Valentino Rossi has confirmed he will ride the updated Ducati GP11.1 for the rest of the weekend after testing it on Friday morning at Aragon. The bike featured a new aluminium front frame as opposed to the previous carbon fibre version and feels the best option long term is continue along that path.
Rossi ended the day in eighth after second practice was cancelled due to a power failure, an incident that was a first for the experienced Italian.
“I don't think it's ever happened before that we couldn't do a session because the electricity was out! Joking aside, it's really a shame. For us it was important to test normally instead of just having a long session tomorrow, because you still lose a quarter of an hour in total, and the type of work that you can do is different, more limited. Anyway, we'll continue with the bike with the updated front frame because the feeling is the same as when I tried it the first time, so it's worthwhile to continue down this path. We don't know this track as well as Mugello, and that means we have extra setup work to do, although it's nothing too major. We must also find more rear grip because it was sliding a lot today.”
Meanwhile teammate Nicky Hayden will continue with the same spec of bike he has run in the last two races and it certainly didn't slow him down today, clocking the seventh fastest time.
The American was pleased with the performance of the bike over a longer distance which he feels will stand him in good stead for the race on Sunday.
“We had a little problem at the start of this morning's session, and I had to come directly back to the garage and lost a bit of time. I started well behind the others, but actually, compared to the last few races, it wasn't bad once we got going. I think I was the only guy who used the same rear tyre the whole session, and I was able to click off three 51s there at the end. I was looking forward to riding this afternoon, but unfortunately it was cancelled. I hope they get it sorted out overnight, as it wasn't good for anybody, but there's no need to dwell on it. Hopefully we can keep it rolling tomorrow, because it's a nice track. It's definitely a little bit bumpier than last year, and not really grippy, but I like the layout.”