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 machines for the first time on Wednesday, having dedicated the opening day of the Sepang test to comparing different engine iterations.
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 delivery 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 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.
Michele Pirro, Ducati Team
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
“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.”
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] wasn’t easy because I [had just] started to work and I needed more laps 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.”