Ducati have leaped ahead of their rivals by making the first public outing of their 1,000cc racer with Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden taking the Desmosedici GP12 for an initial shake-down test at Jerez.
Rossi was first of the official riders to lap the Jerez circuit on the next generation of the Ducati Desmosedici on Friday and was positive with his first impressions of the machine he will ride in the revamped rulings of the 2012 season. In news that will satisfy many, Rossi said that bike recaptured the excitement of the 990 era: “I’m happy, I like the GP12. In my opinion, it’s more enjoyable, more fun to ride. It was the first time we had it on the track, so we had some work to do, but the engine is nicer."
Importantly he added: “It’s a lot of fun, and you can do some nice slides. It’s the bike we’ll ride next year, so it was very important—and also very nice—to be among the first to take it on the track.”
Hayden took over the work on Saturday (watch his test) and added to his team mate's sentiments: "Everything went well, and we didn’t have a single problem: the motor is really nice to use, and I had a lot of fun riding the bike. I hope I gave some useful feedback to Filippo and the boys. I know they’ll be working on this bike while we go back to focusing on the next race, because this season just started.”
Praising the work of the riders, Filippo Preziosi stated that Rossi had endorsed the work that the team had undertaken in the beginning of the 2012 project, in particular to referring to the engine which is a 1,000cc continuation of the big-bang firing order and to the handling from the rear of the bike. He started: "To be able to work with Vale for a full day is more than any technician could ask. We gathered considerable feedback that we’ll translate into further design and development for next year’s bike."
On the conclusion of the test Preziosi closed by saying: "Having received consistent feedback about the bike from four different riders puts us in a position to efficiently continue the development process, because we can prioritize the work we have left to carry out.”
More manufacturers are expected to join Ducati in an official test following the race at Mugello, with Yamaha and Honda expected on track soon despite their prototype machine developments affected by the earthquakes.