When both Ducati GP15s stopped on the slow down lap in Texas, their first race since a two-litre fuel reduction, it threw doubt on the Factory's claims that the lower 22-litre limit would make no difference.
But speaking on the eve of this weekend's round in Argentina, Austin runner-up Andrea Dovizioso declared:
“No, the reality is we didn't run out of fuel. We had something [wrong] on the tank. We had a different problem. But it is something we don't want to speak about!”
Ducati lost half of its extra four litres of fuel after accumulating three dry podiums since the start of 2014, but still has a two-litre advantage over the Factory class Honda and Yamaha riders.
Satellite Pramac Ducati riders are also subject to the new fuel limit. Danilo Petrucci did not appear to have any consumption issues on his GP14.1, stopping to give Dovizioso's team-mate Andrea Iannone a lift back to the pits, while Yonny Hernandez crashed out.
Dovizioso is just one-point away from world championship leader Valentino Rossi heading into this weekend's event, with second place finishes in the opening grands prix. Iannone is fourth in the standings with one podium, underlining the seismic step forward made by Gigi Dall'Igna's all-new design.
Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the machine, Dovizioso explained:
“My lines are different [from last year] because the bike starts to turn, so I'm able to do the line I want. The positive from Ducati is the turning has become very good so I'm able to make the entry of the corner very quick and in the straights the bike has a lot of horsepower. That has made the difference for the lap time.
“We miss a little bit of traction, I believe. Especially compared with Yamaha, not compared to Honda. That is not so easy to find and it is not easy for riding because we lose a little bit of speed in the first part of acceleration.
"But now we speak of really small things. Small things which become big at this level when you are fighting for victory or the podium - but which are very small compared to last year.”
This year's results have been especially rewarding for Dovizioso, whose arrival at Ducati coincided with a podium-less 2013, then the first signs of recovery last season.
“After you've had the hard moments, especially the first year in Ducati, now we have a lot of energy to fight. When the base of the bike is good everything changes. Everything is different and the consequence is the results we made in the first two races.”