Valentino Rossi feels there is reason for optimism after the Ducati team tested out their new 1000cc machine at Valencia. Although there will be a number of developments before the GP12 lines up on the grid in Qatar next April, the Italian star already sees a step-forward from the ill-fated GP11.
Rossi still accepts the team have work to do in order to be as competitive as they want but expects to make further progress before testing resumes in the new year.
“These were two important days of testing because we needed to collect a lot of data for the next few months of work, which will be crucial. The positives of this bike are certainly the engine, which I like, and the fact that it handles a bit better than the previous one. It's definitely more fun, in part because you can get sideways more. The frame isn't bad, but it needs work. We have to improve the braking, because I need to brake harder and later, and we need to improve traction under acceleration. Filippo has many ideas, and now we have a little time to apply them before next year's tests.”
Technical Director Filippo Preziosi was also satisfied with the test session as a whole but also stressed that the 2012 project is still a 'work in progress' and indicated that the bike will undergo another facelift before the season starts.
“We were lucky to have sun and generally much better conditions than what we had over the race weekend, and this allowed us to take full advantage of both test days. Unfortunately, Nicky wasn't able to ride, but at least he'll have plenty of time to recover before the first test at Sepang next year. We asked Valentino, Franco (Battaini) and the other Ducati riders to carry out a series of comparisons between different solutions, as there are still chassis parameters that we have to define for the project we're working on. It has been really hard work, but we've collected a lot of information that we'll now use for the design that we'll be doing in the coming weeks.”