Ducati MotoGP Project Manager reviews tricky Le Mans race.
The decision of when to change bikes was a personal one for Ducati’s factory riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden, although a particular plan had been put in place by the team beforehand to give the duo the best chance of a good result. Stoner was one of the last to come in, and placed fifth despite some difficulties early on.
“I think that maybe we should come here in June or July, because every season it’s a gamble,” said Livio Suppo, Ducati’s MotoGP Project Manager. “Unfortunately Casey didn’t feel comfortable with the wet setup, and that was a pity because usually in those conditions he is very fast. On the dry setup he also had to work on the steering damper when he was very slow on the straight.
“After that he was fast, and I think that he did the second best lap of the race. We have to be positive; last year I think that after Le Mans we were -40 from the front, and now we are -1 from the leader. There will be better circuits for us, so we’re thinking positive,” he added, drawing upbeat conclusions from a race that still keeps Stoner very much amongst the title contenders.
“We agreed with the riders beforehand that we would show on the pitboard if any rider had put in a very quick lap with the slick tyres. It was basically their decision, and they are the ones with the experience of what it is like out there.
”Now we are looking forward to Mugello. We’ve never won there, but it is our home track and we’ve just had a good test there with Troy Bayliss and Vittoriano Guareschi. Vitto got his best lap ever there, which was a good one for a test rider, and Troy was also fast, so we’re looking at a track that for sure better suits our bike.”