Preziosi: the answer in 3 tests
Filippo Preziosi would have preferred that the track do the talking today, so he could carefully listen to every comment and critique from his riders regarding the latest updates to the GP12. Instead the bikes were stuck in the pit lane, held hostage by the latest rainy day. The only thing left to do was pack up the bikes and look forward to the next test session, later this month at Mugello. "The weather has ruined all our plans. We were hoping for rain on Sunday during the race, and sun today for the test, but it didn't work out like that," the Ducati technical director joked.
What were Rossi and Hayden supposed to test today?
"Valentino and Nicky would have been evaluating different things, and then exchanging roles during the Mugello test. We are talking about updates for both the engine and the chassis."
Rossi has often said that the power delivery is too harsh...
"This is something we are working on. We were ready to try a modified engine, featuring some mechanical changes, with a different power curve: less power at higher revs, and more low end torque."
What's the objective?
"To improve the rideability, and we need to see if this solution works. I don't see why it wouldn't, although the 1000cc engines already have plenty of torque, and increasing it might not be useful if it only makes the electronics work harder. To know for sure, we have to test it on track."
When could we see these updates used in a race?
"We need to wait for the next round of engine seals. We will start using our third engine at Silverstone, and the fourth at Laguna Seca. The cancellation of today's test causes some logistical problems for us, but we will try and keep our initial schedule. Valentino and Nicky will both be on track at Mugello for three tests between now and July. The first will come after Le Mans, and we will carry out the work scheduled for today."
Will you also modify the chassis?
"We are working on every aspect of the bike. The front end is no longer a priority, as we are now focusing on the rear. We need to find more grip for both corner entry and exit."
The season hasn't started in the best of ways...
"The challenge we face is very difficult, and we knew this all along. We are competing against Honda and Yamaha, and many other manufacturers have already given up the fight. We want to win, and any difficulties just give us further motivation to improve."
The Estoril race went a little better for Rossi, thanks in part to his teammate's setup...
"Taking a more stable approach paid off. His performance constantly improved throughout the weekend, and there weren't any huge and inexplicable gaps to the leaders. It's still not the result that we are hoping for with Valentino, but we are getting there step by step. The setup he used wasn't completely new, as it was already used at the start of last season."
This isn't the first time you have gotten lost with the setup, like during the second Sepang winter test session. Why is that?
"The bike is exactly the same, but it's up to the team, led by Jeremy Burgess and Valentino, to decide which components and settings to use. Jeremy has complete freedom in this regard, and we wouldn't have it any other way. Sometimes you make mistakes, but open minded people are willing to take a step backwards when they make a mistake."
Are you still convinced that the Ducati must be designed to fit Valentino's feedback?
"I think that the Desmosedici should suit him, because if it does we will have a competitive bike for all of our riders."