Ducati Delay New Chassis Debut for French GP

As expected, Ducati didn't tackle the 2011 season of the MotoGP very prepared, as neither Valentino Rossi, nor his teammate Nicky Hayden made positive impressions in the first 2 rounds of the new season. Hadn't it been for the rainy conditions at Jerez 3 weekends back, Ducati would have come to Estoril this week without a podium appearance in 2011.

That being said, the Italian team had prepared a whole new chassis to debut in the Portuguese Grand Prix this weekend, tested thoroughly at Mugello prior to the Easter holidays. Although aimed at making the GP11 for the Estoril event, now Ducati's team manager Vito Guareschi admitted the new frame will not be used due to time constraints.

Even if it goes very well at Mugello, I don't think we'll use it over the [Portuguese GP] weekend,” said Guareschi in a recent interview with Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport.

We'd need three sessions to set it up and that would be a big risk for qualifying and the race,” added the Italian official.

Ducati had 4 weeks to prepare a new frame for the Portugal race, as the first couple of outings in the 2011 season have brought into the spotlight the GP11's understeering problems. However, since part of the team has also been focused on developing the GP12 bike for next season, it seems Rossi and Hayden will have to wait for two additional weeks before they get their hands on the modified GP11.

Although yet to be confirmed by Guareschi, Ducati will most likely debut the new frame in France, between May 13-15.
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