16 March 2015
Ducati fired-up to race after leading final MotoGP test
“Dovizioso and Iannone constantly lapped in the leading positions, they were always able to set interesting times and this makes us optimistic for the future”
Fastest on the previous two nights, Ducati were denied the chance to put in a race simulation by Monday's rain at the Qatar MotoGP test.
But the new GP15, taking part in only its second test and running on the harder rear tyre throughout, had already done more than enough to satisfy Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone for the season ahead.
“We are very satisfied with the results obtained in the first two days of testing in Qatar, because we were always very quick both on new tyres and used ones,” Dovizioso said. “It's a pity that today we were unable to go out on track, because we had some important tests to do in view of the race and we wanted to gather some extra data, but the rain made it impossible.
“In any case we start the season very satisfied over the work done with the new GP15, which immediately went well here in Qatar. I really think that we can have our say in the race, and for sure things are a lot more positive than last year. I want to thank my team and all the guys in Ducati Corse because they have worked really hard and very well!”
Iannone had led Saturday night's action, with Dovizioso taking over the top spot on Sunday - when only Honda's world champion Marc Marquez able to get between the factory Ducati team-mates.
“I am happy with the way these two days of testing went, because they were undoubtedly very positive,” said Iannone, moving to the factory team after two seasons at Pramac. “We went really well and again managed to improve the feeling with the new GP15, even though I am very disappointed that we were unable to benefit from this final day of testing, which for us was important.
“We had scheduled a specific work programme in order to improve some small things and to do some more tests, but unfortunately the rain prevented everyone from going out on track. I am optimistic for the race weekend and can't wait to get back on track here in ten days' time.”
Ducati Corse general manager Gigi Dall'Igna had said that a final decision on if the GP15 would race at Qatar would be made after re-checking the performance and reliability in this weekend's final test. Any such doubts have surely been erased but the ever-cautious Italian insisted there is still much to learn about the new bike.
“It is a pity that we were unable to make the most out of today's final day, because we had scheduled an intense work programme with both of our riders, which also included an entire race simulation,” began Dall'Igna, who joined Ducati from Aprilia for the start of 2014 season.
“The Desmosedici GP15 is still a brand-new bike, and so this last day of track action would have been very useful for us. However we are happy with the results that we obtained during the first two days and the overall reliability of the project.
“Both Dovizioso and Iannone constantly lapped in the leading positions, they were always able to set interesting times and this makes us optimistic for the future, even though we know that we still have a lot more work to do”.
Dall'Igna has set a race victory, which would be Ducati's first since 2010, as his main goal for this season. Ducati claimed three podiums last year, beginning the championship with a fifth place for Dovizioso in Qatar.
Ducati - like Suzuki and Aprilia - is able to benefit from the Open class technical concessions. However by avoiding the soft rear tyre, Ducati's only performance advantage at Losail this weekend was the extra fuel.
Dovizioso tested some wiglets on the GP15 during Sunday, similar in size and location to those seen in 2010, but Dall'Igna played down their significance, stating it was just an experiment at this stage and unlikely to be raced.
Opening practice for the 2015 Qatar MotoGP takes place on March 26.
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