Ducati admits that improving its MotoGP bike’s key weakness of turning will be a “long process” which will involve a lot of “trial and error”.
The Desmosedici is infamous for its struggles to turn mid-corner, though Ducati has made steps forward in this area in recent years, emerging as title challengers again in the last three seasons with Andrea Dovizioso.
However, after finishing a distant fifth in last month’s German Grand Prix, Dovizioso – who trails championship leader Marc Marquez by 58 points – said Ducati had to fully focus on curing its cornering woes in the races after the summer break instead of fighting Marquez.
When asked at a press conference during the Austrian weekend if Ducati could change the DNA of its bike, Ducati technical director Davide Barana warned solely focusing on cornering risks also compromising the bike’s strong points.
“We realise that cornering performance is the area where we can gain more,” he said. “But it is important not to forget to continue to improve the areas that are our strengths because if you concentrate on only one area, you risk losing the advantage you have in the others.
“So getting better cornering performance is quite a long process. Unfortunately, nowadays it’s still a trial and error process. It takes quite a long time because you have to test to prove it is really effective and do the next step.
“These are quite time consuming. This is the reason, because it takes a while to reach certain levels.”
The Ducati is also famed for its powerful engine, which for a number of seasons went unrivalled in the top speed charts by the other manufacturers – although Honda has been able to get much closer to it this year in this area.
Barana concedes Ducati’s engineering history meant it was “easier” for it to develop a strong engine, but doesn’t feel it put too much emphasis on this area over chassis design.
“For sure at the very beginning of [Ducati’s time in] MotoGP [in 2003] we had quite different solutions than the competitors [to chassis design],” he said. “In that period it was difficult to compare with the others because of this big difference.
“From 2013 we have been quite similar in terms of chassis concept and from then onwards we have continued to develop the chassis together with the engine.
“Maybe with the engine we have more experience historically, there is a long history of engine engineering in Ducati. Probably it is much easier for us to develop the engine than to develop the chassis, this is maybe true.
“But the effort we spent on the chassis development is always the maximum that we can do.”
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Photo by: Michelin
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