Ducati happy with testing rule boost

Published: 11 November 2011

New testing regulations for MotoGP will help Ducati try and bridge the gap to Japanese rivals Honda and Yamaha, according to the Bologna factory’s technical guru Filippo Preziosi.

MotoGP bosses have relaxed the testing restrictions for next year, meaning Ducati can use Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden much more to develop the new GP12 1000cc machine.

Ducati can use Rossi as often as they want in 2012 at a designated test circuit, though certain restrictions will remain in place.

Only 240 tyres (120 sets) will be made available by Bridgestone but it will mean Ducati can use Rossi and Hayden more rather than having to rely on much slower test riders like Franco Battaini to carry out crucial development work on the Desmosedici machine.

Nine-times world champion Rossi complained frequently in 2011 that the current testing restrictions prevented Ducati from accelerating development of its GP11 quicker.

As a consequence, Rossi and Hayden treated most races as tests but Preziosi told MCN: "For sure in an economical situation like we have now, to have Valentino Rossi sleeping in his room paid by us instead of riding our bike and giving us the information we need, doesn’t seem the most efficient way to use our money. We have to save money so there is a rule that makes the limit of the tests you can do because you can only use 240 tyres for the year. That makes a limit on the rent of the track, fuel, engines and spare parts. In this limit if you ask your test rider to ride the bike or Valentino, it won’t cost one Euro more because both are paid, so that is the logical way."

Ducati had a nightmare campaign in 2011 with Rossi and Hayden only scoring one podium each and Preziosi added: "It’s something that makes me not happy but the only way I know to change this is to work at the highest level we know. All of us are focused on winning again."