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SBK, Pirro: "I rode the Ducati V4 with ballast and I understand Bautista's difficulties"

Michele speaks: "Ballast? I should have my leg taken off. In Barcelona we worked to help Alvaro and not only that. Compared to 2019, the Ducati V4 is a sincere and easy bike, but above all it is more balanced, able to adapt to different riders. For the future we want to bring the best of MotoGP to Superbike."

SBK: Pirro:

Superbike took to the track on Thursday and Friday in Barcelona for a two-day test in which Michele Pirro also participated. The Ducati test rider was in fact summoned by the Borgo Panigale manufacturer to offer help to its riders, especially Alvaro Bautista, who has to deal with ballast this season due to the new regulations.

At the end of the test, we caught up with the Apulian rider, who explained what he did at Montmelò on the occasion of this outing on Catalan soil.

"It had been almost four years since I had ridden the Ducati in World Superbike ," he recalled, " obviously my task was not to go in search of a flying lap chrono, but to see to the development of the bike as a result of the latest regulatory changes. I think we did a great job, collecting data that will certainly come in handy for the future."

Taking a look at the standings, you came within one second and three tenths of Bulega without having fitted the SCQ.
"The years go by for me too, however, I still give it some gas (smiles). As I said it's been a while since I rode this Panigale, and I'm happy to see my chrono times. In addition to working in terms of development, we didn't look too bad in the timesheets either (smiles)."

We know that in Barcelona you tested the Ducati with ballast and had to follow mainly Bautista. What did you encounter?
"I had two variations at my disposal and I worked with the added weights. Obviously the character of the bike changes with the ballast, because having more weight means you have more mass to deal with. The bike becomes much more challenging under braking and also in direction changes. So we are working to be able to go beyond that to get to the point where we can be as competitive as possible."

Have you talked to Alvaro?
"Of course! I told him that I should have a leg taken off because of the ballast (jokes). Joking aside, we discussed it with each other and I understand his difficulties very well. The fact that Alvaro was not at 100 percent of his form affected him, but I am convinced that very soon we will see him competitive. He has a MotoGP style, very effective with pick-up, unlike Bulega who prefers a more rounded style in riding. Having said that I think he will have all the right cards in Barcelona to aim for victory. Unfortunately, because of the ballast, Bautista has to make a greater effort and our goal is to make things easier for him."

Compared to 2019, how much has the Panigale changed?
"I think the Ducati V4 is a sincere and easy bike that allows you to get to a great potential. Compared to four years ago, the bike today is certainly more balanced, because it gives all the riders a chance to be competitive while in the beginning only Bautista could make a difference. Now we can see Bulega, Iannone and Petrucci very strong."

How big is the jump from testing a MotoGP to a Superbike?
"Obviously in MotoGP you have more freedom of action while here in Superbike the window for action is narrower. Let's say I'm here to mess around a little bit, maybe trying to explore some areas where the regulations allow you to intervene by bringing in some MotoGP developments. At the end of the day, Ducati's philosophy is one of strong collaboration between MotoGP and Superbike, and for the future I would like to bring the best of MotoGP to Superbike based on what is possible."


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