Wanting to assess the results of the tests at Sepang, and taking only the times into consideration, we could only define them as an incredible success for Ducati, which dealt a great hand by placing its riders in the top four positions in the standings.
However, analyzing the results of the tests, only on the basis of this information, is not what Gigi Dall’Igna prefers to do. Despite being satisfied with the above, he’s aware that he’s leaving Sepang without all the answers he was looking for.
The star of this test was Petrucci. Will you let him win if the possibility arises?
“There’s no question that I’ll let him win. I’ve never put down a good horse in my life, and I wouldn’t start now. If Danilo has a chance of winning, he will certainly take advantage of it. But I’ve always said it. It’s a different philosophy. It’s not a team game made to manage situations in the race. It’s done to improve both the development of the bike and to facilitate the growth of the riders themselves.”
So, is the evaluation of these tests more than positive?
“Surely we’re happy with the performance we’ve achieved,” explained the engineer. “But we weren’t here to reach good time results, but to try new material and develop the bike. From this perspective, there have been some positive things but also negative ones that must be analyzed, around which we must reason to try to improve.”
Specifically, what worked and what disappointed you?
“The new aerodynamics went well, but I was expecting something more from the new chassis. I’d like to analyze the data well, then possibly do something different from what we brought here, to find a solution that is better overall.”
So, it seems that the new aerodynamics are already perfectly fine-tuned.
“I’m more confident about the aerodynamics,” he said. “We haven’t made entirely thorough comparisons. This is definitely a very important track for aerodynamics. You can test well here for many different reasons, even because of the heat. Aerodynamics is not only important for load or speed, but also because it determines the conditions in which many components work on the bike. We were interested in carrying out this kind of test right on this track, and I’d say that I am quite content from this perspective.”
Even if it doesn’t reveal everything, the chronometer has strongly affirmed all of Bagnaia’s talent. Were you surprised in finding him so high up in the standings?
“Honestly, I think Bagnaia had an incredible time. He never fell, and this is also something that needs to be emphasized. He’s doing a methodical job, and I think he’ll bring in good results.”
Speaking of working method, we also saw the new Petrucci/Dovi tandem here at Sepang. What’s your idea on this?
“That allowed us to understand something more from many perspectives. I’m really happy with this new approach that we are bringing to the track.”
You pointed out that Bagnaia never fell while, in the other half of Miller’s pit, he did it three times in three days.
“I think this year is an important one for Jack,” said Dall’Igna, “because he’ll really have to prove that he deserves the official team. I expect he’ll improve under many aspects, and this is one that he must improve.”
How did you see the main rivals in this test, and who surprised you the most?
“We can’t evaluate Honda because Lorenzo isn’t here, and both Crutchlow and Marquez were not in their best conditions for this test. But I saw some interesting ideas, and I think that it surely starts out as a favorite. Both Yamaha and Suzuki also seem to be on the right track to me. It’ll be an intense battle this season.”
Will there be something else before the start of the season, maybe something new on the bike, at the last minute?
“We’ll continue to push on developing the bike, and I hope to have something new for the tests in Qatar. As I said, I’m happy with the work, but I think we have to keep pushing, we need something more.”