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GP Week : Issue 126
Moto GP news >> DUCATI riders went two different ways in answer to their current dilemma – with Rossi sticking exclusively to the latest hybrid version, the GP11.1 (‘Dot One’) and Hayden doing the opposite after a back-to-back test in the first session. The Marlboro-backed factory team had remained undecided after the German GP the weekend before, where Hayden on the GP11 (a ‘Step Two’ version with a revised front chassis) beat Rossi’s newer bike, in its third race, and took both versions for each rider. It took a sinew-stiffening meeting with veteran crew chief Jerry Burgess – back after two races away on family business – for Rossi to make up his mind to persevere with the new bike. His old GP11 remained unused. In Burgess’ absence in Germany they had arrived at a counter-intuitive setting that had improved his feel on the Dot One. The difference is plain to see, with the bike riding like a speedboat: front high and rear low. He persisted with this setting at Laguna, describing it as “a big modify with the weight distribution. “ The other bike was a more normal setting. We confirmed that the new setting is a bit better, but we are out of balance with the front.” One day later after qualifying, another change meant “the rear is sliding a lot”. But the work in progress meant he equalled his best qualifying with the old bike, marking some improvement. Hayden had been agitating for the new bike for his home GP, but had hoped to get some prior miles. In the event he used the Dot One only in the first session, then elected to stay with what he knew until he can test it more fully ... after the next race at Brno. “I was a little faster on the new one yesterday, but it wasn’t half a second better. It has more potential and I like the gearbox, I don’t yet have a great feel for where its limit is. For now, we prefer to go with what we know,” he said. Hayden waxed lyrical about the Honda- like instant-shift transmission: “ This is a whole new step in technology and I’m sure it won’t be long before street bikes come with this gearbox.” The advantage was not in lap time but could come in a close race. Ducati riders play Pick-Your-Own 15