Marlboro Ducati’s Valentino Rossi tested the Ducati GP12 today at the Jerez Circuit in Spain as the Italian team looks ahead to the 2012 MotoGP season when the class goes back to the 1000cc formula.Rossi’s day began at 11 a.m. with a quick six-lap session, but by the end of the day he’d completed some 50 laps.Rossi shared the track with test rider Franco Battaini, who was riding the GP11 800cc machine.A Ducati-produced video of Rossi on the GP12 can be seen here.Vittoriano Guareschi, who had tested the bike on Thursday, today worked with Rossi on the sidelines, along with Filippo Preziosi. NIcky Hayden was also at the test and the 2006 World Champion will ride the bike tomorrow.”I’m happy,” Rossi said in a Ducati release.
“I like the GP12. In my opinion, it’s more enjoyable, more fun to ride. It was the first time we had it on the track, so we had some work to do, but the engine is nicer. It’s a lot of fun, and you can do some nice slides. It’s the bike we’ll ride next year, so it was very important – and also very nice – to be among the first to take it on the track.”Filippo Preziosi was also happy with the outcome.”We chose to have our factory riders – today Vale, tomorrow Nicky – try the bike beginning with its first test, because we think their feedback is essential for starting us on the right path for the early development,” Preziosi said. “To be able to work with Vale for a full day is more than any technician could ask. We gathered considerable feedback that we’ll translate into further design and development for next year’s bike. The positive thing is that the technical choices made for the GP12 in the initial planning phase, in 2011 – and I’m referring primarily to the engine, which is still a big-bang, and to the rear end – were endorsed by Valentino. This gives us great satisfaction, and we’re optimistic about the work that still remains to be done. We know that our competitors are also working hard and developing their 2012 bikes, but that just makes the challenge better.”