After the Jerez race, Gigi Dall’Igna could allow himself a smile, or perhaps a breath of fresh air. While Dovizioso's podium at the Qatar GP was in some ways predictable, at a track that has historically been friendly towards the D16, that achieved in Spain by Lorenzo had not been done since 2011, when it was Hayden to finish third.
2017 didn't off to the best start for the Ducati team, with the difficulties in Argentina and Austin and Dall’Igna is the first to admit this: “I'm honest and will say that I'd have been crazy to expect these results in the first four GPs. I expected more and am not happy” states the Italian manager clearly.
We know that Borgo Panigale had set itself very different goals over the winter, but things haven't yet come to fruition.
“We have taken not of what's happened and have identified the technical direction to take and the results are coming - continues the General Manager- Both Lorenzo and Dovizioso are very sensitive riders, they have clear ideas as to what they need to be fast. So their information is vital for development”.
In Spain, the Majorcan said that Ducati has to change its priorities, rather than focus solely on the engine.
“I don't think there's too much focus in this sense - underlines Dall’Igna - We are working on that but also on the electronics, aerodynamics and chassis. Last year our bike was balanced and in fact Dovizioso, from Aragon on, is the rider who scored most points: 62 to the 53 of Rossi, the 51 of Lorenzo and the 50 of Marquez”.
But the Japanese rivals are bringing new chassis parts to every test, while Ducati appears more conservative in this area.
“For now we're not planning a new frame - he cuts to the chase - We can work well with the current one thanks to the possibility to adjust it. Our problem, now, is with the chassis in the sense that without winglets our bike is not properly balanced”.
The problem of no spoilers is something that Lorenzo has also highlighted on several occasions. It's true that Ducati is the most advanced i this field, but it's also true that the regulation was not changed at the last minute.
“We were penalised the most by this change and we probably underestimated the disadvantages - responds Dall’Igna - The error was ours, in the sense that I could we could make up for it with the new fairing”.
Which hasn't yet appeared in a race.
“As Dovizioso says, the disadvantages currently outweigh the advantages - he explains - We have greater load at the front but are losing too much in terms of top speed. We're working on it of course, but with only two fairings that can be homologated during the season, I prefer to wait a couple of races to be sure of its advantages. It will be a few months before you see it. I'm not crying over it, the regulation has changed and we need to find alternative solutions”.
While waiting for the fairing, the work in Ducati continues on other fronts.
“Our development programme that we began in Argentina is clearly defined and we're moving in the right direction - concludes the engineer - There have been development during the Jerez test and there will be more on the Monday at Mugello. We know what to do to improve and I'm calm, right now the worst thing would be to create confusion".