Trackside Tuesday: What Lies Ahead

11/06/2012 @ 8:08 am, by Scott Jones9 COMMENTS

Trackside Tuesday: What Lies Ahead Andrea Iannone Pramac Ducati MotoGP Scott Jones

With all three world titles settled as we head to Valencia, some find their attention more focussed on the test that follows the season’s final round, rather than on who will win any of the weekend’s three races.

Certainly Rossi’s future reunited with Yamaha and Jorge Lorenzo as teammate is a subject of great interest, as is Marc Marquez on a factory Honda. But also there’s the future of Ducati to ponder, as a returning Nicky Hayden is joined by Andrea Dovizioso, while Ben Spies and Andrea Iannone join up to ride for the factory’s junior team.

Here are four gifted riders with several world championships between them. But as good as they are, none of them is Casey Stoner. And none of them has the financial backing of Valentino Rossi, who was able to ask for major changes to the GP11 and GP12 designs, none of which resulted in a package that would allow Rossi to return to the front of the pack.

What direction will Ducati take with the GP13, and what will the 2013 riders be able to do with it? The test will be our first chance to watch the new riders on Ducati’s latest MotoGP bike, and I for one am very curious to see if, on Wednesday night, 2013 will look like a season of hope, or another very long campaign of trying to fend off improving CRT machines.

Scott Jones is a professional photographer who covers MotoGP and WSBK for racing industry clients as well as racing websites and publications in the U.S. and Europe. His online archive is available at Photo.GP, and you can find him on his blogTwitter, & Facebook.

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Comment:

  1. Bill says:

    I am going to offer wild conjecture based on no facts and complete opinion. So a lot like political pundits and election outcomes. I predict a return to the carbon chassis updated with engineered chassis flex to mimic the trellis frame characteristics. Increased mid range power with a more v-twin characteristics to maximize tire wear and allow their riders to maintain consistent lap time through out the race. All of this made possible by Rossi leaving and removing a large distraction who’s engineering team was set in their ways about how a bike should be versus what it could be.

  2. Sixty7 says:

    Just go back to the Trellis frame at least they know it works…..because it won the championship in 2007 with King Casey…..nuff said

  3. Frenchie says:

    Casey himself told that the treillis frame wasn’t that good, that two frames felt different from one to another, because of the high number of weldings, and the feeling of the frame depended of how the weldings were done

  4. smiler says:

    Stacey criticised the steel trellis frame for 2 reasons. He could feel differences between his 2 bikes. It gave too much flex. Ducati went to Ferrari and got a carbon frame. Since then it has never performed. He managed 4th place twice and realised his mistake and went to Honda. Unintelligable feedback, tech not well understood by Ducati, engine part of the frame. Little tuning ability. Summary useless.

    Steel trellis, 70 degree V4 and 4 decent riders and bags of cash from Audi. It would at least be a good place to start. Better than starting with the Burgess and Rossi mess.

  5. Craig says:

    Exactly as above… no matter how much money you have, you can’t ask Italian Engineers to make a Japanese Yamaha without exact pics and directions. It’s not in their DNA.

    So you allow them to do what they do and you learn to ride that Italian lady properly as did Mr. Stoner. Not to say it was perfect, because it wasn’t… in fact no one could really keep up with the Honda’s / Yamaha’s…

    Even Casey was starting to fall further behind on the Duc, so what to do? Let’s just see…

  6. Phil says:

    Ducati are hoist on their own petard. Before Rossi even went there, Preziosi said, “We are not going to build a Yamaha just to suit Valentino Rossi.” So, what did they do as soon as he got there? Started to turn the Ducati into a Yamaha. The problem was, they didn’t know how. I hope that they rediscover what making a GP bike work is all about because, as others have already said, the 2 years of Rossi have been a major distraction and a complete and utter waste of time and resources.

  7. MikeD says:

    I wish they would dump the JAPANESE Frame and go back to Ducati being Italian and DOING IT THE ITALIAN WAY ( Trellis, perfect or not ) not some copy cat of the Nihongo’s Tech solutions.
    I just want Ducati to be DUCATI again…(^.^)

    This is JMHO, make that JM{un-informed, somewhat ignorant}HO.

    Im looking forward to the tests of the 2013 Prototypes more than the races.

    Did anyone else saw the news on Motoblog.it that Suzuki won’t go fully into MotoGP until 2016 and will only be running wildcards ? Jensen, did u catch any wind on that ?

    http://www.motoblog.it/post/81881/dorna-suzuki-in-motogp-solo-fino-al-2016

    Or that Yamaha is thinking on leasing M1 Engines for the 2014 Season eliminating those anemic CRT bikes ?

    “To sell M1 is out of the question, will never happen-continued Jarvis-and we still are happy with the strategy of “four motor”: this is already the most that our technicians and our resources can handle. Redeploying some resources we could give more leased engines, because the specifications remain the same, and for us it would be relatively easy to give assistance to garntire of good performance. Our frame will be different from what a CRT could ever have, but it is the engine that makes a real big difference in today’s MotoGP. “Jarvis has also pointed out that this engine would be based on that of the YZR-M1 prototype used by Lorenzo, and not some sort of ‘ super-vitaminizzata version of the R1. This of course would make him eligible for the CRT, which enjoys a ‘ different ‘ Regulation (such as the largest tank and as many engines ‘ available ‘ in the year) because the source ‘ Motors ‘ production: “If we don’t do that, [the engine] will certainly be based on that of the M1: R1 engine would require a lot of work and a lot of engineering effort to be updated.”

    http://www.motoblog.it/post/82631/motogp-yamaha-pronta-a-dare-in-leasing-il-motore-della-m1-dal-2014-e-la-fine-della-crt

  8. ALVIN says:

    Rossi for sure earned a lot of money by joining Ducati, however, in return he definitely wasted at least 8 to 10 wins in two years and a possible championship if he decides to stay with Yamaha. For Ducati & their sponsors side, for sure they wasted a lot of money but in return a disappointing two years of not getting good results after all. Now, I hope Ducati learned from that mistake and they must focus first on developing a bike that can be competitive instead of acquiring high price talented rider. If Preziosi is not the right person to do that, then Ducati should look for other alternative.

  9. MikeD, I generally avoid MotoBlog for MotoGP news…

    Yamaha is considering selling a version of its M1 motor to teams…I don’t think that’s going to get ride of CRT bikes though, which was the sensationalist headline MCN used for that story when the news was broken.

    Suzuki hasn’t said anything about wild cards in 2014 though they were expected to do maybe a round or two next season, with a full-season commitment the following year. Dorna has told Suzuki it wants a contract thru 2016, like the other OEMs, and doesn’t seem to be budging on that point, which is fairly foolish if you ask me.