Dovizioso And Crutchlow Complete One-Day Test At Mugello

While the World Superbike riders were busy at Imola, Ducati's MotoGP team was making use of their freedom from testing restrictions to try out a few things ahead of the Italian round at Mugello. Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow were present for the factory Ducati team, as was official test rider Michele Pirro, while Andrea Iannone was circulating on the Pramac bike. The two factory men had a new chassis to test, according to, though the frame was not radically different to the item they have raced so far. The new chassis did have a greater range of adjustment, something which the factory felt was needed as their riders had been operating at the limits of the current frame's adjustment. 

The riders also worked on set up, ahead of the race in two-and-a-half weeks' time, as well as testing some electronic strategies. Cal Crutchlow also tested a new braking solution, using ducts to cool the calipers. The ducts were a response to braking problems which Crutchlow suffered at Jerez, where he lost all braking power in the early laps of the race, before being forced to pull into the pits. The ducts are clearly visible in the photo below. The times set by Dovizioso and Crutchlow were respectable, Dovizioso three tenths of his qualifying time at last year's race, which was good enough for the front row, while Crutchlow as three tenths slower than his teammate.

Also present was Aprilia, in the guise of the ART Open class machine. In the saddle was Max Biaggi, the former 250cc and World Superbike champion taking to the track after an absence of well over a year. Biaggi tested the ART with carbon brakes and Bridgestone tires, describing it as 'a different bike to the RSV4', the machine which he became World Superbike champion on before retiring. The Italian posted 41 laps, with a fastest time of a low 1'53, according to

The press release from Ducati appears below, underneath official photos from the test.

Note the air scoops directing cool air to the brake calipers

Ducati Team complete one day of testing at Mugello in preparation for Italian GP

Today saw the Ducati Team conclude an intense day of testing at Mugello in preparation for the Italian Grand Prix, which will be held at the Tuscany circuit in three weeks’ time.

Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow took advantage of good track conditions and favourable weather to search for an ideal set-up for the race, but also to try out some new electronic strategies. Further tests and checks were also carried out on the braking system of Crutchlow’s bike, after the problems the British rider encountered at Jerez.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’47.9 (67 laps)

“It’s always important to do a test at Mugello before the race, and in any case we had some new set-ups to try. It was interesting: nothing revolutionary, but in any case these were tests that will be useful for the future bike. I set some good times, but when your adversaries are not present, you mustn’t give them too much importance. In any case we are quicker than last year. Towards the end of the day I crashed at turn 4 when I lost the front. Luckily I was unharmed, but I feel sorry for the mechanics who will now have to work a bit more this evening, because tomorrow we’re all leaving for France.”

Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 1’48.2 (55 laps)

“Today was a day we had some things to try. I tested something different to my team-mate and to Andrea Iannone, but we went back towards the base setting of the Ducati and it felt a bit more comfortable. It was a good working day with quite good weather so we are happy to leave here confirming the direction for Le Mans and looking forwards to the weekend.”

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Q2 pole times last year were in the 1' 47.2" range

Hell Dovi is off his old pace

Come on Ducati... I still believe

"Yonny Hernandez worked on set up of the dining area and lunch prep, exploiting strengths he offers in development. He also is becoming adept at cleaning visors."

That thought occurred to me. They are quite substantial ducts. It might be practical to fit a small stepper motor and flap to keep the duct closed until the brakes hit a certain temperature. Complex, and it adds weight to a bit of featherweight carbon, but it beats not stopping; and the complexity should be easy for a MGP team.

That would be trekky, but I think the ducts are to cool the calipers and brake fluid therein, not the discs themselves, which are what are needed to get and stay hot.

It's difficult to see if Dovi's bike also has the same shrouding to "improve" the cooling of the caliper. Coupled with Dovi not suffering from the same issue, I can't understand quite how Cal is generating so much more temperature at the caliper that it needs focussed cooling. This is of course assuming that Dovi is not (by chance) right on the limit of caliper temperature and avoiding the issue by chance ilo design.

So, if it's not a common problem to the bike, why are they providing a new design to fix a one off problem?

I'm no expert by any means but I'm struggling to top see that the issue is a real design issue and not a one off that happened to Cal. Placebo to keep Cal happy??

It could be as simple as differing styles, Dovi came up through GP125 and GP250 with high corner speeds and preserving momentum at all costs.

CC was experienced with 4 strokes, with the associated low down torque, point / squirt brake hard and bang the throttle open style.

CC has openly said he spent three years learning to ride like Lorenzo before he went to Ductati so the high corner speed style was not the way he was riding when he came to GP's.

No rights and wrongs here just different techniques. Brake hard, fling the bike in, get it upright and bang the gas on hard worked well for a certain Mr Stoner............

I think that this has become a problem - as riders push harder/tyres improve/power goes up (back to 1000) - over time and a few of the riders have said that instead of allowing high mass rotors at tracks such as Japan they should be allowed everywhere. Why there is a restriction I don't know, as its more unspring mass, which should be a disadvantage in theory, and the bikes are already appearing to be on the limit of braking force.
Smith said after COTA that his brakes had overheated early on, and it was one reason he backed off a little (to let discs and tyres recover/preserve them).
So, it seems as if they are marginal, and things like rider weight will start to show a greater practical effect - causing some riders problems and not others.
It could be one part of a complex reason why riders are starting to use more rear brake too.

The restriction in mass is there to reduce the cost of the carbon disks. The bigger the disk the more it costs. But, the larger disks would be safer.

So it's the usual Dorna robbing Pedro to pay Paulo.

I would love to see the times for each consecutive lap from both . These times do not look so great to me. Ducati need to do tests with the regular teams as well as without them to truly get ahead. I know it cost more, but they really need to run with other teams to know if what they are doing is working for sure. They do seem to be making progress judging on the riders comments. Hope they continue because I miss Ducati being a thorn in Honda's side. ;)

as my dad used to tell me.

Ever heard Ducati riders in the recent past complain about brakes? As a matter of fact, multiple riders in the past few years have stated that the brakes on the Ducatis are one of their stronger points.....maybe strongest. The ducts aren't on Dovi's bike, I can tell that from the pics. Placebo?.....I'm inclined to agree

btw.......less Dovi & Cal, more Crazy Joe. ta

Iannone was a force to be reckoned with in moto2 and he is wasted on a Ducati. Cal has the speed to run at the front but not the bike. .. as does Dovi. Why do people keep believng in Ducati ? The longer this goes on, the more Stoner's legacy shines :)

I can see Cal pulling that 1 year clause, he's not getting any younger. Rossi to retire after 4th man blues get to him by season end. Would love to see Cal on the Factory M1...

IMHO, Rossi will be satisfied as long as he can score a few podiums this year. And as long as he can beat Jorge a few times more often this year. So Cal will have no other place to go except back on a satellite ride. Suzuki will be too much of a gamble for him, I suppose.

And even if Rossi did retire, I don't think Yamaha would appreciate a rider who pisses all over their bike, first chance he gets. There's plenty of young and hungry talents out there. And there's Aleix Espargaro. I appreciate Cal's honesty, though. And I wish him the best possible ride.

So far, we haven't really seen him ride the Duc at 100%.

I don't think you get 4th man blues from being 3rd in the championship with two second places so far this season.