Casey Stoner reverted to Ducati's traditional aluminum swingarm during practice at Mugello today in an effort to resolve an issue with the new-style carbon fiber swingarm that the GP9 normally uses.
The former world champion experimented with both versions of the swingarm during the hour and ended up third quickest.
"The idea behind going back to the aluminum swingarm is just in order to see where we can improve more with the carbon version," said Stoner. "The carbon swingarm is better in a lot of ways but there is one area we're struggling to find grip with in the turns. So we're using the aluminum one to find out where it is better and why, and then hopefully transfer that across.
"I don't mind riding with one of each because we can do similar lap times so it's not a problem."
He admitted that the swingarm evaluation had prevented Ducati from getting through its usual programme of race preparation today, but did not think this would make any difference to his weekend.
"The only way it affected us today was that we had to make a lot of short runs and do a lot of testing but we're happy with the way things went," said Stoner.
"Today was a case of spending a time learning more about our bike rather than setting it up to race, which we'll focus on tomorrow. Considering how close we are to the top, I think we can be quite confident."