A more powerful Ducati engine was certainly welcome for the team's home Italian MotoGP round at Mugello, but it couldn't overcome the fundamental handling issues.

Pramac Ducati's Andrea Iannone used the new engine to set a new MotoGP top speed record of 217.2mph on Saturday morning, then qualified on the front row for the race.

However it was Factory rider and fellow Italian Andrea Dovizioso who was the top Desmosedici in the grand prix - overtaking Iannone for sixth on the final lap to cross the line 1.4s behind Tech 3 Yamaha's Pol Espargaro.

Related Articles

But Dovizioso was 17 seconds from Honda race winner Marc Marquez and, while the extra power was helpful along the quickest straight of the season, the main issue with the Desmosedici is yet to be addressed.

"The only change was on the [main] straight," said Dovizioso of the engine upgrade. "The corners and all the acceleration areas didn't change, because nobody is able to use full power in acceleration. Everybody has to cut some power because the bike spins or wheelies.

"The positive point we have on the straight was big, I could pass a lot and we were able to stay until the end with Espargaro maybe because of that.

"But it is not what we need now to make a big step. What we need is better turning and we know it is not possible to have some parts at this moment to change that situation. But we know and we have to work like this. There is no reason to complain any more about that because we know our situation."

Team-mate Cal Crutchlow fell early in the race.