New Ducati GP15 debut delayed

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Ducati’s all-new GP15 Desmosedici machine will not be ready for Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone to assess when the MotoGP pre-season resumes at the Sepang track in Malaysia next month.

In a forthcoming interview on the official MotoGP website, Ducati boss Gigi Dall’Igna has confirmed the GP15 is not ready for the first Sepang test that gets underway on February 4.

The new bike, which is the first Ducati to be entirely designed by former Aprilia technical guru Dall’Igna, will now get its first public outing at the second Sepang test that kicks off on February 23.

Dall’Igna has always dismissed claims that the late completion of the GP15 would seriously harm development time for Italian duo Dovizioso and Iannone.

When the bike wasn’t ready to be tested in the post-race session in Valencia back in November, there were rumours back then that the project would be further delayed.

But Dall’Igna has always maintained that engineering staff in Bologna needed time to make sure the first version of the GP15 is ready to be competitive.

He said: “I prefer to start 2015 late but with the right machine.”

Dovizioso, who was the standout Ducati rider in 2014, has previously said it was disappointing he wouldn’t get to assess the GP15 earlier.

Ducati could have gathered vital data in Valencia and then had three months to work on the bike in advance of the resumption of pre-season testing in Malaysia.

And the former 125GP world champion told MCN last season: “It is not the best situation. If we are able to test the bike in Valencia it is better because you have a few months to work and data to arrive in Malaysia in a better way. But this is the schedule and it is fine to try in February if the bike works. If the bike works it is no problem.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt