2014 MotoGP: RCV1000R Riders Need More Time, while Ducati Is Still in Doubt

Crutchlow's Ducati at Sepang 1 photo
2014 will surely bring a lot of high-paced MotoGP action, as the first outings of the season showed that there is much more to b expected from the new Open class.
The first official test of 2014 ended at Sepang with a very fast Marc Marquez, one Valentino Rossi seemingly looking for some payback this season, with Jorge Lorenzo steadily finding his way around the new M1 and Aleix Espargaro being exceptionally fast aboard his FTR-Yamaha.

Espargaro also proved that the Open machines can be almost as competitive as the leading Honda and Yamaha ones. However, experienced riders such as Nicky Hayden also showed that the Open Honda bikes are nothing to fear yet.

Despite the disappointing results at Sepang, HRC's Shuhei Nakamoto says that the Honda RCV1000R production racer is a good bike, and that the riders need more time to get acquainted with it. "Honda machines have never been easy to ride, riders need more time," Nakamoto-san adds.

Now, with only 5 weeks or so to go until the kick-off round in Qatar, we're extremely curious to see if the time will be enough...

On the other hand, questions are piling up in the Borgo Panigale camp, as time is ticking away, and Ducati has to make a call for either the Factory or the Open option.

So far, Ducati is lining up 3 Factory bikes, with Yonny Hernandez riding an Open Class-spec GP13. With the initial test at Sepang being the first time when Ducati riders got on the GP14 bikes, the recorded data is not concludent enough.

Ducati has seen how fast can Open bikes be, and are not hiding it that going for the Open option is one possibility they are considering in a most serious manner. Still, it looks like it will take another testing session until a final decision is made, before the 28 February deadline.
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