Former World Superbike and 250cc World Champion Max Biaggi ended a two-day test with the Pramac Ducati team today, the Italian riding the team’s Ducati Desmosedici GP13 at the Mugello circuit in Italy.
Although the test featured some inclement weather at the end of both days, Biaggi was able to reacquaint himself with the power of the new-generation MotoGP bikes, the carbon brakes and the Bridgestone tires.
“I’m back to being a rider for the first time in eight months,” Biaggi said in a Pramac press release. “It was great because this is a sport that I really love, and after what feels like a long time, it was a great opportunity to ride a MotoGP bike. In the early laps I actually felt that I had really been away for eight years, because a MotoGP bike always has an immediate reaction, and a progression that just doesn’t exist in a Superbike. It was also nice because I established a great feeling with the group of people who were assigned to me for this test, just like when I began in Aprilia in 2009. There was a positive feeling between all of us, even though it was just a single test. I’d like to thank first Ducati, and also team Pramac for this opportunity. We were rather unfortunate because out of two days available we more or less only had one due to the rain, but it’s better than nothing. We didn’t do any damage and we had some good fun.”
Team manager Francesco Guidotti also enjoyed the experience.
“The first day was spent with Max trying to find out as much as possible about the bike because, as we said, after eight years of not riding a MotoGP bike it was clear that his memories were from a long time back,” he said. “Things have changed a lot since then, in particular the tires, but probably the carbon brakes were what slowed him down the most in his gaining overall confidence in the bike. On the second day, however, we could see an improvement right from the first time he went out; maybe during the night he reflected on what had happened the previous morning, as he hadn’t ridden in the afternoon due to the bad weather. I think it was great for him to test with us, and for us it was a great pleasure to have him in the box again.”
Marlboro Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden were also at the test, the pair testing the “laboratory” version of the GP13.
"If we're completely honest, we didn't achieve the progress that we'd hoped for, which is unfortunate,” Hayden said. “This laboratory bike has some positives, but at the moment, the lap time is very similar to our current bike. Hopefully, these days will help the engineers to learn something. Thanks to my guys for coming here and working hard, because it's not easy to go back to the track and test after a long GP weekend."