On the back of a very promising preseason for Ducati and its riders, Crash.net spoke to the Bologna factory's team coordinator Davide Tardozzi on the third day of the Qatar test about realistic aims for the year ahead, Ducati's use of aerodynamics in the class and the rider market for 2017.

Crash.net:
Do you feel that Ducati and all its riders are well-prepared to start the year?

Davide Tardozzi:
Absolutely, yes. I think that they are in a very good mental mode, physically perfect. We just need to supply them the bike to perform as they can.

Crash.net:
Are you happy with where you are with the 2016 bike after the tests in Sepang and Philip Island?

Davide Tardozzi:
Yes, I think that we did a very good job in Sepang and Philip Island where we were testing a lot of parts whereas here we are consolidating things. We decide which parts are the good ones, which ones are poor. Which part the riders prefer. And now we present the bike and now the four Desmosedicis are exactly the same. Finally both riders came to the same conclusion, and the bike is exactly the same bike for both. Only the settings are different, for the riding style.

Crash.net:
There were some reports that the factory riders were testing some aspects or an evolution of the 2015 frame with the new engine. Is it fair to say they are solely focusing on the '16 frame now?

Davide Tardozzi:
No. That's a misunderstanding that I don't know how it came up. We never test the GP15 frame with '16 engine because the '16 engine is different from the '15 and it doesn't fit on the '15 bike. So we always have '16 parts, but different parts. It means that even the frame had something different that we tested and the rider decide which one is the better one and they took it. But all the confusion came because we have internal numbers that became known to somebody that used it not in the proper way. But we always tested the new parts. Again, the '16 engine is completely different. It doesn't fit on the '15 [bike].

Crash.net:
Both your factory riders have quite a different riding style, but was their feedback mostly similar when they have been assessing the new bike?

Davide Tardozzi:
The feedback was quite similar. Dovi tested the new parts first, but in Philip Island he already took his decision after two days of test. Iannone tested only the third day and he asked to have it reconfirmed here, and he did it yesterday [Thursday]. Finally the decision is exactly like the one of Dovi.

Crash.net:
In Sepang Dovizioso said that he needed to try and understand the tyres more because he wasn't extracting the maximum from them. On the second day at Philip Island he said that he made a really big step. Was that mostly because of his added understanding or was that more to developments with the bike?

Davide Tardozzi:
I think that this year the most important thing for the rider is to suit very well the familiar feeling of the Michelin. I think that the one that will raise the hundred percent of the confidence with the tyres is the one that will add something more on the other, because in this moment many riders are scared to push to the limit. But it's a matter of confidence. Michelin has a different familiar feeling. So you have to change something more or less, depending on the riding style, but that's something that is for everybody. So I guess that you need only to forget Bridgestone and start to ride Michelin. This will happen soon.

As I said last year, in September or October, to Nicolas Goubert and Piero Taramasso at Michelin, I said, you are not to be worried and scared about riders that crash or say that the tyres are dangerous. Tyres need to be interpreted. They need to have feeling. Whenever they will have feeling, they forget the other, they will be faster. They will like them more than Bridgestone and we will have no more complaints.

Crash.net:
It appears that Ducati is currently most comfortable with the new 2016 electronics. Is this down to your approach, where you have been using all eight riders to test different things, as well as the experience with the software?

Davide Tardozzi:
I think that first of all we have good engineers. Second, I guess that our experience since a long time with Magneti Marelli help it. But having started to test things last year with the satellite team, it helps. I start saying we have good engineers. I say again, we have good engineers.

Crash.net:
With the '16 Desmosedici GP, which areas do you still feel can be improved?

Davide Tardozzi:
Maybe on the brakes, like Dovi is saying sometimes. Sometimes our bike doesn't stop as some other bikes are doing. Or our riders tell us that sometimes they feel not perfectly comfortable on the brakes to try to overtake the other riders. But honestly everything can be better. We are investigating improvements in every area, always. But if I had to point it out to something it is that area.

Crash.net:
The winglets that you are using here are slightly different to what you were using before in Phillip Island. Is this something that we're likely to see, the aerodynamics change slightly from track to track?

Davide Tardozzi:
Yes. I think that our aerodynamic engineer is a very clever one. He's doing a very good job with and in the wind tunnel. He always suggests what is better track-to-track. So we follow his idea and we guess that if all the other top factories are starting to do something like this it means that we have been the pioneers, but not stupid.

Crash.net:
Looking at this week's times, Scott has been very fast again. Are you expecting to see some of the satellite bikes almost at the same level with the factory guys?

Davide Tardozzi:
It's absolutely welcome. We love to have our satellite team fighting with us. We are considering our riders top riders, but if somebody of the other satellite Ducati team is fighting with us, for us it is a big pleasure because we are really bringing them up. We think that whoever was without a factory and take a Ducati and raise the ranking it is something that makes us happy. Like Scott.

Crash.net:
What are the aims for this year? I imagine it must be to win races.

Davide Tardozzi:
For sure we would like to win races. We would like to be competitive for the podium every race. That means that we don't want to be on the podium every race; we need to be competitive for the podium every race, and sometimes win some races. This is the aim. While I hope that the young rider we have on the satellite team, mainly in Pramac, that is the one that is more close to us, race more than what they show until now.

Crash.net:
We are in quite a unique situation at the moment as all the factory riders' contracts expire at the end of this year. Is it fair to say that Ducati are exploring options of looking at certain riders from other factories?

Davide Tardozzi:
In this moment no, because we are concentrating on doing good things. We don't want to have any rumors around. We are happy about our riders. We think that our riders can be even better than before. But if in the future it will be someone of the other top... I mean, it's stupid to say we are not interested in Marquez, Lorenzo, whoever, because they are top riders. Again we are happy about our rider but we will see what the future will propose. We hope that our riders would like to stay with us, but I guess that everybody will speak with everybody. That's normal. It's stupid to be blind to this. It's obvious that it will be like this. But again, for sure we start to talk with nobody.

We are not talking too many rumours too early because some journalist has to write something. Not you but someone! We were pissed about the news that we made an offer to Lorenzo, because it's not true. I have to say that Lin Jarvis was very, very nice in calling us and resolving the situation. Lin Jarvis never says what somebody wrote. Lin was really fair. I was surprised because Lin Jarvis is a fair person, and he proved that he didn't say that. But I was sure because I know him and he's not this kind of guy.

Crash.net:
When do you hope to have your rider situation arranged or sorted for 2017?

Davide Tardozzi:
I think that as we said with our riders we would like to take some races to show what is the potential of the bike. For both us and them. We show them what we are able to do with the bike; they show us what they will do with our bike. Then we can start to talk.

Crash.net:
On Thursday Dorna announced that they were going to make some altercations to the penalty points system. For you is this a little bit of an overreaction to something that happened between just two - maybe three - riders last year?

Davide Tardozzi:
I guess, yes. You mentioned the right words. I think it is a bit overreaction. But they can and they do it. What we hope is that it never happens again.

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