ECU failure causes Rossi to fall in testing yesterday
HOPES for Valentino Rossi's continued development of the Ducati Desmosedici were cut short at Mugello yesterday after a technical fault caused the Italian to crash.
Alongside Nicky Hayden, Rossi was working with the Ducati engineers on a number of updates; including engine balance tweaks to improve rideability and weight distribution and changes to the electronics.
“They had some things to try today, but it was mainly with an eye toward the future, as the substantial changes they’re working on at Ducati for the engine’s power delivery weren’t ready yet," said Rossi, who had hoped to test the revised engine for the Desmosedici.
"So this was an intermediate step, an interim engine management system through a new ECU. We started testing it this morning, and the first feelings were good, as I immediately did a good time with a used tyre."
However, Rossi suffered a fall in the afternoon at the Correntaio as a result of a glitch wth the new ECU. He said: "When I started again after the break, the bike stalled at the Correntaio and I fell. Fortunately, I was leaned over quite far at that point so I just tipped over, and nothing bad happened. In the interest of safety, we decided to stop because the engineers have to analyse the data to understand what happened."
The new engine is Ducati's hope for securing Rossi for the 2013 season. The revised engine was supposed to be ready for Laguna Seca, but Filippo Preziosi revealed that the smoother engine would not be ready until the Misano test after the race in September - and after Brno, when Rossi is expected to finalise his place for next year.
Team boss Vittoriani Guareschi, in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport earlier this month, highlighted the importance of the new powerplant: "Let's hope the engine works, because that's our only hope to convince Valentino to stay. We'd like to keep both him and Nicky, but there isn't much time, because usually the market deals close at Brno."
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