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Hayden, Dovizioso test Ducati 'lab' bike

7 May 2013

Free from the restrictions of a grand prix weekend, Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden were able to ride the latest version of Ducati's laboratory bike during post-race testing at Jerez on Monday.

Factory test rider Michele Pirro has been developing the experimental version of the GP13 since winter testing and used the new bike as a wild-card entry in the Spanish Grand Prix.

“Compared to our race bikes, it [the lab bike] has a different frame and some changes to improve power delivery, along with updates to the electronics,” explained Ducati Corse general manager Bernhard Gobmeier.

“This is just the first step in our development program, but it confirmed that the work we've done so far has been in the right direction. Both riders [Dovizioso and Hayden] did good lap times, and corner entry and corner speed are better.”

Former Gresini CRT racer Pirro finished eleventh in Sunday's race, 20s behind the top Ducati of Hayden, but only 4s from Dovizioso. The best race lap by Hayden and Dovizioso was 0.9 and 1.0s respectively from Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo.

Hayden and Dovizioso conducted back-to-back comparisons of the existing GP13 and 'lab' specification bikes on Monday, when they were ranked seventh (Dovizioso) and eighth (Hayden) on the timesheets.

The main impression given was that the lab bike developments are a step in the right direction, but more progress is needed.

“It was interesting to try the bike with the new frame, which we should have soon to use in the races, although I still don't know exactly when,” said Dovizioso, whose best lap time was 0.7s from Honda's Marc Marquez.

“We were able to do a comparison with my current bike, and the lap time wasn't bad at all, while corner entry is better, especially in fast turns. This is the first true change this year, and although it's not as big as I'd hoped, we're going in the right direction.”

Hayden, just a tenth slower than his team-mate, gave a similar verdict.

“It was important to compare the lab bike that Pirro raced yesterday with my own. The positive thing is that we confirmed that the development is going in the right direction,” said the American. “Corner entry is easier, and that leads to a small improvement with turning as well. Hopefully they've got some more good information today that will help them to continue improving the bike.”

The current GP13 is a lightly modified version of last year's machine, with major revisions not expected until the summer. Dovizioso and Hayden will hand the lab bikes back to the test team when they participate in a private test at Mugello on Wednesday and Thursday.

“Now we go to Mugello, where Michele Pirro and Franco Battaini will try other updates, while Andrea and Nicky will focus on work on the set-up of their GP13 race bikes to prepare for the race in June,” said Gobmeier.


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