MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
Why Ducati is so fast at Losail
There were three Ducatis in the top five at last weekend’s final preseason tests – which is why Jorge Lorenzo may just make history next week
The two big questions ahead of next week’s season-opening Qatar Grand Prix: will Maverick Viñales win first time out with Yamaha, or will Jorge Lorenzo win first time out with Ducati?
We already know Viñales will most likely be competitive everywhere, while Lorenzo will probably be fast wherever the Ducati works, which includes Losail, where the bike was in the thick of the fight for victory in 2015 and 2016.
It was the same story in last weekend’s final preseason tests; three Ducatis in the top five: Andrea Dovizioso, Lorenzo and Alvaro Bautista, with Dovizioso just 0.071 seconds behind Viñales and Lorenzo less than two tenths down. That was quite a turnaround from the previous tests at Phillip Island, where there wasn’t a single Ducati in the top six.
The Desmosedici struggles with Phillip Island’s multitude of longer corners because the bike has a mid-corner turning problem. While other MotoGP machines hook neatly through turns so the rider can get on the power nice and early, the Ducati understeers in the middle of the corner, so the rider must do some more work before he can get the bike pointing in the right direction, ready for the throttle.
Losail also features a lot of sweeping corners, but the Ducati seems to suffer none of the problems it suffers in Australia. How come?
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.