Factory Ducati MotoGP racers Andrea Dovizioso
and Nicky Hayden
will be hoping that the braking characteristics of the Desmosedici can play into their hands during this weekend's French Grand Prix.
Following the Spanish MotoGP, both riders tested the development 'lab' version of the Desmosedici at the Jerez test, then put in more laps on their present machines during a private outing at Mugello.
It will be the standard machines that both continue to use this weekend at Le Mans - a stop-go circuit where former Ducati rider Valentino Rossi
finished on the rostrum for the past two seasons.
Those results, plus Dovizioso's own Le Mans form - twice a podium finisher for Honda - mean he is confident of their chances. Dovizioso and Hayden have taken a best result of seventh so far this year.
“The conditions at Le Mans are always tricky, in part because it's typically raining!” said Dovizioso. “Still, I think it's a good track for Ducati, and it's a really good track for me.
“That being the case, we should go there with confidence and see if we can understand a little bit about where we can improve, although for the moment, we still shouldn't think too much about the result.”
While Hayden is no fan of the Le Mans layout, he is also hopeful of a respectable performance, particularly if his still-recovering right wrist is in better condition than in Spain.
“Honestly, I've struggled at Le Mans, but one of the keys to the track is hard braking, which is a strong point of the Desmosedici,” confirmed Hayden. “My wrist has improved since Jerez, and although it's still not perfect, I expect to have less pain in France. Hopefully we can have some fun and do a good race.”
2006 world champion Hayden is yet to claim a podium finish at Le Mans.