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motogp_ducatiValentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden were not present yesterday when the Ducati team began testing the new GP11 for the 2011 MotoGP season, but the bike did just fine without them. Ducati began the pre-test at Jerez with test riders Franco Battaini and Vittoriano Guareschi, in order to make sure that Rossi and Hayden will be able to get the most out of their practice time when they hop on the bikes at Sepang in the first week of February.

“It was a very productive day,” said Vittoriano Guareschi, who completed 50 laps on the first day. “Even though the track’s grip was really bad, in part because of the high humidity and in part because the F3 test that took place until yesterday left the asphalt quite dirty. As planned, ‘Batta’ and I divided the responsibilities. I worked on the chassis with the goal of improving turn-in, while Franco concentrated on the electronics, including the new anti-wheelie and anti-spin systems that we’re testing and adjusting. I think I found a couple of interesting things with set-up that help with the front-end feel.”

Battaiani and Guareschi will work on a base set up over the next few days, so Hayden and Rossi can be more effective at putting the finishing touches on the bike at Sepang.

“We worked on ride height, seat position, and on many aspects of bike set-up that will help with all of the data-acquisition work that are necessary to be ready for Malaysia, when Vale and Nicky will ask us to change the bike in various ways. It’s a refinement process that will proceed for the two days in order to speed up the factory riders’ work in Malaysia.”

The 2011 MotoGP season will start on March 20th in Qatar.

Written by Dan Evon, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

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