If Ducati and Honda (with the help of their respective riders of course) are taking all of the race wins between them this season, there must be a reason. The Desmosedici and the RC213V are the two best bikes on the grid (with the Italian holding a slight advantage) also because their development never stops. Today the two rivals battle it out, albeit at a distance, on Spanish soil.
Marc Marquez has stopped at Aragon for a day of testing, as he did after the Misano round. Dani Pedrosa is not on track, no longer involved in bike development plans. Marquez had two different prototypes in the garage in Italy and confirmed at Aragon that work has already begun on the 2019 bike.
Marc doesn't like to see the Ducati one step ahead of the Honda and, over the Spanish race weekend, he stated " “we need to continue to work, because we can always improve, so that we have the best rider on the best bike”. The first piece of the puzzle is in place, HRC is working on the second.
Building the foundations for next year is definitely advisable, and proof that Honda wants to beat Ducati on a technical level too.
The guys in Borgo Panigale are not just standing by and watching though, Michele Pirro on track at Valencia with the Test Team. A good opportunity to collect important data ahead of the race and, perhaps, a chance to test something new, away from prying eyes.
Because, as is only right, riders always want something new. After the Aragon race, Dovizioso said that the Ducati needs improvement: “we've taken a big step forward, but there are still some small defects to sort out. We need to make progress, to be able to fight Marquez and Honda next year”. And Lorenzo, we might add.
So the two manufacturers are making the most of every day before packing their bags for Asia. Honda and Ducati are not only fighting come race day, but even in testing.