The Ducati team of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden took to the track 24 hours after the Portuguese Grand Prix for the MotoGP test. The pairing used the session to test new updates made to the frame of their Desmosedici GP11 machine and both riders reported that these changes were a step in the right direction.
“It was a positive test because the new updates were immediately better.” said Rossi, who finished 5th on the timesheets. “The bike was more sensitive to changes made to the front, which makes it easier to work on a setup that works better for me. I realized that as soon as I got on the bike and then, over the course of the following hours, we constantly progressed.”
He continued, “We also had an engine with a slightly smoother power delivery that I liked a lot. We'll start using it when the rotation plan allows it. I liked the tyres that Bridgestone had us try, they seemed very good. Of course the other riders also made great progress, and the less positive about today is the gap to the front on my best lap. Anyway, everything that the Ducati technicians brought worked, and that means that we're on the right path. We have to continue working, but today's test gives us confidence.”
Nicky Hayden finished 9th on the timesheet, and said after the session, “We were lucky to get a really good day with the weather. We improved, because I consistently went a lot faster than in qualifying, but it looked like everybody else improved too. I did my best time on the 2012 tyres, so Bridgestone made a nice step there. I got on the updated chassis after lunch, and it had a better feel over some of the bumps, and still good stability under braking. The updated engine made the bike a little smoother, and I liked it overall.”