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Enel Ducati Team 2012: highlights


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Ducati Team completes weather-affected test at Valencia


As was the case yesterday, today’s second and final day of the post-race MotoGP test at the Valencia circuit saw track time limited by weather conditions. Overnight rains dampened the circuit, and sprinkles throughout the morning had the Desmosedicis of Ducati Team riders Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso confined to the garage. Finally, just before 3:30 p.m., the slow-drying asphalt was in good enough condition for both riders to head out on slick tyres, and they rode off-and-on until the track closed at 5:00 p.m.
The American tested a new frame with a different stiffness than the standard version. Meanwhile, his new teammate had his first experience with the bike in dry conditions, and in the brief time at his disposition, he worked on an initial electronic setup.
The Ducati Team and its riders will return to the track for a test at the Jerez circuit November 28-30.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 4th, 1:32.956 (33 laps)

“It looked like we might not be able to go out today, so I’m happy that we got to do some riding. That’s why you don’t give up and go home early! We didn’t make any huge gains or anything, but I got to test some things, and it was time well spent. I think the new frame helped improve the turning, and I also tried some things with the electronics, as well as a different suspension link that I had already tried earlier in the year. The track actually wasn’t bad, apart from a couple of wet patches. Anyway, it’s too early to draw any conclusions, but we look forward to the next test.”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) 6th, 1:33.238, (31 laps)

“We only had about an hour and a half and it was pretty overcast, with wet patches, so the conditions were difficult for my first impression in the dry. It wasn’t the occasion to try lots of changes, so we weren’t able to set the bike up perfectly. Still, the lap time is quite good, and so is the feeling. Of course it’s always a big change to switch bikes, and it takes time to understand. Hopefully we’ll have good weather for the test in Jerez.”
Filippo Preziosi, Technical Director

“I’m very happy with the test. Unfortunately, the weather was bad, so today we only had four or five exits in dry conditions. Still, Nicky had a reasonable gap to the front, and Dovi did his best lap times with a tyre that had some laps on it. Nicky liked the new frame, which seemed to improve turning, but we have to try it again at Jerez. Considering the circumstances, we got some good information, and the mood is very positive. I’m pleased with the way the team is working, and I’m optimistic for the future.”

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Testing hindered by rain at Valencia


After a much-deserved day off following the season-ending race in Valencia, the MotoGP teams and riders were back at the same Spanish circuit today for the first half of a two-day test. Unfortunately, the session was heavily affected by the weather, as rain and sprinkles fell off and on throughout the day. Nonetheless, Ducati Team riders Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso both opted to put in considerable track time as they begin their work preparing for the 2013 season.

 

Eager to try his new Desmosedici for the first time, Dovizioso was one of the first riders out when the track opened at 10:00 a.m., and he managed to turn four laps on slick tyres before the precipitation arrived. He then did his first of several exits on rain tyres, and was joined by Hayden after lunchtime. Both riders then rode in the afternoon with wet setups.

 

The Ducati Team will be back at the Valencia circuit tomorrow for another day of testing.

 

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) 3rd, 1:39.868, (41 laps)

“I’m happy after my first day, mainly because I have a good feeling with my crew and I had a good lap time in the wet, even compared to the wet times over the weekend. The conditions weren’t ideal for a debut on a new motorcycle, but anyway, it was important for me to do some kilometres on the bike. The Ducati is known for working well in the wet, and I can confirm that, but obviously, we have to try it in the dry. Unfortunately, it looks like the weather tomorrow will be like today.”

 

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 5th, 1:42.571 (30 laps)

“It was a wet test day, but we did some exits. I was mainly testing some shock settings and some things that we didn’t get a chance to try during the weekend because of the changing conditions. I also tried a different frame that Valentino had tried, and that I wanted to use in the wet. Obviously, dry weather would have been better, but it’s never a bad thing to do some laps. It would be nice to get some sun tomorrow, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen. If not, we’ll probably ride a bit in the wet again.”

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Variable weather conditions affect season-ending MotoGP race at Valencia


The final race of the 2012 MotoGP season, at Valencia, was seriously affected by uncertain weather.

 

After the wet warm-up session, in which Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden had found a good rain setting, the precipitation stopped and the MotoGP race started with a track that was only damp.

 

Most of the riders began the race with rain tyres, though a small group risked slicks, returning to the garages to change bikes just before the lights went out. That group, which was obliged to start from pit lane, included the eventual winner, Dani Pedrosa, and Nicky Hayden. The American was caught out by the tricky conditions and crashed before he was able to take advantage of having made the right choice.

 

Valentino Rossi started with rain tyres and was in fourth place when, 25 laps from the end, he re-entered pit lane to switch bikes. With the dry tyres, he no longer felt at home and was only able to finish in tenth place.

 

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 10th

“It’s really a shame that the last race with Ducati finished this way. Things went well this morning in the wet warm-up, and in similar conditions, it would have been possible to do a nice result. Instead, this half-and-half situation was truly difficult. In the end the right choice was to use the slick tyres, but my bike on the grid had a very different setting from the other one, so I didn’t feel like switching. With the rain tyres, I felt fine at first, but then when it was necessary to switch, the situation became more complicated. There was a thin dry line, but I couldn’t put the bike where I wanted and as soon as I would go off that line, it was very risky. I could only try to finish. I would have liked to finish these two years with Ducati better. They were two difficult seasons, but I nonetheless leave behind many people that I enjoyed working with, and with whom it was nice to go racing.”

 

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) DNF

“It’s a shame to end a difficult season in a bad way, but at least I’m 100 per cent okay from the crash. On the grid, it was a really close call between slick tyres and rain tyres. If the track had been warm, it would clearly have been better to start on slicks, but the cold surface temperature made it close. On the warm-up lap, Lorenzo was going faster than us on slicks, so in my opinion, it was the right decision to come in and switch bikes and start from pit lane. After that, it was okay on the dry line, but to make passes, you had to go out where it was treacherous. I got behind Petrucci and couldn’t find a way past. I was waiting to go by him on the front straightaway, but I got a little bit wide in the last corner and hit a patch. I went down so quickly that there was no way to save it. Next season starts now, so hopefully things will be better.”

 

Vittoriano Guareschi, Team Manager

“Today we lost an opportunity to have a nice race, both with Nicky and with Vale, and although that can happen in such uncertain conditions, we’re obviously not happy. Nicky switched bikes immediately, like Pedrosa, who won in the end, but he was done in by the slippery asphalt. Vale went well in the early laps, while he was on the rain tyres, but he didn’t feel good with the slicks. He tried until the end, without ever being able to push hard enough. We would have liked to finish differently, but anyway, we tried until the end.”

 

 

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