Factory Ducati riders Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso are predicting a tough MotoGP event at Catalunya this weekend.
Dovizioso finished seventh for the team in Barcelona year, but was over 30 seconds from victory, and describes the bike as 'a little better' than last year.
“I hope to do well at Montmelò with my Desmosedici GP14: it's a very strange track, with lots of fast corners and one long straight,” said Dovizioso. “Last year was quite bad, with ninth on the grid and seventh in the race, but it is one of my favourite tracks. The bike is a little bit better than last year, and we have to try and get the maximum as always.”
Crutchlow is yet to get into his stride after an incident-packed start to his Ducati career, including an early fall last time at Mugello, where he had qualified a season-best sixth on the grid.
The Briton fears the long Catalunya corners will magnify the Desmosedici's understeer issues.
"After my unfortunate crash at Mugello, now we have to go to Barcelona and improve. I think it's going to be a tough circuit for us, because the long corners come back on themselves quite a lot, which could make things a bit more difficult," said Crutchlow.
"As always we will try and be competitive: we are definitely very strong in the braking area and also in the straight line and we go to Barcelona with a new attitude again."
Ducati test rider Michele Pirro will be making another wild-card appearance this weekend, with the trio then back on track for Monday's official post-race test. Pirro will continue testing on Tuesday and Wednesday.