The three-day IRTA test session at the Losail International Circuit on the outskirts of Doha, the capital of Qatar, began positively for the two Ducati Team riders.
At the end of Day 1, Andrea Iannone was fourth classified, with a time of 1’56.119, just 0.667s away from provisional leader Lorenzo, while Andrea Dovizioso was in seventh place with a best lap of 1’56.388, 0.936s behind the leader.
The test session began at 4 pm, but the two factory Ducati men exited the pits a couple of hours later, just when it was getting dark. Iannone went on to complete 53 and Dovizioso 46 laps respectively, both riders continuing set-up work on their Desmosedici GP machines with the tyres brought along by Michelin for this test.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 1’56.119 (4th)
“All in all today went well, because we finally managed to get a lot of work done and find the answers we were looking for. We were able to evaluate two different types of frame that we had available for my Desmosedici GP and this is very important in view of the first race, but also for the future. Today we concentrated on putting in the laps, working calmly: my team is in great form, and we must continue like this in the next two days of testing, but above all I will have to succeed in understanding how to get the best out of the new tyres, because for the moment I can only manage to lap strongly on tyres that have done a lot of laps.”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’56.388 (7th)
“Today was once again a productive day, on a track that is very different from Sepang and Phillip Island. These tyres are a bit strange, in the sense that every time you have to get used to them and you need a bit of time because the more you lap, you quicker you get. In fact, I had a tyre that had done twenty laps when I set my quickest time on the last lap of the run, and this confirms that we are still getting used to the characteristics of the Michelins. Let’s hope that in the next two days we can manage to get through all the tests we have scheduled in order to prepare for the first race of the year in the best possible way.”