MotoGP pre-season testing came to a close with factory Ducati stars Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso sixth and eighth respectively on Friday's Qatar timesheets.
It certainly wasn't a repeat of the team's stunning one-three at the end of last year's Losail test, which preceded a double podium in the race, but the pair remain confident ahead of the March 20 season-opener.
“These have been three days of positive tests and I am satisfied. For sure the data we picked up will be analyzed carefully in the next few days and I am confident that during the race weekend we can improve our competitive level even more,” said Iannone, whose best lap was 0.725s behind Jorge Lorenzo but only 0.2s from second best Scott Redding (Pramac).
“Today we didn't do a time-attack and we didn't use a soft rear tyre to set our time, but I'm not worried about my position in the standings because we were doing a different job. Even though the long-run didn't go the way I expected, we have prepared well for the race and I am calm and confident about the start of the season.”
Dovizioso was only 0.165s behind his team-mate and also believes the single lap ranking is not an accurate reflection of their potential with the new 2016 Desmosedici.
“I am very pleased because we have made excellent progress in these nine days of pre-season testing. Today we also decided to test a softer front tyre in view of the race, and this created a few set-up problems, but in the end we managed to work well and improve my feeling with the bike in the final run.
“Overall these three days of testing in Qatar have been very productive and we have made big steps forward that make me feel very confident for the race weekend.”
Ducati had hoped to hold a private test at Qatar this weekend for Casey Stoner. However this has been cancelled due to a 'misunderstanding' over the timing of private tests relative to a race at the same circuit.
Andrea Iannone's race simulation:
1. 1m 57.016
2. 1m 56.284
3. 1m 56.081
4. 1m 56.209
5. 1m 56.048
6. 1m 56.463
7. 1m 56.065
8. 1m 56.381
9. 1m 55.917
10. 1m 56.016
11. 2m 03.041
12. 1m 56.439
13. 1m 57.985
14. 1m 56.497
15. 1m 56.905
16. 1m 56.399
17. 1m 56.931