News 16 Aug 2011

Ducati progresses as Hayden plans switch to GP11.1 for Indianapolis

American Nicky Hayden will join Valentino Rossi on the Ducati GP11.1 at Indianapolis.

American Nicky Hayden will join Valentino Rossi on the Ducati GP11.1 at Indianapolis.

In the post-race test at the Brno MotoGP the two Ducati Team riders rode the 800 in its GP11.1 iteration, apart from Nicky Hayden making a single, initial run with the GP11.

The two riders’ efforts were focused in different directions. Working with an eye toward the future, Rossi dedicated the day to trying various setups and weight distributions, tests that were intended to direct the next development steps for next year’s bike.

“It was a very busy day, not only because we did almost 75 laps, but also because we tried many changes in every outing,” Rossi said after posting a 1:58.266 in 74 laps. “It’s not easy riding like that, as it requires a lot of concentration.

“We had some electronic updates that we still have to perfect, but we’ll return to those soon. Apart from that, we were thinking more toward the future, mainly trying different geometries, weight distributions, and settings that were a little strange, everything to remove any doubts and to understand some things about the GP11.1.

“I’d say it was a successful test, even if we sacrificed some performance since we had other objectives. We also tried some new tyres from Bridgestone, and the first impression was good.”

After one outing with the GP11 and one with the GP11.1, Hayden dedicated himself solely to the latter, working on adapting to the newer version and searching for a base setup. His best lap was a 1:57.533 in 78 laps.

“Everything went pretty well today,” the American said. “We didn’t break any track records or anything, but luckily the rain held off. I did one run this morning with the GP11 just to start from zero and then went straight in on the GP11.1.

“Like at Laguna, I was immediately just as fast, but steadily through the day, I was quicker and quicker. Once again, the team worked like dogs, between working on my race bikes and preparing for the test.

“I enjoyed riding the bike, and it’s always nice to see progress and have a good feeling, I plan to ride it at Indy. My sister’s getting married this weekend, so we’ve got a pretty special two weeks coming up between that and my home GP.”

Ducati Corse technical director Filippo Preziosi was also content with the testing results, opting to focus on the 800cc while Yamaha and Honda tested their 1000s.

“With Valentino, we decided to use this test day with the 800 in order to try very extreme setup solutions, with the goal of giving the engineers guidance for the next-generation bikes,” he explained. “Therefore, we brought parts that allowed us to make much bigger adjustments than is normally possible.

“Practically, these are tests that help us to understand what happens when you move the center of gravity significantly or increase stiffness by an extreme amount, and so on. The mid-term goal is to build the base knowhow for the bike of the future.

“As for Nicky, after an initial run with the GP11, he preferred to work only with the GP11.1 to gather experience with its characteristics and work on a base setup.”