While the World Superbike riders were busy at Imola, Ducati’s MotoGP team was making use of their freedom from testing restrictions to try out a few things ahead of the Italian round at Mugello. Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow were present for the factory Ducati team, as was official test rider Michele Pirro, while Andrea Iannone was circulating on the Pramac bike.
The two factory men had a new chassis to test, according to GPOne.com, though the frame was not radically different to the item they have raced so far. The new chassis did have a greater range of adjustment, something which the factory felt was needed as their riders had been operating at the limits of the current frame’s adjustment.
The riders also worked on set up, ahead of the race in two-and-a-half weeks’ time, as well as testing some electronic strategies. Cal Crutchlow also tested a new braking solution, using ducts to cool the calipers. The ducts were a response to braking problems which Crutchlow suffered at Jerez, where he lost all braking power in the early laps of the race, before being forced to pull into the pits.
The ducts are clearly visible in the photo above. The times set by Dovizioso and Crutchlow were respectable, Dovizioso three tenths of his qualifying time at last year’s race, which was good enough for the front row, while Crutchlow as three tenths slower than his teammate.
Also present was Aprilia, in the guise of the ART Open class machine. In the saddle was Max Biaggi, the former 250cc and World Superbike champion taking to the track after an absence of well over a year.
Biaggi tested the ART with carbon brakes and Bridgestone tires, describing it as “a different bike to the RSV4,” the machine that he became World Superbike champion on before retiring. The Italian posted 41 laps, with a fastest time of a low 1’53, according to GPOne.com.
Source: Ducati Corse
This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.