Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden brought a positive weekend to a close with a productive test session at Brno on Monday. The Ducati pair finished sixth and seventh in the Czech Grand Prix, with Rossi less than five seconds away from finishing on the podium, and followed that up by completing 152 laps between them.
Rossi concentrated solely on the GP11.1 machine and experimented with different set-ups without the time constraints of a normal grand prix weekend. Despite ending the day in tenth place, the Italian felt the test had been a success.
“It was a very busy day, not only because we did almost 75 laps, but also because we tried many changes in every outing. It's not easy riding like that, as it requires a lot of concentration. We had some electronic updates that we still have to perfect, but we'll return to those soon. Apart from that, we were thinking more toward the future, mainly trying different geometries, weight distributions, and settings that were a little strange, everything to remove any doubts and to understand some things about the GP11.1. I'd say it was a successful test, even if we sacrificed some performance since we had other objectives. We also tried some new tyres from Bridgestone, and the first impression was good.”
Hayden ran both specifications of bike available, running both the GP11 and GP11.1 early in the day before focusing on the 2012 prototype. The American was fifth quickest overall and praised the team for their hard work through the four days of running.
“Everything went pretty well today. We didn't break any track records or anything, but luckily the rain held off. I did one run this morning with the GP11 just to start from zero and then went straight in on the GP11.1. Like at Laguna, I was immediately just as fast, but steadily through the day, I was quicker and quicker. Once again, the team worked like dogs, between working on my race bikes and preparing for the test. I enjoyed riding the bike, and it's always nice to see progress and have a good feeling, I plan to ride it at Indy. My sister's getting married this weekend, so we've got a pretty special two weeks coming up between that and my home GP.”
Technical Director Filippo Preziosi was encouraged by the information the team gathered from the test and is looking forward to improving the bike further before next year's switch to 1000cc regulations.
“With Valentino, we decided to use this test day with the 800 in order to try very extreme setup solutions, with the goal of giving the engineers guidance for the next-generation bikes. Therefore, we brought parts that allowed us to make much bigger adjustments than is normally possible. Practically, these are tests that help us to understand what happens when you move the centre of gravity significantly or increase stiffness by an extreme amount, and so on. The mid-term goal is to build the base knowhow for the bike of the future. As for Nicky, after an initial run with the GP11, he preferred to work only with the GP11.1 to gather experience with its characteristics and work on a base setup.”