Jorge Lorenzo’s speed was rather impressive at the post-season Valencia test, considering that this was his first ride on the Ducati Desmosedici GP. He finished the test in 8th position, 0.769 seconds behind the quickest rider, Maverick Viñales on the Yamaha M1 (a bike that Lorenzo knows very well indeed).
Officially Lorenzo was not allowed to talk about the test while still a Yamaha rider, but Sport Rider Magazine have managed to find out what his initial thoughts about the bike were, and they make for interesting reading.
It was always going to be a mixture of positive and negative feedback – and that’s exactly what you need at this stage so the bike can be built around him for the season.
Here are three things that Sport Rider Magazine reported as Lorenzo’s first impressions of the Ducati Desmosedici GP:
- Lorenzo was impressed by the efficiency of the electronics. He felt that the MotoGP common software works on the Desmosedici much more accurately than on the Yamaha.
- Braking stability, already known as one of the virtues of the Ducatis, was another aspect of the bike that Lorenzo was very happy with.
- On the other side of the equation, Lorenzo experienced Ducati’s known cornering problems. Despite some improvement in this area, this was an issue Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone still complained about the entire season. After trying to improve his lap time with specific settings, Lorenzo finally stopped and told Ducati racing boss Gigi Dall’Igna, “No Gigi, with this bike there is no way to lap here in 1:29…” Lorenzo’s message to Dall’Igna couldn’t be clearer.
So, it’s cornering that that Ducati will have to work on over the winter before the season starts. This is especially important as Lorenzo opens the throttle earlier than the rest of the pack as he’s coming out of the corner, needing smooth power delivery and good grippy tyres.
There will be a lot of work done over the winter period by all teams, and the Ducati Corse engineers know what to concentrate on to gain an advantage over the other manufacturers.