Andrea Dovizioso was delighted with the performance of his updated Ducati after finishing fourth on the opening day of testing at Sepang. With the 2015 model, the GP15, scheduled to break cover at the second Malaysian test on February 23, Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone are running an interim machine badged the GP14.3, gathering data that will benefit them when the new machine is introduced.
Dovizioso was a mere three tenths off the outright fastest time on Wednesday and took encouragement from the competitiveness of the 2014 Desmosedici.
“I’m really happy about today because the track was luckily in a good condition and we were able to start in the right way to test what we wanted. We tried some set-ups for the chassis and the electronics, and from the beginning my feeling was very good today. I like Sepang a lot: I always manage to go well here and our speed is really good compared to that of our rivals. I am still using last year’s bike, with several important updates, but I’m really curious to try the new bike at the end of the month. The GP15 will be quite different from this one, but all the work we are doing is useful feedback for the new bike, and so the work in these three days is very important.”
Iannone didn’t quite hit the same heights as his compatriot, finishing seventh quickest, but expects to see plenty of progress as the test unfolds.
“These tests are for sure very important for our future, and here we have brought the Desmosedici GP14.3 evolution, which has been updated with several new parts and this allows us to adjust the chassis more. I am happy because finally I’m back on the bike again after last year’s test, I can shake the rust off, and it’s always a big emotion every time I get back on my Ducati. Today was a positive day because we managed to try some things that will also be useful in the future. Everyone lapped really fast on the first day: we only used our hard tyre and I am quite happy with my time. For sure there is room for improvement, but it wasn’t bad for the first day.”