Francesco Bagnaia: Less grip, more vibrations?

Ducati's chatter problems prove elusive at the Jerez test, adding weight to the theory that “the less grip we have, the more vibration we have.”

Francesco Bagnaia, MotoGP, Spanish MotoGP, 26 April
Francesco Bagnaia, MotoGP, Spanish MotoGP, 26 April

One of Ducati’s top priorities for the Jerez MotoGP test was to work on the chatter/vibration issue that has troubled many of the Desmosedici riders at some stage over the opening four rounds.

The only problem was that Jerez produced the least chatter of any event so far for the Ducatis, helping Desmosedici riders fill the top five places in the grand prix.

The vibrations, believed to originate from the grip character of the rear tyre, duly remained absent from the Ducatis during the (high grip) Monday test.

That at least added weight to race winner and reigning world champion Francesco Bagnaia’s theory that “the less grip we have, the more vibration we have.”

Interestingly, the KTMs seem to feel the opposite is the case for the RC16, Jack Miller saying as he left the test: "We still need to tackle the vibration issue when the track has a lot of grip."

But assuming it's low grip for Ducati, Bagnaia highlighted the Catalunya round - which follows this weekend’s French GP - as potentially troublesome and dedicated time at the test to working on a set-up for such conditions.

“On Friday we changed many things just to improve the situation of the vibration and [during the race] weekend we didn't have any. So maybe we solved this little problem. But we want to wait. I think Barcelona is a track where we can have some issues with vibration," said the Italian.

Bagnaia, who set the fourth fastest time at the test, added: 

“We were focusing on a different setting that could maybe help us in a track with less grip. So we used all the last runs on old tyres to test these kinds of settings for a track like Barcelona.

“It was very difficult to test something [new] because the level of grip was quite impressive. It was very easy to run in 1'36. So, incredible feeling, but also not so useful.”

Bagnaia’s second Grand Prix victory of the season has propelled him back up to second in the world championship, 17 points behind Pramac’s Jorge Martin.

He insisted it hadn’t been hard to test after the high of a thrilling victory over Marc Marquez the day before.

I'm quite good at turning the page of the book,” he said. “So [Sunday] was a fantastic day, we enjoyed a lot, it was great. We had a nice dinner altogether with the team in the evening, and then it was another day.

“I'm very focused on improving my feeling with this bike and [at the test] we did another step in front.”

Free practice at Le Mans, where four different Ducati riders have won for the past four seasons, but not Bagnaia, starts on Friday morning.

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