The Ducati GP12 earned just two podium finishes last season between riders Valentino Rossi and Nick Hayden, but Hayden said the first version of the GP13 won't feature many changes from that bike, which suffered from chronic understeer.
Ducati continued evolutionary steps on its Desmosedici at postseason tests at Valencia and Jerez and will test again Feb. 5-7 at Sepang.
"I was in Bologna in the past days," Hayden said at the Wrooom press briefing. "We don't have a new bike as such. You'll learn more from (new Ducati chief) Bernhard Gobmeier. The bike hasn't changed a lot from last year, but we have a lot of clear ideas and to find a direction, but it will take time.
"Unfortunately, time is not really on our side, especially with the engine rule when the motors have to be locked in, so the new boys haven't stepped into an easy situation. But they are very motivated to make up for lost time. I see a fresh start and lot of good motivation and a lot of fresh ideas. It's clear there is a big challenge ahead of us but also lot of motivation."
It looks like the "Audi effect" of significantly increased engineering and funding for Ducati might take more time to bear fruit than expected.
But Hayden still believes Ducati made the right decision - upon urging from Rossi - to scrap its carbon-fiber frame concept and return to a more traditional aluminum frame in 2012 for the GP12.
"That was much of Valentino's idea," Hayden said of the change in frame philosophy. "His opinion was that this might be the key to solve the troubles that we have had. So we changed the frame.
"I was OK with that since I did not see many differences in that time. But we see now that this was basically the step in the right direction, even if it did not help much immediately. This is what we have now, so we will develop the bike in that direction."