Ducati schedules in-season Jerez test for after Qatar

Ducati has scheduled an extra test with MotoGP race riders Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso at Jerez, after the Qatar 2017 season opener.

The Italian manufacturer will complete a two-day test at the Spanish Grand Prix venue between the Qatar race and MotoGP’s trip to the Americas for the events in Argentina and the United States.

However, to preserve its allocation of five test days per year with race riders, it will only use test rider Michele Pirro on the first day.

Lorenzo and Dovizioso will then take over for the second day, Ducati sporting director Paolo Ciabatti confirmed to Motorsport.com.

Ducati has traditionally been competitive in Qatar, and relatively strong at Termas de Rio Hondo and Austin, but has struggled at the low-grip Jerez, the first European race on the calendar on May 7.

The additional test comes at a time where Ducati is looking to improve the turning characteristics of its Desmosedici GP17, as well as get new recruit Lorenzo up to speed after two troubled tests at Sepang and Phillip Island.