Tourn46 wrote:Fingers crossed they make some improvements with the engine parts... according to Alex Briggs on Twitter they fitted 2 new engines this evening... whole new engines... don't know... but must have some differences, one can assume it is relating to the power delivery.
New engines doesn't actually mean very much, as they would do that even to test the chassis only. It's all about not putting miles on the 6 engines in their season allocation.
Oscar wrote:The race was 11 secs faster this year than last, but Rossi's time was slightly less than 4 secs. quicker than his time last year - riding with the dud shoulder, third race in on the unacceptable first iteration (if I remember correctly ) GP11, the bike on which Rossi crashed (I think) more times than ever in his career. So, yes - it's progress, but perhaps not at a level that gives rise to joyous celebration throughout the length and breadth of the kingdom.
I'd actually look at it a little differently, as Estoril 2011 showed the GP11 wasn't competitive for Nicky Hayden either. NIcky had the same race time in both 2010 and 2011 at Estoril, but was 5th and 27 seconds off the win on the GP10 and 9th and 54 seconds off the win on the GP11. Based on the practice times, it's reasonable to assume Hayden would have been fairly close to Rossi and that would actually be an improvement.
I also don't think Rossi's shoulder injury actually held him back very much on the Ducati, because the bike didn't ever react the way he wanted when he tried to push it to the limit. I'm pretty sure Rossi didn't start the season crashing all the time, but went a few races, got healthier, tried to push and then couldn't keep the rubber side down. It also now seems that Ducati have finally solved the lowside problem that plagued them with the carbon fiber monocoque design. I still think we need to see several consecutive solid performances by the Ducati team during dry race weekends before we get an idea of what the bike can do. Based on the bikes history, one decent weekend doesn't necessarily translate to the next.