In an interview on the official MotoGP.com website, Claudia Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Corse told reporters what they already knew: that Ducati is most fearful of the new Honda RC212V for the 2008 season. Domenicali made two very obvious and related points: that Honda will want revenge for their miserable performance in 2007, and that HRC have the technological prowess and means to achieve just that. "They can make a mistake once, but it's difficult for them to make a mistake twice," Domencali said.
Former 500cc veteran Randy Mamola backed up much of what Domenicali had to say. Mamola, also present at Ducati's annual press week at the Italian ski resort of Madonna di Campiglio, had a chance to ride all of the 2007 MotoGP bikes after the final race of the season at Valencia, and had some interesting observations to make, which found a willing audience in Italian site GPOne.com. "Of all the bikes present (at the Valencia postseason test ) the Honda has made the most progress during the season," Mamola said. "It even passed the Ducati down the front straight at the last race." Mamola saw the RC212V's engine as its strong point, after HRC switched from a big bang to a screamer firing order during the season. "Despite the increased power, it still provided plenty of tractability," the American told GPOne.com.
As for the other bikes, Mamola was very complimentary about the Suzuki, saying that it was easy to ride while still developing plenty of power. But the American veteran was damning about the Yamaha: "(it) had several problems, less power and a tendency to wheelie everywhere." Mamola put those problems down to the Yamaha's big bang firing order: "The fact is that this version of the Yamaha ... has too much torque at certain moments." Mamola told GPOne.com that he thought that the screamer configuration was a better solution to the problems of traction for the new generation of 800cc MotoGP bikes.
Whether Mamola is right, and just what Ducati's rivals have come up with to face the 2008 challenge, will be revealed in just under a week's time, when testing resumes in Sepang.