Guareschi: Rossi could go faster
Vittoriano Guareschi didn't try to hide his dissatisfaction with Valentino Rossi being just 10th fastest at the end of Sepang testing, but he also knows that the Italian rider worked extremely hard over the last three days: "He completed an enormous workload - the Ducati team manager revealed - testing a large number of different setups and solutions. It's normal that a rider wouldn't achieve maximum performance in this situation, when their priority isn't outright speed, unless they have a bit of luck."
The GP12 is still in its early stages of development, and Vittoriano believes there is plenty of room for improvement: "The fact that Valentino's performance was very similar to that of Hayden, who is only at 70% physically, shows that Rossi could have done more. If he was just concentrating on gaining confidence with the bike, he would definitely have been faster, but his priorities are elsewhere at the moment."
This meant that he wasn't overly surprised by Hector Barbera's 6th fastest time on the satellite bike: "The work carried out by Hector during this test has been completely different. His bike was identical to the version he had one month ago, so he could concentrate fully on learning it better, adapting to it, and building confidence. His best lap time was not outside of Valentino's range. The same thing applies to the other satellite riders who were faster than us."
Since Guareschi no longer performs any testing duties, some have been left to wonder if he should consider getting on the bike again: "Absolutely not - he responded quickly - right now test riders aren't what is needed. Only the race riders can take this bike to the limit, lapping in those times and providing the right feedback."
Vittoriano is cautiously optimistic about the team's next outing: "Obviously we would prefer to be further up the order, but both riders liked the new electronics package that we had for this test. We also had to perform a lot of necessary work. We will head to Jerez with much clearer ideas, and Valentino will be free to concentrate on his riding, gaining confidence with the GP12. We will see how we perform there, and if we need to start worrying or not."