According to both GPone and MCN, Valentino Rossi and Ducati Corse will test a new aluminum frame at Jerez this week. Though the two MotoGP authorities differ on what sot of frame exactly will be used during the test (MCN says twin-spar, while GPone maintains an “open cradle” frame that leaves the motor still as a stressed object). Regardless of the style, the new chassis is reportedly made by FTR, and is another attempt by the Italian racing team to figure out how to solve the vague front-end feeling coming from the Ducati Desmosedici GP11/GP11.1/GP12.
Possibly similar to the chassis style used by Honda and Yamaha, this new frame design marks the fourth major chassis change this year for Ducati. Unable to compete against the top pack on the grid, Rossi has lately even struggled to keep up with his fellow Ducati riders come race day. While technically considered a test for the 2012 season and on the GP12 motorcycle, the results from the Jerez test (Ducati’s seventh test of an allowed eight) could easily find its way onto this season’s Desmosedici.
With Ducati frantically searching for a solution that will put the G.O.A.T. on the podium, this upcoming test at Jerez perhaps signals how lost Ducati has become on its search for solutions. Debuting a more flexible carbon chassis at Estoril early in the 2011 season, Ducati Corse soon abandoned the GP11 for the GP11.1, which was basically the GP12 with the motor modified for the 800cc rules. Unable to make headway on the GP11.1, Ducati recently modified its “frameless chassis”, using an aluminum headstock/airbox at Aragon, with again less than inspiring results.
The team now hopes that moving to a fully-traditional frame will shed some insight onto the problems plaguing the Desmosedici’s front-end. Whether or not the new aluminum frame will make it into racing this year is not clear at this time, but if Ducati is having Valentino Rossi test the setup this quickly after the Aragon GP, you can imagine something is afoot in the Italian camp.