Ducati MotoGP riders Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone do not expect their new race fuel reduction to make a difference.
The factory's double Qatar podium, which also saw Dovizioso finish 0.174s from Valentino Rossi and victory, meant Ducati exceeded the number of dry podiums allowed before its four-litre advantage is cut by two litres.
But Ducati insists it has not been using more than its new limit of 22 litres anyway, Dovizioso confirming in Texas on Thursday: “Two litres [less] doesn't change anything for us.”
Iannone agreed: “I think it does not change the Ducati condition, because I talk with the engineers and they told us 'don't worry for this'.”
Ducati still has two litres more fuel than the factory Honda and Yamaha riders, plus all of the other Open class concessions awarded to manufacturers without a 2013 race win (Ducati, Suzuki and Aprilia).
Whilst acknowledging they have an advantage, Dovizioso doesn't think the 20-litre limit applied to Honda and Yamaha is forcing them to reduce engine power by much.
“I believe they [Honda and Yamaha] have reduced the power by almost zero. I can't know for sure because you have to be inside the electronics.
“They have worked a lot to understand how to save the fuel and I believe that now with a few years of experience [at 20 litres] they don't reduce the power really a lot. So it doesn't make a big difference.
“For example we have more power, but in the first part of acceleration the Yamaha was better than us. We couldn't accelerate like them. Yamaha are really special in the traction area when they pick up the bike. They can use more power than us and also I think more power than Honda.
"Sure [having more fuel] is an advantage, but I don't think it is a big advantage.”
The extra fuel, combined with more engine changes relative to the Honda and Yamaha, means the impressive new Ducati GP15 is the bike to beat in terms of top speed. That could be a major advantage this weekend at COTA, which boasts the longest [1.2km] straight on the MotoGP calendar.
“I don't know if our top speed is better [than last year], but sure our speed is more than our competitors and this is really important. Especially at this track,” said Dovizioso.
Dovizioso took his first Ducati podium with third in last year's Texas race and - with his confidence on a high after the stunning Qatar performance - is hoping that the forecast rain stays away this weekend.
“The confirmation in the [Qatar] race was very important for us and after this result your feeling and your confidence becomes more and more," said Dovizioso. "We knew before the bike was fast, but you have to do it in the race.
"Compared to last year for sure the exit of the corner is more controllable and better and, after doing a race, we also know the small details that we need to improve.
“I'm really optimistic and I hope we can have good weather because I really look forward to a dry race at this track.”