The final winter MotoGP test started this morning with the first of three days of work at the Spanish circuit in Jerez de la Frontera. The weather was sunny with springtime temperatures until about two hours from the end, but it was also windy enough to affect all the riders. Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden worked on the Desmosedici GP12’s setup, overseen by their respective crew chiefs and Technical Director Filippo Preziosi.
Nicky Hayden finished sixth and Valentino Rossi was ninth, but both riders hope to improve the setup over the course of the next two days and to reduce the gap to the front.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 6th, 1:40.512 (77 laps)
“After missing the test at Valencia and having to do damage control in Malaysia, where I wasn’t strong, especially at the first test, it was nice to be able to get back on the bike today and feel close to 100 per cent physically. I felt good here and I was able to ride all day and finish sixth, which isn’t bad even if the gap is obviously still too big. We got off to a nice start, but we didn’t improve enough, while the guys ahead of us continued to make progress. It’s a little frustrating, although we gathered a lot of data by being able to ride all day without trying a million different things, and we have some good ideas for tomorrow. Of course our goal is to get closer to the leaders, especially with the lap time.”
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 9th, 1:40.920 (64 laps)
“We solved some things today, but not one important thing, which is corner entry, especially in the fastest part of the turn. I’m not able to be incisive there, and it’s where most of our gap comes from. I can’t load the front enough to enter fast, so I don’t carry enough speed through the corner, and that’s why we’re far from the front. We found a more promising setting toward the end and I was able to repeat my fast time with a tyre that was very used, but it was already 5:30 and the temperature had dropped, so we decided to start working on it again tomorrow because we think there’s a margin. Nicky went better today, and we also have to reduce the gap.”