The Ducati Team concluded the second IRTA pre-season testing session at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia in a positive way, with an excellent third place for Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow finishing eighth overall.
In the three days of testing, which were held almost entirely in suffocating heat and humidity, the two riders completed a massive amount of work, aimed at optimizing the development of their GP14 machines, with both men showing a constant improvement; on today’s final day in particular, Dovizioso and Crutchlow also lapped with the DORNA/Magneti Marelli electronic software and ECU provided for the new Open option.
In the evening, the Ducati Team announced that it will be taking part in the 2014 MotoGP World Championship with the two riders on GP14 bikes in Open configuration.
Dovizioso was particularly satisfied with the lap time he set today, the best the Italian has ever recorded on this track, which took him to just one-tenth away from the fastest riders in the test, Rossi and Pedrosa, while Crutchlow also showed considerable progress over the three days, in which he was able to further get to grips with the bike he will be racing in his first season in Ducati.
Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro carried out a totally different work programme over the three days and his aim was not to push for any really quick lap times.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 3rd (2m00.067s)
“I am really pleased: we go away from Sepang having confirmed all the improvements we made three weeks ago. I managed to do a really good lap time, the best I’ve ever done on this track, and I did it in track conditions that were worse than in Sepang 1. This means that we went much better this time around! We also did a long-run of 14 laps and I was also satisfied with that. At this moment we are probably not in a position to fight for the top places, because we are not always able to lap with this pace, but we really improved a lot in these tests.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 8th (2m00.790s)
“Obviously for me the situation in these tests at Sepang was different to what I’ve been used to in the past, so I think Dovi managed to benefit more from the three days because he’s on a familiar machine. But that’s the way it goes and I’m generally pretty satisfied with the results we’ve achieved here. I’ve been consistently able to go as fast as Dovi with used tyres, but not at the start, because I’m unable to push hard right away and get enough grip into the tyres. This is something we will have to improve for qualifying and the races. Overall we’ve made good progress, testing a lot of stuff here, which was the main thing, and starting to understand what the bike does with different set-ups. Now it’ll be good to go to another circuit and try something else.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“For Ducati it is really important to continue the development work on the GP14 and we certainly made some improvements during this test, just like the previous one. The gap separating us from our rivals is however still a big one, so having the possibility to modify our engine during the season is fundamental for us. For this reason, we have chosen the Open option, sharing the decision with our riders: Andrea and Cal have a lot of confidence in all the Ducati Corse technical staff and they accepted our decision without a moment’s hesitation “.