Is Bernhard Gobmeier Ducati's Saviour?
The recent second test at Sepang in Malaysia saw Ducati's factory bikes receive even more changes, looking forward to revising the weight distribution to a more competitive level, while continuing to tweak engine and electronics even more, in search of the best direction.
Bernhard Gobmeier said: “At Jerez we’ll have some more new things regarding the frame, electronics and engine. We want to check if the direction we’re taking with the new solutions is correct, while also confirming the progress that we made at Sepang.
So far, the riders’ feedback on the new fuel tank is very good. We tried some solutions with the centre of gravity and weight distribution, and this helped improve their feeling. We’re very satisfied with Nicky and Andrea. They both have a lot of experience, and the information they’re giving us is quite useful for speeding up development."
Now, we really wish to see that the German is the one bringing the Ducati Corse back to the battle for the top positions of MotoGP, but we can't help noticing that it's been more than 2 years and the bike is still "not ready". Regardless of who was aboard the MotoGP machine, it was clearly at least a step behind the competition.
The new tweaks turned up better results, as both Dovizioso and Hayden managed to better their lap times, yet there's still a long way to the top. Nicky Hayden, who was 9th with a 2m01s778 fastest lap at Sepang adds: "We closed the gap a bit, and I had a much better feeling in the rain. The turning is still the main area where we need to improve, but although we knew the beginning of the season was going to be tough, we have to stay focused and keep the course.”
His team mate Andrea Dovizioso placed one position higher with a best lap of 2m01s650 and he says: "I’m now able to brake harder and enter corners faster, although we’re still not quick enough in the middle of the corner. Anyway, we needed to understand better whether that bike is good or not, and it was positive, as it helps me with the final part of braking and the first part of corner entry."
We stopped counting how many times we heard the "understanding the bike" during the last two years or more, but we hope Bernhard Gobmeier will be able to steer his team into making a bike their riders will understand faster and start showing some real Ducati racing.
Hals- und Beinbruch, Herr Gobmeier!
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