuit of the Americas, but from the video it looks like a really big and nice track, and it also looks really difficult,” said Dovi of the F1 venue. “Unfortunately, we didn't test there like some of the other guys, so it will be a problem for us in the beginning. Anyway, I'm really excited for us to be riding on a new track.”

Team Manager Vittoriano Guareschi added: “Unfortunately, since the Ducati Team didn't test at COTA, we're at a bit of a disadvantage to our competitors; we'll have dual assignments during the early sessions - we have to find a general setup and the correct settings for the electronics - so we hope to have good weather in all of the sessions.

“The weekend is a bit of an unknown for us, but we're optimistic.”

The United States is Ducati's number-one market.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ducati`s Bernhard Gobmeier and Hayden, Sepang 2 tests, February 2013
Nicky Hayden - A tribute
Dovizioso, Crutchlow, French MotoGP 2017
Crutchlow, Dovizioso, Pedrosa French MotoGP 2017
Vinales, Zarco, Rossi, French MotoGP 2017
Crutchlow, Dovizioso, Pedrosa French MotoGP 2017
Crutchlow, Dovizioso, Pedrosa French MotoGP 2017
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Crutchlow, Dovizioso French MotoGP 2017
`Go Nicky` Hayden sign on starting grid, French MotoGP 2017
Crutchlow, Dovizioso French MotoGP Race 2017
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Dovizioso, French MotoGP Race 2017
Crutchlow, Dovizioso, Pedrosa French MotoGP Race 2017
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April 16, 2013 4:39 PM

Seriously people. Don't slag them off. Wish them well and keep your fingers crossed for them. It's not good to see a manufacturer struggling like this. The last thing in the world MotoGP need is another team to leave.

coffee - Unregistered

April 16, 2013 5:59 PM

Well, he said it wasent a cost issue, but a schedulaing issue. Who knows maybe it has to do with the ceo of Ducati Gabriele Del Torchio, leaving to go run some Airline... Curretly Ducati is looking for an new boss, and in the running is the current the #2 guy at Audi, Wolfgang Durheimer, look him up, this man loves bikes, wanted to race bikes, and is a serious power house at Audi, but, word is he is being postioned to be the next ceo of Audi. goggle n read the forbes artical dated 12-10-12, this man would straighting out ducati in year, if not sooner. But current General Manager of Ducati, Claudio Domenical is also being conciderd for the job, and if that happens then you can expect Ducati to stay right where they are for the next 5 or more years ie. last place lol... Im sure crash will report on this at some point...

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