Presented on Monday 16 February at the Ducati Auditorium in Borgo Panigale, the GP15 turned a wheel in anger for the first time on Monday morning and immediately proved to be a fast, nimble and above all reliable machine, allowing the two riders to improve their feeling, notch up the miles, lap consistently and work methodically to follow the scheduled work load throughout the three days.
At the end of the tests, the quickest of the two Ducati riders was Andrea Iannone, one of seven men who managed to get under the two minute mark, a time that the rider from Vasto set during the morning. After fitting a soft tyre for the first time, Iannone lapped in 1'59.722 in this morning's time-attack, which he then almost repeated in the afternoon when he lapped in a time of 1'59.921 on a hard tyre. Andrea, who looked particularly impressive during the three days of testing in Malaysia, has already established an excellent feeling with his team of mechanics and technicians and, together with his new GP15, he really made a mark in these tests.
Right behind the leaders was Andrea Dovizioso, who lapped this morning in a time of 2'00.468 on his only exit with the soft tyre. The man from Forlì was however unable to improve on the time he set yesterday (2'00.250) on a hard tyre, and finished today's session in tenth place, but ninth overall in the combined standings over the three days. Dovizioso said he was really satisfied with the outcome of the tests with the new GP15, but also admitted that something was still missing in the braking area and the feeling with the front in order to be completely satisfied.
An important contribution to the success of the tests was made by Michele Pirro, present in Malaysia with the Desmosedici GP14.3 of the Ducati Test Team. In the morning the rider from southern Italy carried out the important job of testing electronics evolutions, while in the afternoon he focused on the chassis and provided interesting results for the work that the team will now have to do to help improve the GP15's set-up.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 1'59.722 (4th), 147 laps
"For sure these were three positive days, because we arrived in Malaysia with a totally new bike, without ever having tried it before, and we succeeded in lapping pretty quickly and without any reliability problems. The GP15 took to the track for the first time on Monday, and so I'm happy with the way it's improved in such a short period of time. Today we focused on testing various types of setting on the bike, trying to improve the feeling but above all the grip and corner turn-in. There's still a lot of work to do, but I'm happy with this first contact with the new bike."
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2'00.250 (9th), 123 laps
"I can but only be happy with these tests. We brought a completely new bike here and we were fast and competitive right from the start. I am particularly satisfied because we improved the key point from the previous bikes, and now the bike 'turns' in the corners. Back home the guys in Ducati Corse have done a great job and we didn't have any particular reliability issues in these three days. Now we have to get to know the GP15 better, because we still have a few limits. The new bike is very different from the previous one, and so we have to try some extreme set-ups to understand it better, for example in the last part of braking and in the middle of the corner. But this is all normal, when you change a bike so much there are always good and bad points. I'm convinced that we have a lot of room for improvement, but we need time and in the next few days our engineers will have a lot of data to analyze before we go to Qatar for the tests in mid-March".
Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51) – 2'00.875 (18th), 124 laps
"Today we continued the work we had scheduled for these three days. I am also happy because I managed to set a good time, the best I've ever done here in Malaysia, improving by about half a second the one I set at the start of February. My position in the standings is maybe not one of the best, but we are all pretty close together and I am pleased because I know I can be quick, but above all because we brought back some useful information for the development of the GP15."
Luigi Dall'Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
"I am also pretty satisfied with the way things have gone and it seems that everything is going well: we lapped for three days without any major reliability issues and this is surely important for a completely new bike. The GP15 "turns" better than the previous model and this was the main aim that we had set for ourselves. We did however find some critical points, especially in braking and we also have a few more issues that will have to be resolved. However, I am pleased with the feeling that Iannone has already reached, both from the comments he made and the pace he showed on this track, while Dovizioso on the other hand had a few more problems in the final part of braking, which obviously we have to tackle and resolve. Overall however I am happy, because we have begun our work on the GP15 in a positive way.
From: Julian Thomas/ Press Manager- Ducati Team Press