The final day of the three-day test at the Spanish Jerez de la Frontera circuit officially closed out the pre-season, and the next stop for the MotoGP riders is the Qatar Grand Prix on 8 April.
The Ducati Team saw its riders, Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden, finish the day in sixth and eighth positions, respectively. It was a result with which both could be satisfied in the context of the Desmosedici GP12’s development path, as the bike has now undergone seven days of testing, taking into account the days ‘lost’ to bad weather.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 6th, 1:39.733 (90 laps)
“Today went much better than Friday, and I’m pleased… we’re pleased. Unfortunately, we made some mistakes at Sepang 2 chasing a bad setup, and we paid for that a bit on Friday because we started from that base. Then Saturday’s rain cost us an entire day, but today we finally worked well all day long. Step by step, we arrived at our current potential: I’m sixth, and I did a 1:39.7, which is a good time considering that we’ve only really ridden this bike for six or seven days. We changed the setup, first the rear and then the front, and now I enter the corners pretty well again. I’m able to lean and I can ‘risk’ a bit more. Although we know very well that we still have a long road ahead, if we look at the gap to the front we can say we’re ready for the first race.”
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 8th, 1:39.919 (91 laps)
“It’s been a very, very busy day. With my injury affecting the last tests, we needed to squeeze a winter’s worth of testing into this weekend, and yesterday was basically a wash. Today we got to try some stuff on the bike and learned a few things. I’m not thrilled with my lap time because I thought I could go a bit quicker but I struggled a little with the fast corners. We’ve clearly got some work to do, but now it’s time to get ready for Qatar, and I look forward to starting the season. I definitely feel better after coming here and getting to ride at close to 100 per cent and getting to understand the bike a bit more. Now it’s time to see what we’ve got when we put the cards on the table.”