Jorge Lorenzo plans to work on set-up for the new Ducati fairing after a promising debut during Friday practice at the Czech Republic MotoGP.

While not quite as radical as the previous 'hammerhead', dropped after winter testing due to top speed and cornering issues, the latest design is still the most extreme of the new generation of downforce fairings.

Successfully trialled at a private Misano test by Danilo Petrucci and Michele Pirro, the fairing was only used by Lorenzo for its public debut in Brno on Friday. It features large flat-sided ducts on either side of the fairing to produce some of the downforce lost by the ban on external winglets.

"It has been an interesting day. We tried the all-new [Hammerhead] fairing in Qatar and was more negative than positive so that's why we decided to put it away. Instead this one, I feel, just in five laps, that we have a better potential with this new fairing - at least for me - than we have with the standard.

"Tomorrow I would like to make more kilometres, to try to understand which setting will be the right one, because we didn't change the setting and for sure this new fairing asks for some modifications to try to gain especially more rear grip, because you have more front grip.

"If the weather helps us tomorrow, that's our main goal, try to have more kilometres, try to understand which is the right setting for this fairing and which is the right riding style to get the best performance."

After a wet morning session, Lorenzo used the drying FP2 to record one run on the normal fairing and then the five-lap debut on the new design. The Spaniard finished the session 15th, without using a new tyre and having set his best lap during that second run.  

Lorenzo admitted it was hard to judge because of the improving conditions, but "probably the fairing gave us some more tenths of speed".

"I think it's difficult to arrive at the level of the wings, but we are much closer than with the other [hammerhead] fairing," said the triple MotoGP champion. "The feeling is more-or-less what I expected, even if you feel much more the wind in the shoulders and the hands. We need to try to work on that also. But in general it's positive. Let's say 80% positive, 20% negative.

"In terms of agility in change of direction, it doesn't change so much, or not as much as expected. So this is a positive thing."

Team-mate and title contender Andrea Dovizioso was fastest on Friday, when he had a new swingarm to try. The Italian said he is unsure if he will try the new fairing this weekend - much will depend on an analysis of the data from Lorenzo's run.

“About the fairing, still I don’t know [if I will use it on Saturday] because we have to analyse the data from today, from Jorge, and take a decision for tomorrow. But I don’t know if we will use this weekend or the next weekend."

So why the wait? Interestingly, since fairings are homologated by rider and Dovi is in the title fight, Ducati could decide to use Lorenzo (and Petrucci) to gather more data on the design and - if needed - potentially come up with an upgraded spec for Dovizioso. Since each rider (barring KTM) is allowed one upgrade per season, once Dovi goes on track with a new fairing the exterior design cannot be changed, although the interior can be modified.

Looking beyond the aerodynamics, Lorenzo stated: "We still need to work on the engine, in my opinion, for the future to make it a bit more smooth. It's not an easy combination because power is one of the strongest points of the engine, but I think the team is working also in that aspect.

"But probably it will take a little bit longer than the aerodynamic area."



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