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Gearbox issues hamper Dovizioso’s final day

Andrea Dovizioso is sidelined for much of the final day of testing at Sepang as the new '16 model Ducati encounters repeated teething issues.
Andrea Dovizioso found his efforts to post a competitive time continually thwarted on the final day of testing at Sepang as Ducati's new 2016 machine encountered a series of teething problems.

The Italian, who had spent the majority of Tuesday adapting his late-braking style to Michelin's new tyre profiles, was unable to post a succession of times as gearbox issues repeatedly limited he and team-mate Andrea Iannone to pit lane.

A best lap of 2m 1.675s left him 15th on the combined timesheets, six places lower than Ducati's new test rider Casey Stoner, who devoted his attentions to advancing Dovizioso's machine from a year ago, the GP15.

Still, the 2004 125cc world champion was “really confident” with his best time on Wednesday, a time which came naturally without a great deal of effort, and insisted the mechanical issues his engineers faced were neither “big” nor “dangerous”.

“This afternoon, when it started to rain, my feeling was much better,” said the 29-year old. “I was able to do a 2m 1.6 easy because I didn't push. I was really confident about that. We tried to set up but after another a small problem came up and I had to stop until the end. So we exit the last five minutes but again we had a problem.

“We are not worried about the problems we have because they are not big or dangerous. But it didn't give us the possibility to work. That is the tech point of these three days.

“Everything that happened is important for the next test so we can't be happy to go home with this speed. Especially Lorenzo, he's in another world. But we understood a lot. Sure we are not so fast, we're not in the front but it's always important to do the test also like this.”

As a consequence of the gearbox issues, that forced him into the Ducati garage on three occasions on Wednesday alone, Dovizioso was unable to gain the necessary experience of Michelin's rubber over race distance.

The Italian continued that he is still attempting to understand which lines are needed to extract the best from the rubber's characteristics. Early impressions also suggested that degradation of the rear tyre occurs quickly too.

“If we speak about the tyre they are still a big question mark for everybody. I mean we tested a lot with Bridgestone and we knew exactly when we had to put the tyre and exactly the tyre life.

“In this moment everybody is still trying to understand the potential of the tyre, also the driveability. I don't know about that. It looks like the drop of the rear tyre is quite high.

“But just the race can show us the reality, especially when you are doing a lot of laps together, it is different. Today was very unlucky, more than yesterday, because we had a lot of small problems. But we were in the box most of the time fixing the problem. It didn't give me the possibility to test.”

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February 06, 2016 11:38 AM

Codger: Whoo......what a relief to find that Dovi had good reasons not to be fast. Feel for the other Andrea too. Ducati had reliability issues last season too...What is going on
Casey didn't seem to have any 'reliability issues' setting that time on a bike both Andreas had been using last season..
Casey was on the 2015 machine, unlike Dovi.

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