The 2011 Ducati is in the process of having some brand-new front forks being made by Ohlins to try and counter the front-end problems that plagued the team in 2010.
Ducati had a large diameter front fork to keep the bike stable under braking, but it soon transpired that the "feel" of the front when leaned over at angles approaching 60 degrees was not ideal.
"For sure that's one of the places we want to improve, to make the front better," said American rider Nicky Hayden. "There was poor front feeling, Casey [Stoner] found a few problems, and I think I was on the ground last year more than I've ever crashed in a season in my life – 11 times. So I'll try to cut down on that a bit, understand it a bit more and have a bit more of a cushion there, so when it is pushing, it's not too late."
He added: "Also, with our bike we sometimes struggled with turning, especially off the brakes. So we've got some ideas we're going to try in Malaysia to hopefully not just improve front-end feeling and feedback, but also to make the bike steer better and turn better, particularly with the brake off."
Team manager Vito Guareschi told AUTOSPORT that Ohlins is making a new fork for 2011 to overcome this problem.
"Ohlins is making a new fork that is really a blend between the 2008 fork and the 2010 one. The new forks that we will get for the first test in Sepang will be 42mm for the GP11. It's really a 'flex package' that we are making to try and overcome the problems. This includes a new chassis (airbox) that will still be stable on the brakes, but have enough flex to help the riders into the corners."
• Read the full Q & A with Nicky Hayden here