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Saturday, September 01, 2012

Rossi concludes test, new frame for San Marino

Valentino Rossi will have a new frame and swing-arm for the forthcoming San Marino Grand Prix, after concluding a private two-day Ducati test at the same Misano circuit on Wednesday evening.

The Italian turned 80 laps while working with the chassis updates that he had first tried during the post-race test at Mugello on July 15. No lap times were released by Ducati.

“We carried out a series of tests with the chassis, and the results were interesting, though they still have to be checked against the other riders,” said Rossi, who will leave Ducati at the end of this season and be replaced by Andrea Dovizioso.

“We also worked on the bike's set-up, with the goal of trying to limit the drop in performance that we usually suffer after some laps, as the tyres wear. We had some promising signs there as well, and we'll check them again in a race context.”

Smoothing the Desmosedici's power-delivery had been a major goal earlier in the year, but all immediate development emphasis is now on the chassis.

“Over these two days with Valentino, we focused on chassis testing,” confirmed Ducati Corse technical director Filippo Preziosi. “Based on the feedback he provided, we'll bring a new frame and a new swingarm to the next race.

“In the meantime, the Corse department will continue working according to the development plan that was established following the June test at Aragon. Over the remainder of the season, the Test Team and the factory riders will have the opportunity to try further chassis evolutions, which are currently being produced.”

Meanwhile, Rossi's team-mate Nicky Hayden checked in from the United States, reporting that his recovery is proceeding according to plan for an anticipated return at the San Marino GP in mid-September.

“It was pretty tough to be home while my rivals were racing, and testing is also something that I hated missing, as we had some parts that we could possibly use this year,” said Hayden, absent from the race track since a nasty qualifying accident at Indianapolis.

“Everything else is good news though. Bones don't heal in ten days, but the swelling is down in my hand, and the feeling is much better with both that and my head. Everything's right on schedule, and I'm really looking forward to getting back on the bike.”

Rossi and Hayden are eighth and ninth in the world championship with six rounds to go. Misano will be Rossi's last home race as a Ducati rider.

Yamaha and Honda, which took part in a post-race test at Brno on Monday, will be testing at Aragon on September 4-5.

World Superbikes winner MSMW2012