Ducati's star rider and three-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo will test a thumb-operated braking system on his GP17 in the second pre-season test of 2017 at Phillip Island in Australia. Lorenzo is also tweaking his riding style to get the maximum out of Ducati's race machine.
The Spaniard has already stated that the GP17 is very different from the Yamaha M1, which he used to race for the past nine years. The Ducati machine has always been a very demanding one, especially under braking.
The first day of the Malaysian test saw Lorenzo finishing in 17th position, 1.6 seconds off pace from the pacesetter and Ducati test rider Casey Stoner. The three-time champion was shocked due to the lack of pace.
Lorenzo recalled, "I was surprised at being so slow. I did not expect it to be so hard. There's still a long way to go, especially in braking. I used to brake much earlier on the Yamaha, so I lose a lot in braking now.
"This bike must be ridden in a different way and at the beginning, you don't understand how to take the most of it, so it was hard for me to be among the fastest.
"With this prototype, you have to brake later and go into the corner while braking. That's Dovizioso's style now and it's quite different from mine at the start of the test."
Davide Tardozzi, Ducati team boss has confirmed that the team will provide him with a thumb-operated rear brake which Dovizioso has used in the past. Using the rear brake cleverly is the only way to master the Ducati and use its full potential.
The team boss said, "Jorge found out yesterday about the need to change his riding style a bit, using the rear brake much more than he has been doing so far. That's why he was already on track with such complicated weather conditions, as he wanted to continue his learning process."
Lorenzo has used the thumb-operated braking system when he was at Yamaha in a pre-season test couple of years ago. This experience will help him to get more familiar with this mechanism activated by the left hand.