Ducati technical director Filippo Preziosi believes the GP9's carbonfibre chassis has given Casey Stoner an advantage that he would have struggled without in the Qatar season opener.
Stoner dominated the weekend and his nearest challenger, world champion Valentino Rossi, was unable to keep pace with him in the race.
"This carbon fibre chassis has given him [Stoner] an advantage that he didn't have with the GP8," Preziosi told Motosprint.
"I think that with last year's bike Casey would have struggled to maintain the rhythm he had this time. He would have had to force more, or he would have been slower.
"It's not just at turn entry. In quick sections the bike is more stable and it also has more grip at turn exit. There are also a few more small advantages, but we want to keep those to ourselves for a while longer!"
Preziosi says he expected the GP9 to be a big step forward over the GP8 after its performance in testing at Jerez - a circuit where Ducati has habitually struggled in recent years.
"Jerez has always been considered difficult for us, however in the test Casey was very quick," Preziosi added. "He's never gone so well at Jerez before using this bike with carbon fibre chassis. It was a fine result for us."