Ducati's Nicky Hayden hopes to get his first taste of the Italian team's revised MotoGP chassis during a test next Monday, following this weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril.
The American, along with teammate Valentino Rossi, has struggled to be competitive on the Desmosedici GP11 this season, both riders having complained of severe understeer. But while the team is expected to use the old bike at Estoril again this weekend, it will give its riders a chance to sample the new bike, which was shaken down last week at Mugello.
Asked whether the new bike was at the track, Hayden replied: "There is a new chassis here but I don't know when I'll try it. It's softer [to ride]. I haven't seen it yet, to be honest. I hope to get to try it on Monday. Hopefully it's softer turning in and still good on the brakes. I don't know the exact amount it is softer but it is a good step."
Hayden will also test a number of new components in an effort to improve the carbon fiber GP11 chassis.
"We've got some electronics we might try through the weekend but that obviously depends on the weather," he said. "It's never easy to test stuff at the weekend if we have got to try something and even Monday doesn't look that great. It's not a lot of stuff for me to try, so we'll see, probably try something tomorrow."