Ducati sporting director Paolo Ciabatti has confirmed that the Desmosedici GP17 is still suffering from corner entry problems but the factory is ‘doing the maximum’ to find a solution.
The Borgo Panigale outfit had gone through a year’s development with aerodynamic wings to help with the issue – which also assisted with wheelie control among other things – but the aero-ban saw the problem return.
“The main issue remains the corner speed. When the rider releases the brakes and enters the corner, the bike tends to go wide and the rider has to stay leaned for a longer time and play with the throttle,” Ciabatti told bikesportnews.com at mugello.
“He loses some time, which is precious when we race at the highest level like MotoGP. Andrea knows the bike well and he has followed the development and the evolution and he is able to take out the maximum in all situations. Then it also depends from the circuits, there are some circuits where our bike struggles more, others less.
“Mugello suits the Desmosedici well thanks to its long straight and strong braking. The target of course is to have a winning bike on all the racetracks. Mugello is the big appointment for Ducati and its fans, and we aim at the podium, and why not at a victory if everything goes well.”
Dovizioso will start from the front row tomorrow after setting a fast and consistent pace in free practice and then using a soft/soft combination in qualifying to bag a front-row spot. Former team-mate Cal Crutchlow has gone so far as to say that race is Dovizioso’s to lose. Test rider Michele Pirro is only one place behind in fourth.
Team-mate Jorge Lorenzo is a little further back but Ciabatti says it is not too big a drama yet as the former champion is still learning the bike, including how to use a thumb rear brake for the first time in his career.
“Jorge is very motivated and determined. He is a great worker and also in the test he is the first to on track and the last to finish. In Barcelona he completed 150 laps. Of course we didn’t expect such a difficult start of the season. His apprenticeship is longer than he and we expected but his approach is positive despite he is struggling. But he keeps on working hard and also from our side we are doing the maximum to solve the problems.”