Fresh from last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix and Monday's post-race Jerez test, factory Ducati MotoGP riders Andrea Dovizioso
and Nicky Hayden
were back on track Wednesday and Thursday during a private test at Mugello.
The pair had used Monday's Jerez test to evaluate the latest Ducati developments on the Desmosedici 'lab' bike, but returned to their present GP13s for Mugello, one of the team's selected test tracks.
The main aim was to find a base set-up ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, Ducati's home event, which will be held at the circuit from 31 May - 2 June.
During perfect weather conditions, Dovizioso rode for 42 laps on Wednesday and 54 on Thursday, with Hayden turning 29 and 60, respectively. Both rode with hard and soft versions of the Bridgestone tyres that will be used at the GP.
Although no lap times were released by Ducati, Dovizioso said: “The lap times weren't bad, but we must improve our pace, although it's difficult to talk about times since we don't really have any references. However, I will say that I think this track is better suited to the Ducati's characteristics.”
Hayden had feared that an aggravated wrist injury might ruin his testing plans, but was pleased with the work completed.
"I wasn't sure of my physical condition, but my wrist was actually a bit better than at Jerez,” he said. “We didn't do a lot of laps, but for the first time in a long time, we had great weather here at Mugello. We were able to do some things with the chassis and geometry that we had wanted to try at the first three races, along with a couple of things with the electronics.
“We'll know how our pace compares when we're here with the other teams in a few weeks. A big thanks to the team, as it's not easy for them to do a big GP weekend, plus a post-race test, and then pack up and do another day and a half of testing in a different country.
“Hopefully it will help us to make the home fans proud when we come back here for the race."
Dovizioso and Hayden were joined at Mugello by the Ducati Test Team, with Michele Pirro testing in preparation for next week's French Grand Prix, where he'll compete as a substitute rider for Pramac's Ben Spies.
Fellow development rider Franco Battaini continued work with the laboratory version of the GP13.