The latest 'lab version of the Desmosedici GP13 does not provide the step forward Ducati MotoGP racers Andrea Dovizioso
and Nicky Hayden
During back-to-back tests between the standard and lab machine at Catalunya on Monday - to help decide which bike to use at Assen - Dovizioso found them both “very similar”, with Hayden “consistently faster” on the standard version.
“We made back-to-back tests, including some set-up changes with both bikes and new tyres,” explained Dovizioso, speaking in the Catalunya paddock.
“The difference between the bikes is really small. The new chassis is better on entry and the last part of braking. But when we are almost upright we have a little bit more movement, a little bit worse. But it is very similar, as we expected.
“Now we have to decide which bike to use at Assen. For me it is not a problem because it doesn't really make a big difference. Each bike has some positives, some negatives.
“Unfortunately [the lab bike] doesn't solve our problems. We knew that because we already tried the lab bike in testing at Jerez and Mugello. So we will go into Assen in the same situation as here. It is a different track and maybe the colder temperature will help, but the situation is this one.”
Hayden declared the standard bike to be stronger, as he had also found at the previous Mugello test.
“We were here with the lab bike, but unfortunately, I'm consistently faster with the standard version,” he confirmed. “We want to do a step and come closer to the front guys, but at the moment, I can't find it with the lab bike.”
Despite those comments, both Ducati riders finished Monday's test in the top four - Hayden second to Sunday's race winner Jorge Lorenzo
(Yamaha) and Dovizioso just half-a-second from the top.
But their best times were set during short, qualifying-style runs - a situation that suits the Desmosedici.
Dovizioso explained: “Our main problem is pumping [up and down movement at the rear of the bike] and turning the bike. But there are many problems. Some big, some small. If you put every problem together at the end of the lap it is minimum one second and lap-by-lap it becomes bigger because we have to use energy to try to manage the bike.