First spotted on the Ducati of test rider Michele Pirro At last week’s shakedown, the new aerodynamic package combines the stepped layout on the side of the bike with a diffuser at the bottom of the fairing – two parts that were separately trialled last year.

The idea is to improve both the cornering and the braking performance of the bike, something that Ducati previously believed would be difficult to achieve with a single fairing.

Bagnaia, factory team-mate Enea Bastianini and Pramac’s Jorge Martin all got to try out the new aero on their respective bikes for the first time on Wednesday, having dedicated the opening day of the Sepang test to compare different engine versions.

Bagnaia praised the work Ducati has done to introduce the new fairing, along with other updates it has brought to the GP24.

He said: “I feel good with more or less everything. The thing we improved a lot was the power delivered today and it makes me very happy.

“The new fairing has a really good potential, but still I think we have to change a bit on the set-up to improve the feeling a bit.

“Also the exhaust is quite good, but I need another one back to back to confirm if it’s good or not. But more or less was a really positive day.”

Asked to explain how the fairing impacts how the bike handles, especially in light of some negative views from his 2023 title rival Martin, Bagnaia added: “It’s completely different compared to the old one, the last year one.

“You have more downforce on the straight so you can feel less wheelie, but if you enter with brakes it’s becoming a bit stiffer.

“If you work with the set-up you can adapt to make it easier and the potential of less wheelie.”

Michele Pirro, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The new aero will be homologated in time for the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix next month, with a further update to the bike planned for the British Grand Prix in August, according to Ducati team manager Davide Tardozzi.

Bagnaia has also been testing a new fork in Malaysia, which he says has further improved the braking performance of the Ducati.

“I moved to the long one,” he revealed. “Yesterday [it] It wasn’t easy because I [had just] started to work and I needed more lapses on it.

“We did another step today, a little change on the set-up. You can brake harder, so it was good. You need to put more force on it, but you can brake harder.”

Using the new fairing on Wednesday, Bagnaia posted a time of 1m57.469s to finish up fifth in the session, just over three tenths behind the Pramac-entered Ducati of Martin.

Asked if he felt he is in better shape going into the 2024 season than last year, he said: “One year ago on the second day I was quite scared about the situation because the bike wasn’t working perfectly.

“Today I’m quite impressed by my lap times considering that the 57.4 arrived with a fuel tank. It’s something incredible also the pace.

“So we are in a better situation compared to last season but still we miss something so I need to work more tomorrow.”

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