Ducati riders Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso confirmed that the team are a long way behind the factory teams from Honda and Yamaha after a disappointing showing in Malaysia this week. The quickest GP13 was a full two seconds slower than pacesetter Dani Pedrosa and Hayden admits that serious development is required to close the gap.
“We obviously can’t be happy when our times are that far off of the top guys, but we knew it was going to be tough. Sepang has never been a particularly good track for Ducati: we raced here in October, and the bike hasn’t changed much since then. We found a couple little things over the course of the test, which allowed us to improve our consistency on day three, but I think we need something big. Anyway, it was nice to be back on the bike and working with the guys. The team has worked extremely hard, and we just have to stay motivated and keep giving them the right information so that we can hopefully start making some real progress soon.”
Dovizioso agreed that “something big” is required to take Ducati back to the front of the grid but is ready to work with his new team to make inroads.
“Yes, it was a difficult test but we didn’t expect it to be any different. We’re here to improve the situation and everybody knows the level we are now so we have to improve. We tested as much stuff as we could, because we’re focused on improving the bike. The gap to the others is big, and we pushed a lot to understand the bike. I gave a lot of feedback, maybe too much! We don’t know how the next test in Sepang will be. There’s too short a time between now and then, so it’s difficult to do something big in this time. We still have to decide which parts we can bring to the second test. Unfortunately, we need time to try something big.”