Ducati is unlikely to debut its new MotoGP chassis at this weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix, despite testing the heavily revised frame at Mugello this week.
Neither Valentino Rossi nor Nicky Hayden have proven competitive in dry conditions this season, with Rossi's ninth place on the Spanish Grand Prix grid the team's best qualifying position so far, and the Italian complaining of severe understeer from the Desmosedici GP11. Team manager Vito Guareschi believes that with only three days to go before the start of free practice at Estoril, time constraints will prevent an immediate change of chassis.
"Even if it goes very well at Mugello, I don't think we'll use it over the [Portuguese GP] weekend," Guareschi told Gazetta dello Sport. "We'd need three sessions to set it up and that would be a big risk for qualifying and the race."
Guareschi also said that development of Ducati's 2012 bike, which ran most recently at Jerez earlier this month, would continue at Mugello.
"I won't say what lap times we did there [at Jerez], but we went back home happy. The fundamental thing to verify was the engine. The frame setup is a lot quicker to modify and, lap times aside, Vale, Nicky, [test rider Franco] Battaini and I did over 600 miles without problems," he added.
"For my style, the 1000cc engine [which forms the basis of the 2012 technical rules] is more pleasurable, you feel again the sensations of the old 990cc engine. Even though electronics are there and are even more evolved compared to the 800cc, it's less invasive: you have a lot of torque and you can use electronics less.
"We are way ahead of the times with this project. We need to do about 6,000 miles [of testing] to be ready for next season, but I think that the allowed eight days of testing with the race riders will be enough to do development at its best."