Ducati’s factory riders locked out the top three places as the MotoGP field conducted a two-day private test at the Red Bull Ring. The Austrian circuit has joined the calendar for 2016 and will host the next round of the championship in August and the early indications suggest it will suit the powerful Ducati machines.
Andrea Iannone was the quickest rider overall, setting a 1:23.240, and was encouraged by the performance of a new Desmosedici GP chassis.
“It was a very positive test. I am happy that we finished it in this way with the best time, because in the two days we always lapped very quickly and we worked very well: yesterday we tried for the first time the new chassis, which gave me some very positive sensations. Today we focused on working on some different bike set-up solutions, with good results and I can say that a result like this is the best possible way to go on holiday!”
Andrea Dovizioso trailed his teammate by four tenths of a second in P2 overall and is confident that the testing times will translate into a successful race weekend in Spielberg.
“These were two days of very positive tests for us, we worked hard on many different aspects of the bike, as well as preparing for the race in the best possible way. Here we have been really competitive, it’s great to do two days of testing before the race because it gives you the chance of working on fine-tuning aspects and I know that we can still improve there. I am very pleased with my Desmosedici GP on this track, because we can exploit our potential to the maximum and I believe that we can be really competitive in the race.”
Two-time world champion Casey Stoner also took part in his role as official test rider and finished the week in third spot. The Australian was seen running a Ducati without winglets in anticipation of next season’s change in regulations and despite a minor crash, Stoner was happy with his week.
“We had quite a positive day but really didn’t get a lot of laps in because the Test Team had to put Michele Pirro on the bike to do some testing this afternoon. We did lots of short runs to change the bike all the time, did a couple of comparisons in the chassis, and we adjusted and moved everything around a bit to get the bike more stable under brakes on a good track. I’m happy and satisfied but also a bit disappointed towards the end because it was the first time I had to push in four years with a soft tyre and it didn’t go well as I crashed at Turn 6. I’m pretty happy with the hard tyre, and the bike felt good, even though in both days we were still using the previous chassis, but I think we can lap even better with the new version.”