Ducati riders Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso have stressed there is still plenty of work to do before the team are back where they want to be despite showing promising pace at Jerez. The pair were seventh and eighth respectively at the end of the last test and while Hayden is happy to have closed the gap since testing began, he is mindful that plenty of hard work lies ahead.
“We started winter testing in Malaysia with a bigger gap than we had hoped, but since then I feel like we’ve worked well and recovered some of the gap, although part of that is down to this track being shorter. The test team is doing a good job with us, and I achieved my goal for this test, which was to be inside a second from the leader. Yesterday I didn’t feel like I was riding so well, but I went better this afternoon when it finally dried out. There wasn’t much time, but the team did a good job. My suspension guy had a few ideas, and they seemed promising; it’s a good sign that I was a second faster than yesterday on a patchy track. There’s still a lot of work to do, but everyone’s really motivated for Qatar.”
Dovizioso was pleasantly surprised to be so close to the leaders and is looking forward to being a contender in qualifying at Losail.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time today, so it wasn’t possible to learn anything regarding the race pace. Still, I didn’t expect to leave Jerez just eight tenths from the leader. I’m surprised and pleased at the same time, as this helps us to realize that we’re not so far from the others when we have a fresh tyre. The weather didn’t allow us to do a race simulation, so we’re not sure what to expect when the tyres are worn. These three days were important for me and for the development, even if we weren’t able to do a great lap time. We should be able to fight for a decent grid position in Qatar, and that’s important, but we’re not sure about the race.”