As had been widely expected, Ducati will not have the GP15 ready for the first test at Sepang, in early February.
In an interview with the MotoGP.com website, due to be shown on 19th January, Ducati Corse boss confirmed that work was still underway on the all-new bike; and that instead, Ducati will be bringing an uprated version of last year’s bike, dubbed the GP14.3, to test aspects of the new design not requiring the new engine.
The delays have been trailed by both Dall’Igna and Paolo Ciabatti, speaking to the media at the Valencia test and at the Superprestigio dirt track event in December. The GP15 is a completely new bike, designed from the ground up, with a completely redesigned engine.
Though expected to retain Ducati’s 90° V4 layout and desmodromic valve operation, the engine is likely to be much shorter, with a revised gearbox layout making it much more compact.
Ducati are also believed to be looking at a heavier crankshaft, to help smooth throttle response. Dall’Igna will reveal more details on the design of the bike to the MotoGP website in the interview to be shown as part of the site’s Off Season Show, set to be aired on 19th January.
Paolo Ciabatti told us in December that the bike will look very similar to the GP14, though noticeably smaller. The silhouette is broadly the same, though the exhaust and tail are markedly different.
The GP15 now looks likely to make its debut at the second Sepang test, which starts on 23rd February. If they do not make that date, then the first opportunity for Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone to ride the bike will be at Qatar, on 14th March.
Given that factory riders will get their first chance to test the Michelin tires at the second Sepang test, it seems likely that Ducati will push to have the bike ready then.
Source: MotoGP.com; Photo: Ducati
This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.