On what typically would be the formal unveiling of Ducati’s next GP race bike, Ducati Corse General Manager Filippo Preziosi stood alone on the stage at Madonna di Campiglio, and instead talked briefly about the “totally new” GP12, while fielding questions from the assembled press. Releasing very little information about the team’s off-season progress, Preziosi shared very few concrete details about the new Ducati Desmosedici GP12 (you could also read that sentence to mean that the assembled press failed to press for more detailed information concerning the GP12…it really could go either way). From what information could be gleaned from Preziosi, we now know that that the new GP12 is comprised of roughly 90% new parts when compared the previous iterations of the MotoGP contender.
Expected visually to look similar the GP12’s of the past, the finalized GP12 will have an aluminum perimeter-style frame, carbon fiber swingarm, and a better balance with the motor placement. Declining to state the angle of the cylinder heads, Preziosi added some more fuel to the fire and speculation that the Ducati Desmosedici GP12 will not have a 90° cylinder arrangement. At the very least, the GP12 will allow for greater adjustment with the engine placement specs, as well as the overall geometry of the motorcycle. This should help Ducati Corse develop the GP12 over the course of the season, and set it up better for each race circuit. However, Preziosi did caution that the team was trying to compress two years worth of R&D into three months, a daunting task to say the least.
“Over the recent months, we followed an intensive, consistent test program, which culminated with the two-day post-race test in Valencia,” explained Preziosi to the assembled press. “By analyzing the data-acquisition information, the riders’ comments and the setup sheets, we defined the target values for the new frame geometry.”
“Now, with Jeremy (Burgess), Juan (Martinez) and our riders, we’ll work at the track to define the bike’s base setup so that we can then proceed with the customary development work that’s typically done during winter testing, with the goal of starting a trend of improvement in terms of competitiveness,” continued Preziosi. “Normally, it takes two years to complete the process from the calculation stage, to design, to component construction, to test-bench ‘shakedown,’ to track testing, to racing.”
“By compressing this process down to a span of just months, we’ve accepted a challenge that we know will be very difficult, but we believe it’s possible. All this is thanks to the extraordinary group that includes Valentino and Nicky, who last year agreed to a number of tests that often affected their performance, as well as our team, our designers and our sponsors—in particular the title sponsor, a partner that has always been steadfastly at our side. Ducati is a company that has already faced significant challenges in the past, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
If you needed a reason to argue for MotoGP adopting an “english-only” perspective on media interactions, check out the all-Italian video below. Le sigh.
Source: Ducati Corse & MotoGP.com