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MotoGP, Tardozzi: the record? more important that riders are happy

The Ducati team manager after the Jerez test: "we might be a little behind with the 2018 bike but we can catch up. Yamaha in crisis? I don't think so"

MotoGP: Tardozzi: the record? more important that riders are happy

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Dovizioso and Lorenzo have now finished their work for this year, with the ball now in the Borgo Panigale engineers' court. Over the winter they will put the finishing touches to the 2018 Desmosedici. For two days, at Jerez, the official riders have tried to provide the best possible feedback in order to limit the Ducati's defects. In the process, Andrea has set a record lap time with next year's (non yet definitive) prototype.

We're keeping calm, the track has been totally resurfaced and so everyone's faster - admits team manager Davide Tardozzi - In addition, our main rivals, the HRC team and factory Yamaha team, are not here. We have no references for the world champion and Honda has always been very competitive here”.

It's still a good time…
Yes, but we don't know how good, and performance at Jerez over the winter doesn't count for a lot”.

So what does count?
The riders' sensations. They had a few different elements to test here compared to Valencia, little things but Dovi and Jorge are pleased with them. They head in the direction that they'd requested”.

We'll see the new bike in late January at Sepang, are you running late?
We're convinced we can improve the Desmosedici during these months, maybe we'll get to Malaysia a little behind schedule but we'll have 9 test days ahead of us in which to catch up to our rivals if need be. We're confident we can do it”.

Are you being a little too prudent?
You should never be too happy when you know your rivals. We need to keep our feet on the ground”.

Yamaha seems even further behind…
I think they took a step forward already at Valencia and I'm sure they'll take another in their upcoming private test at Sepang. I'm not underestimating Yamaha, they'll be competitive just like Honda”.

Are you ready to take on the winter?
We have clear ideas as to where to improve and, as I've said, we're confident we'll do it, then we'll see at the end of January in Malaysia. In reality, all that really counts is where we are in the first race of the year. If I need to worry, I'll do so on Saturday evening in Qatar (he laughs)”.

Translated by Heather Watson

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