Rivals sound off on GP15

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The new Ducati GP15 turns heads up and down the Sepang pitlane during the second test of the season and the performances of Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone certainly created a stir in Malaysia. The reaction of the Ducati riders was positive with both saying that the bike turned better than had previously been the case and that it inspired far more confidence than the GP14 that it replaced.

For the rest of the MotoGP paddock the bike marked a turning point in Ducati's fortunes and clear indication that they should be much more competitive in 2015.

Valentino Rossi was impressed with the new bike but felt that the advantages that have been offered to Ducati since the start of last season now could tilt the battle much more into their favour and it's clear that the Italian is looking forward to having a uniform rule within the premier class from next season onwards:

"The Ducati looks very good and Dovi and Iannone are in good shape," said Rossi. "I think that the new bike is already very strong for being so new so during the season, especially in qualifying with the soft tyre, Ducati can be dangerous. If they win a race and they lose two litres of fuel [to 22] nothing will change so it's only when they lose the soft tyre that things will change.

"I think that for me the rule is very unfair because now the Ducati is very fast so I don't understand why they have this advantage...last year I could understand it but now they are fast like us with our tyre so I don't understand why they have this advantage. In MotoGP I think that it's the only series in motorsport where this happens."

Dani Pedrosa echoed Rossi's view that the softer tyre will offer a key advantage to Ducati but overall he was clearly impressed by the top speed achieved by Ducati:

"I didn't follow it but it looks like it's also very fast," said Pedrosa. "The lap times were good, and as well in the qualifying they go fast with the extra soft. But I think looking at the bike only one lap in the track, the bike was so fast, in the straight here."

For Marc Marquez the performance of the Ducati wasn't too big of a surprise and going forward he feels that a clear picture of their potential for the season won't be seen until the start of the European season:

"In the Malaysia test everything is really close," said Marquez. "After six days, in the end everything comes closer. I think we need to wait. Qatar also will be close everything, because we have a test before, but we need to wait until Austin, Argentina, Jerez, the normal races to see where is the real level of everybody

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Steve English

By Steve English