2015 will be Yonny Hernandez's second full MotoGP season with the Pramac Ducati team.
After a debut year at Avintia, the Colombian spent most of 2013 at PBM before switching to Pramac in place of the injured Ben Spies.
A full 2014 campaign saw Hernandez perform admirably as the only rider on the year-old GP13, culminating in a career-best seventh in Malaysia.
“We welcomed Yonny by offering him all our wealth of experience, trying to put him in a position to grow immediately. And day after day Yonny showed steady growth highlighting how wide is his margin [for improvement],” said Hernandez's crew chief Giacomo Guidotti.
Hernandez not only had his contract renewed for this year, but was signed directly to Ducati and handed the GP14.2. That is the bike Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone finished last season on and means Hernandez will be third best in terms of specification out of the six Desmosedicis on the grid.
Hernandez got his first taste of the GP14.2 during November's post-race test at Valencia, but it was little more than an introduction.
"Conditions were a bit particular. The weather didn't help us. Anyway, the move to 14.2 was positive but we have not had time to explore it in depth,” Guidotti said. “The little time that we had available was used mainly for making contact in terms of ergonomics more than performance.”
The next track outing for Hernandez and Pramac will be alongside their rivals at the opening test of the year in Sepang, from February 4-7.
"The primary goal will be to build a tight relationship between the bike and rider as quickly as possible in order to optimise performances,” Guidotti explained. “Development must be absorbed quickly by Yonny also because the bike is undoubtedly better than the one with which he concluded last season.
“We will start with the settings from Valencia. Then we will work on the software to study the technical innovations Ducati will provide. Only in Sepang 2 will we look at the lap times.”
As a former Supermoto rider, Hernandez has always been especially strong in wet or low grip conditions. But why?
"This is a chapter to be analysed in depth,” said Guidotti. “It is true that in the rain he is one of the fastest. Maybe it depends on great sensitivity in riding the bike, perhaps his riding style gets more benefits in terms of low grip. But the numbers show that he never got what he could get. In the wet Yonny is fast but he must capitalise on this.”
Hernandez, who finished 15th in last year's world championship, will be joined by Danilo Petrucci in this year's Pramac line-up. Petrucci will race a GP14.1