Less than 24 hours after the 2013 season ended in Valencia, Spain, the MotoGP teams were back on track at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana, beginning a three-day test in preparation for next year’s MotoGP World Championship.
The day served as Cal Crutchlow’s debut with the Ducati Team, where he joins Andrea Dovizioso for the 2014 season. After the track opened at noon in perfect weather conditions, the Briton exited the garage at 1:26 p.m., and when the track closed at 5:00 p.m., Crutchlow had turned 39 laps, focusing on getting the feel of the Ducati.
Meanwhile, Andrea Dovizioso did 36 laps on a Desmosedici GP13 that was largely similar to the bike he rode in yesterday’s race, though he did try a new fairing as well as some changes to the setup.
Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro did 32 laps while working on the setup of some components of the laboratory bike.
This was also the first day for Luigi Dall’Igna working at the track in his new role as Ducati Corse General Manager.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) 5th, 1:31.943 (36 laps)
“Today we tried the new front fairing, and the outcome was positive because the bike wheelies less than before. We also did two tests with the setup to give some feedback to Gigi on several aspects that he wanted to check. For today, we focused on those things, and tomorrow we’ll continue checking some other stuff.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) 6th, 1:32.054 (39 laps)
“Obviously the situation is completely different to what I was used to before today, but anyway, I’m very happy to come and work with the factory Ducati team. I’ve done everything you should on a first day at work and I think we can safely say that we’ve had a positive day learning everything: the bike, the electronics, the team. There are so many new things to get your head around, but it’s also interesting. In the next two days, we’ll try to focus and improve. The team have been great at listening to my feedback, while I take advantage of their advice and experience. It helps to be able to count on Daniele Romagnoli, as he’s Italian like most of the Ducati technicians. I’m pleased with the way we’re working. We’re not going to change things overnight, but today was a positive first step.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“This was my first day at the track as General Manager of Ducati Corse, and I’m getting to know and appreciate the working situation here. I already had an idea from the few days I spent in Borgo Panigale, because there, too, I found the technical level to be very high and the staff to have a lot of potential. Today we began the practical part that will help us to begin working on the bike and define a strategy that will enable Ducati to improve and return to a competitive level. It’s still early to say anything about time scales and preparing more detailed plans, but I think we’re starting on the right foot.”