Ducati Team riders Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso continued development work on their new Desmosedici GP14 machines on Thursday in the same perfect track and weather conditions that blessed the Malaysian test session since Tuesday.
The main results were that a lot of mileage was notched up on the new bike, useful data was gathered for future development, and some measure of satisfaction was also achieved by the two riders and the mechanics and technicians of the Italian squad.
Once again, Dovizioso made a major step forward, the Italian lowering his time set on day two by a further eight-tenths of a second. Dovizioso’s time of 2:00.370 was the best ever recorded by the Italian at the Sepang circuit, on any bike.
Crutchlow on the other hand, continued to lap until the track 6 p.m. closure, trying to put in as much mileage as possible on the new bike, with which he will tackle his first season with the Bologna-based manufacturer team.
“I am really pleased with these three days of testing because we managed to do a good job and improve a lot,” Dovizioso said. “Now we can brake harder, corner entry is easier and quicker, we can accelerate a bit earlier and therefore use more power in the early acceleration phase. We also managed to set some quite fast lap times. In fact, I recorded a time that I had never before managed to do here in Malaysia on any bike, and this makes me happy.”
He added, “We also improved our race pace and so this test was really positive. I didn’t expect to be able to improve so much, but we must remain with our feet firmly on the ground because the gap is still far too high for the objectives we wish to achieve.”
Meanwhile, Crutchlow said: “I know the position doesn’t look too good but I have to say that I’m pleased. I’m a long way from Dovi but overall we’re quite consistent and faster than yesterday. We found some good things with the bike. I’m not too concerned about the overall time, we seem to have found some things with the bike that enable you to push it a bit more. The limit seems to be a lot more than on the GP13, which is good, and this bike seems to be improving all the time.”