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San Marino MotoGP: Testing unlikely to be a major advantage for Ducati

"We tested two months ago, but for sure we can start with a good base for set-up" – Andrea Dovizioso.
By Stephen English

Ducati may have tested extensively at Misano throughout the season, but Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso do not expect it to offer the team a guarantee of a more competitive showing in this weekend's San Marino MotoGP.

Both riders feel that it will give them some benefit on Friday, allowing them to find a set-up sooner in the initial practice sessions, but that the issues that have hindered the team so far in 2013 will persist this weekend.

"I would like to think it will be an advantage especially in the early sessions," commented Hayden. "It's not going to fix our problems which are still there but hopefully we know a few things to get around them."

Hayden went to say that last season the team saw a clear benefit from the tests with Valentino Rossi finishing on the rostrum and enjoying his strongest weekend for Ducati.

"Last year it played into his hands but unfortunately I was hurt so couldn't take part in the test and wasn't able to take advantage of it in the race. But it's not magic, Yamaha tested at Brno and it wasn't that different for them so there's still work to be done."

Of course it is worth nothing that cold and damp conditions affected practice in last year's grand prix, so being able to use the experience of a pre-race test put Ducati at a distinct advantage.

Hayden's team-mate, Andrea Dovizioso, outlined how he expects the tests to play into Ducati's hands during tomorrow's running.

"We tested two months ago, but for sure we can start with a good base for set-up," said the Italian. "It was a bit hotter in the test but things like traction control we don't have to spend time on that. It can help to be competitive from the beginning.

"It will be a difficult weekend but the feeling at the test was quite good. The feeling in the test was good and the track layout here is better than the last few rounds but the bike is the same so when they start to push really hard in qualifying they can drop their lap times and then we'll see if we can follow them."

With the Ducati factory less than 50 miles from Misano there is always huge pressure placed on its riders at this race, but Dovizioso dismissed any idea that he was under any more pressure than normal this weekend.

"Being part of Ducati is something really important and I like that but in normal conditions we don't fight for the podium so I don't feel a lot of pressure."

Tagged as: Andrea Dovizioso , hayden

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