Ducati expecting 'a big improvement' in second half of MotoGP season
JUL 29, 2014 11:28a ET
Following numerous ups and downs for the Ducati Team in the first half of the 2014 season, MotoGP.com caught up with the Italian manufacturer’s MotoGP Project Director Paolo Ciabatti to gauge his opinion on the year so far.
He commented: “It has been quite a good season in terms of results because we’ve had two podium finishes. Dovi was third in Austin and second a couple of weeks ago in Assen. So scoring some good results and is actually standing fourth in the championship, which is good.
“On the other side, Cal had a lot of bad luck with technical problems, with the crash. And also his feeling with the bike is not so good at the moment, so we are trying to help him to understand better the bike and show his potential, because we think Cal is a great rider, but so far he hasn’t really been able to show that he can ride fast a Ducati.”
Much talk had been about the improvements on the notoriously tough-to-handle Desmosedici since the arrival of technical guru Luigi Dall’Igna.
“Gigi joined the company last year in Valencia, so at the beginning of November. So obviously the GP14 was basically already designed as a bike. But Gigi brought some ideas, we made a lot of changes, some changes we can no really see on the bike … but also working on software, and other features of the bike. The bike has improved.
“Obviously we still have this understeering problem, and probably to solve that we need to work a little bit harder in terms of engine design and position of engine in the frame. It’s not up to me to say exactly what we should do. We’re both working on the new bike, the GP15 for next year, but we will bring also a big improvement on the GP14 in the second part of the season.”
With regards to his expectations for the second half of the year, Ciabatti concluded: “On some tracks I think we can be quite competitive, also in dry conditions. Obviously we will not be so sad if it’s raining on a Sunday, because our bike has proven to be quite competitive in rainy conditions. And as far as Cal is concerned obviously we want to help him get the confidence on the bike because we know once he can get the confidence he will push hard and will be close to the other riders.”