Ducati Press Release: Factory Riders Complete Set Up Test At Mugello, Pirro Works On Lab Bike

Ducati Corse issued the following press release, after factory riders Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden joined Michele Pirro and Franco Battaini of the Ducati test team at Mugello. The test team were at the Italian circuit for a three-day test, which ended today.

Ducati Team completes setup test at Mugello

Fresh off of last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix and Monday’s post-race test at Jerez, Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden were back on track Wednesday and Thursday, this time at Mugello. As the Tuscan circuit is one of the team’s selected test tracks, this was an opportunity to carry out important setup work with the Desmosedici GP13, with an eye toward the Italian Grand Prix, set to take place at Mugello 31 May - 2 June.

Thanks to perfect weather conditions—similar to those that accompanied last year’s Grand Prix at Mugello—the team was able to take full advantage of the planned day and a half of track time, with Dovizioso riding 42 laps on Wednesday and 54 on Thursday, and Hayden turning 29 and 60, respectively. Both riders rode with hard and soft versions of the Bridgestone tyres that will be used at the GP.

The Ducati Team was joined at Mugello by the Ducati Test Team, with Michele Pirro testing in preparation for next week’s French Grand Prix, where he'll compete as a substitute rider for Ignite Pramac Racing Team’s Ben Spies, while Franco Battaini continued development work with the laboratory version of the GP13.

Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team (96 laps)

“It was an interesting day and a half because the conditions were really good for testing for the race. It was quite warm, and the temperature this afternoon was similar to what we normally have here for the Grand Prix, so true race conditions. The lap times weren’t bad, but we must improve our pace, although it’s difficult to talk about times since we don’t really have any references. However, I will say that I think this track is better suited to the Ducati’s characteristics.”

Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team (89 laps)

"I wasn't sure of my physical condition, but my wrist was actually a bit better than at Jerez. We didn't do a lot of laps, but for the first time in a long time, we had great weather here at Mugello. We were able to do some things with the chassis and geometry that we had wanted to try at the first three races, along with a couple of things with the electronics. We’ll know how our pace compares when we’re here with the other teams in a few weeks. A big thanks to the team, as it's not easy for them to do a big GP weekend, plus a post-race test, and then pack up and do another day and a half of testing in a different country. Hopefully it will help us to make the home fans proud when we come back here for the race."


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Pirro substituting for Spies seems sensible but does that require that he race the Pramac Ducati or will he race the same development machine he raced at Jerez? Perhaps he could paint it Pramac colours and keep everyone happy?

He has to race Bens bike in LeMans. That's the reason that they entered him in as a wildcard last round.

but with the Espargaró brothers out there I think it's going to be hard for Nicky (he'll be 32 in July) to convince Yamaha or Tech 3 to choose him over their youth and current speed. Maybe he can get a ride on one of the Yamaha powered CRT bikes* or the Honda customer bikes they're selling next year, but the factory bikes will probably still be the ones running up front.

Hopefully Ducati will figure out the problems this year and keep Nicky around since he's been there for 5 seasons hoping for a turn around. Personally I would like to see him head to WSBK where his odds of getting a competitive bike would probably be much greater then in MotoGP.

Bradl is on the LCR bike through the end of '14, so there's no shot of Nicky taking his spot.

*I'm calling the Yamaha leased engine bikes "CRTs" because I'm not sure what they'll be called.

Judging by Nicky's & Dovi's main take aways from the test was the climate...

One might wonder if they are viewing careers in meteorology or as travel agents after MotoGP, because even putting the most positive spin one can't infer any improvements were made from what they have said.

Sadly, they sounded much like VR's, diplomatic but downtrodden..just before he jumped ship.