Ducati team boss Vittoriano Guareschi says there is no intention to turn the squad's bike "into a Yamaha" despite the arrival of Valentino Rossi and his crew.
Guareschi acknowledged that Ducati was keen to benefit from Rossi and his crew chief Jerry Burgess' title-winning experience, but said so far the indications were that Burgess and his colleagues were happy with the Italian bike's fundamental potential.
"They're acclimatizing well; they like our craftsman-like soul, after so many years with the Japanese," Guareschi told Gazzetta dello Sport. "Jerry gives me ease of mind. Generally there's serenity: we just need to improve our bike, not turn it into a copy of the Yamaha."
He reiterated the team's belief that Rossi's slow times in November's Valencia test were more down to the Italian's injured shoulder than any lack of affinity between him and the Ducati, and said that Rossi had provided enough feedback to direct the initial 2011 development.
"We have gone in the direction that Valentino pointed us in," said Guareschi. "The lap times were not too encouraging, so to say, but after seeing what condition his shoulder was in we felt reassured. Our bike must be handled strongly, and he had little strength in Valencia."
Ducati's sporting boss Filippo Preziosi said the team was geared up for rapid development work if Rossi felt it was on the wrong path.
"We have tried to create the conditions where we are ready to design, in the shortest time possible, the parts we think are useful to have a better bike," Preziosi told Motosprint. "Of all the things we had on our list, we have chosen only the important ones and that's where we've focused. "After all, hiring Valentino is not just having a very quick rider, but also one who is able to give correct indications for the bike's development. So we must make the most of this hugely important asset for the company."
However,he said so far that was no suggestion that Rossi was unhappy with the Ducati's characteristics.
"Based on Valentino's comments, it seems unnecessary to radically change the project," said Preziosi. "However, we are ready to do it, should it become necessary."