Ducati says late start to program was costly

Ducati says late start to program was costly

Ducati never really recovered from its 2015 MotoGP bike hitting the track later than its rivals, reckons general manager Gigi Dall'Igna.

Monday, November 30, 2015 (8:27 pm)
While Honda and Yamaha's 2015 bikes were testing from the summer of '14, Ducati's decision to go for a bike Dall'Igna described as "95 percent different" to its GP14 meant its GP15 Desmosedici did not appear until the Sepang tests in February this year.

Although Ducati then got off to a very strong start – fighting for victory in the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix and taking six podiums in the first six races – its subsequent struggles were a consequence of its hurried winter, Dall'Igna believes.

"We arrived quite late with the new bike, so we had a lot of material to test," he said. "We did it during the race weekends and not during the tests, so it was not easy to understand very well which were the best solutions. Sometimes we lost our way."

Dall'Igna believes an inconsistent 2015 – which picked up again in the closing races – was a price worth paying as Ducati tried to lift itself out of a long-running slump. The team has not won a MotoGP race since Casey Stoner's triumph in the 2010 Australian GP. The two-time MotoGP champion will rejoin the team next year as a test rider to support Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone.

"Frankly speaking, we came back in a reasonable way so we didn't lose a lot of time, but we created some problems for ourselves during the first part of the season," Dall'Igna said. "The others made a step, above all Yamaha, but I don't think that was the main reason [that Ducati fell back].

"When we were in trouble, we were working quite hard to try to catch our competition, and I think it's quite normal that when you do this you cannot be consistent. In some races you can fight, some other races you have some problems. I think this is normal during the development you have to do."

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