Andrea Dovizioso said he was “very happy” with the progress made by the Ducati team at the second Sepang test after finishing the week just over a second off the pace. The Italian was the leading rider for the Bologna squad with a 2:01.650s lap and says he now feels more confident on corner entry with the GP13.

“I’m quite happy with the work we’ve done here. Yesterday we tried some rather radical changes to the setup and were able to understand something about the way for the future, while also improving my feeling. I’m now able to brake harder and enter corners faster, although we’re still not quick enough in the middle of the corner. My lap time is isn’t bad for the conditions we had today. Pirro’s ‘laboratory’ bike had some positive points, but I couldn’t improve my lap time with it because the positioning and the power delivery were different than on my bike. Anyway, we needed to understand better whether that bike is good or not, and it was positive, as it helps me with the final part of braking and the first part of corner entry. I’m very happy with how we worked at this test, with how much we were able to improve from the last test, and with how much feedback we were able to give the engineers. It will be interesting to go to Jerez for the last test and to Qatar for the first race because they’re all three completely different tracks, so we’ll be able understand more.”

Teammate Nicky Hayden also saw reasons to feel more optimistic than earlier in the month and has challenged Ducati to continue the good work.

“I was faster yesterday, but that was partly because my feeling today wasn’t quite as good due to some things we were trying on the bike. Overall though, I leave here more positive than after the first test. We’ve seen some progress in terms of both the time and the consistency, and I had a better feeling with the bike and was able to improve a little more as the days went on. We closed the gap a bit, and I had a much better feeling in the rain. The turning is still the main area where we need to improve, but although we knew the beginning of the season was going to be tough, we have to stay focused and keep the course.”