Valentino Rossi has impressed Ducati Corse general director Filippo Preziosi with his feedback after riding the Ducati Desmosedici GP11 MotoGP contender for the first time at Valencia in Spain.
Rossi, who is unable to comment on his debut due to an existing contract with Yamaha, set the 10th fastest time during the opening day of post-season testing, however the team admitted they were focussing on development rather than outright lap times.
Setting at best lap of 1:33.882, Rossi was 1.870 seconds off former Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo’s leading pace, but did manage to test a screamer version of the Desmosedici along with new teammate Nicky Hayden.
“It has been an exciting day for sure,” Preziosi commented. “The main thing that hit me today was Vale’s positive feedback and his capacity for analysis. Today he tested the GP11 with the ‘big bang’ engine on a standard setting, which he modified step by step to adapt it to his riding style.
“His first comment when he lifted his visor up was a positive one about the power delivery and then he gave some impressive technical details. We certainly have a lot to do to adapt the bike to his riding style but it is really nice and very interesting to work in this way.
“At the end of the session he went out on the screamer version but we will make more of an analysis between the two engines tomorrow because they deliver the power in very different ways – the big bang has a more regular power curve whereas the screamer is more aggressive but also more powerful.
“We worked on the geometry and setting today to see how the bike responded and to get a bit of experience working with both Vale and Jeremy [Burgess].”
Rossi will continue work with Ducati when the test continues on Wednesday.