Ducati's German MotoGP weekend began with Andrea Dovizioso launching the latest chassis (pictured) and finished with the Italian and team-mate Nicky Hayden 30 seconds from victory, in seventh and ninth.
Between them was the top privateer CRT bike of Aleix Espargaro, who Dovizioso held off by less than 0.3s at the line.
Dovizioso, who had to return to the standard version of the Desmosedici after damaging the only new frame on Friday morning, said that he was pleased to have run in the low 1m 23s, but admitted:
“Obviously, we can't be pleased with this result, as we were 30 seconds back, but it's just further confirmation of our current gap.
“We couldn't expect anything else today. We're working a lot, but again, the bike is similar to the one we started the year with, so it couldn't be otherwise. I'm not looking for excuses; it's just the reality at this moment.
“To all the Ducati fans, I say be patient. We're working as hard as we can to improve our competitiveness, but it's not a situation that you can solve race by race or with simple changes to setup.”
After falling in the morning warm-up, Hayden had to switch to his second bike, and never had the grip that he needed.
“I was having a good morning warm-up until I had a crash right at the end," said the American, yet to sign for 2014. “Even though it was a small one, it damaged the frame, so it was best to switch to the other GP13 for the race. I hadn't ridden that bike much, and I didn't have the same feeling as with the other one, especially in terms of grip.
“In the beginning, every time I pushed, the rear would come around on me. It was a long, lonely race. We need to understand what happened, because we had a much better pace than that all weekend, especially with old tyres. It's a shame because as usual, the guys really gave me their all, and they deserve better than that.”
Ducati Corse General Manager Bernhard Gobmeier added: “We have a big job in front of us, and we're working hard on new solutions, but they need time to be tested and produced before they're brought to the racetrack.”
The US MotoGP at Laguna Seca takes place this weekend.