Ducati has confirmed financial and technical reasons were behind its decision not participate in the forthcoming MotoGP test at the new Circuit of the Americas in Texas.
The three-day test was initially privately arranged by HRC for Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez, but Yamaha’s factory squad will now also attend with Valentino Rossi and reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo. LCR Honda rider Stefan Bradl will also be present for the test that kicks off on tomorrow (Tuesday).
Ducati though has not travelled to Texas in advance of the race on April 21, with the Bologna factory preferring instead to stick to its original plan of testing updates at the final official pre-season test in Jerez at the end of thismonth.
New Ducati boss Berhnard Gobmeier told MCN: “The main consideration is that we would have new parts but we would rather test these parts in Jerez. We have already planned a Jerez test and planned the parts for exactly that time. To make two tests at almost the same time doesn't make any sense.
"I would rather focus on the schedule we are having.”
With Ducati trying to bounce back from a disastrous two-year spell with Italian icon Valentino Rossi, the Bologna factory might appear to need more track time than anybody else to improve the struggling Desmosedici machine.
But Gobmeier said the gains from attending the Austin didn’t outweigh the cost, which some have estimated to have been at over £150,000 had they agreed to participate.
Gobmeier, who previously ran BMW’s factory World Superbike project, added: “The riders may gain two tenths advantage from learning the Austin track but we are not two tenths behind (Jorge) Lorenzo. When we are I would have said we will go to the test.
"The Austin test would have diluted the focus of our test plan though. In addition it is financial too. For a limited advantage to invest a lot of money in that test I would rather put it towards development."
For coverage of the Austin test, see the March 20 issue of Motor Cycle News.