Ducati recently finished its first series of official MotoGP testing at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, beset by the typically hot and humid conditions and rain that interrupted track time. Nicky Hayden had a painful shoulder injury that limited valuable time on the bike, limiting input to the technicians as well as getting a feel for the new machine. Valentino Rossi continued until the rain arrived, finishing the session with the fifth-best time behind Honda's Casey Stoner, Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo, Honda's Dani Pedrosa and Yamaha's Ben Spies.
While Fillipo Preziosi, general manager Ducati Corse, is happy with the overall progress that has been made so far, he hasn't revealed details of the changes that have been made. Preziosi expressed concern that while the GP12 is performing better than the previous version, the gap to Stoner's Honda is still 1.2 seconds, but the gap to the Yamaha's is half that.
Here's what the riders had to say:
"Obviously, I'd like to have done more. I can't really say it was a real test for me, but I did a few laps each morning in order to at least get a feel for the new bike, get a little data and understand a couple of things. Even in that limited time, I was able to make small improvements and go quicker each day. Ducati did an amazing job with this bike in a short amount of time. It's smoother than any other Ducati I've ever ridden, it looks slick and it's good to work on. It's got good power, and the front end is working well, but with the extra power, now we've got to find better rear traction at the first touch of the throttle. With the few adjustments we've made, everything seems to be going in a good way, so now I just need to get healthy."
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