Motor Sports

Rossi makes debut on Ducati

The first day of the long awaited post-season MotoGP test at Valencia started with grey skies and light drizzle in the morning, which left the track unsuitable for the opening hour of the session between 9 and 10 when, luckily, the sun emerged to gradually dry the track surface.

At 10:55am Valentino Rossi arrived in the garage where Filippo Preziosi, Jeremy Burgess and his crew as well as engineers and technicians from Ducati’s Reparto Corse were waiting for him. At precisely 11:46am the official Ducati test rider Franco Battaini took to the track for a first shakedown on the black ‘carbon’ coloured GP11 and finally, at 12:23, the nine-time World Champion rode the Ducati Desmosedici for the first time.

Rossi started out on a Desmosedici GP11 fitted with a ‘big bang’ version of the engine, which he used for virtually the entire day as he worked on geometry and other settings. As the day drew to a close he made one final run on the ‘screamer’ version.

Nicky Hayden made several outings on both versions, also starting on the 2011 ‘big bang’ before switching to the ‘screamer’. The American completed 54 laps with a best time of 1’33.882.

nicky-hayden-on-ducati

After completing the first day of testing, Hayden spoke to the media and said, “The 2011 season is already on us and we have some big decisions to make. We had a lot of things to try today, especially in terms of the engine. The rain didn’t help anybody because we lost some time this morning with the rain and when we were eventually able to get out on the track the conditions weren’t ideal. Anyway, we were able to get some laps in and I can say that the 2011 version of the big bang engine is definitely an improvement. We switched to the screamer at about three o’clock and in some areas it’s also really strong, I like it. Before making a choice to move forward with we need to test some more, get all the data together and make a calm, considered decision.”

Circuit Record: Casey Stoner (Ducati – 2008), 1’32.582 – 155.732 Km/h
Best Pole: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha – 2006), 1’31.002 – 158.436 Km/h

Unofficial lap times Tuesday 9th November

1. Jorge Lorenzo 1:32.012
2. Casey Stoner 1:32.775
3. Ben Spies 1:32.878
4. Dani Pedrosa 1:32.912
5. Marco Simoncelli 1:32.919
6. Andrea Dovizioso 1:33.190
7. Colin Edwards 1:33.513
8. Alvaro Bautista 1:33.558
9. Nicky Hayden 1:33.716
10. Valentino Rossi 1:33.882
11. Randy De Puniet 1:33.914
12. Hiroshi Aoyama 1:33.953
13. Hector Barbera 1:34.110
14. Cal Crutchlow 1:34.314
15. Loris Capirossi 1:34.631
16. Toni Elias 1:35.058
17. Karel Abraham 1:35.076

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