In Sepang, Ducati started preparing for the season that will start in less than a month in Qatar, with four official Desmosedici, two for Dovizioso and Petrucci and just as many for the Pramac duo formed by Miller and Bagnaia. The competition is getting tougher every year, and Gigi Dall'Igna and his men are trying to bring the Ducati to the top in terms of engine performance and, at the same time, improve speed in mid-corner, which has always been Ducati's weak point.
And they also need to think about 2021. Because the rider's market is already in full swing and Yamaha, which convinced Vinales to stay, removed a card from the table that they were betting on in Borgo Panigale.
“Each manufacturer makes his own assessments and has an obligation to speak with all the riders who are on the market, because you never know what will happen. I think Suzuki had also contacted Vinales," explained Ducati's general manager at the end of the Sepang tests, without wanting too take a position on how advanced the negotiation was.
At the moment, besides the remote possibility of snapping up Marc Marquez, Ducati doesn't seem to have many moves left. The wisest thing is to always take time to understand what the level of your rider is.
"Right now, I think the most reasonable thing for us is to wait a while," Dall'Igna confirmed. He probably prefers to concentrate on working in the garage.
From this angle, the engineer seems satisfied with what was done in Sepang.
"I'm happy enough, but there's work to be done because of the new tires, since they require a different set-up, both when it comes to the frame and electronics," he emphasized. "We've collected a lot of data in this test, and now we have to analyze it so we can to get to the Qatar tests with some ideas."
They won't only have ideas.
“We'll have updates in the next test, also for the engine. Nothing huge, but I expect improvements ," he revealed. "The ability to curve has improved with the new frame, and we only brought the new version here. The comments by the riders and the data confirm that a step forward was taken to this regard."
Zarco was in Malaysia. He made his debut on the Avintia team's Desmosedici GP19, closing the three days in 17th place.
“Zarco took off on the first day doing a slightly different job because, with him, we experimented a set-up that was fairly than our standard for gathering information. We also have to consider that it was his first contact with Ducati and, after having missed both the Valencia and Jerez tests, I didn't expect anything more from him," Dall'Igna said. "I'm actually happy with the attitude he had in facing everything. There's certainly work to be done, but I'm quite confident."
The last comment was for the two riders on the Pramac team, Miller and Bagnaia, both on the GP20.
“I'm happy. Jack did a good test. He provided interesting comments on the material he tested, and he had a good time. Even Pecco has shown that he can do well. It was his first time on the official bike, so he had many things to metabolize, but I'm happy," he concluded.