In Spain right now, an assembly of Ducati Corse technicians, mechanics, and riders are tucking into bed after completing the first of three days of MotoGP testing at the Spanish track. After failing to debut its new Ducati Desmosedici GP12 at the 2012 Wrooom media event, Ducati Corse is holding some very private tests at Jerez to sort out the GP12 before Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden ride the 1,000cc format machine at the Sepang test at the end of the month. Details about the Desmosedici GP12 have been sparse, though Ducati Corse General Manager Filippo Preziosi did let it be known that the 2012 Desmo was 90% new in its design.

Speculation has been rife as to whether Ducati had narrowed the cylinder angle on its V4 motor, and/or if the motor had been rotated backwards in the chassis. Both solutions would allow for the GP12’s engine to mounted further forward, an issue many believe to be the cause of the Desmosedici’s vague front-end issues. With Preziosi saying on more than one occasion that the basics of Ducati’s V4 engine were not the cause of Ducati’s woes, it comes as no surprise then to hear that Ducati will use a twin-spar aluminum frame instead of its carbon fiber monocoque design.

Starting their testing today at Jerez, it is expected that Ducati Corse will have Franco Battaini and Carlos Checa making sure the GP12 has all of its major glitches ironed out ahead of Malaysia. Battaini will surely be on the side of “making it work” while Checa will spend his time “making it go fast”. With no press allowed at Jerez, details throughout the week will likely be nonexistent, though Ducati Corse might grace us with a press release on Thursday or Friday that outlines in the most vague way possible that the team went around the Circuito de Jerez a number of times with or without positive improvement.

Perhaps more interesting is that Ducati is so late in the game in testing the “90% new” GP12 ahead of the first MotoGP test. An issue not being discussed in the media, in any sort of detail, is what sort of reading this has into the situation at Ducati Corse. Seen spinning its tires in the mud last season, in many ways Ducati’s worst enemy was itself, and the pressure it created to “fix” the GP11 now that it was being raced by Valentino Rossi.

While some doubt Rossi’s invincible status, the Desmosedici surely has its gremlins, and so far the early indication from Ducati is that those problems still have yet to be reeled in on a shorter leash. Hopefully for MotoGP fans, Sepang proves this perception wrong, otherwise it will be another two-manufacturer season for 2012 and the return of the 1,000cc bikes.

Source: MotoMatters & GPone

  • Ben Faster

    There will be a press release early if the times look good but to start over from scratch like this – it will be a miracle if they move it from a 7th 8th place to a 5th 6th place bike. Its not like the other guys ( Honda Freight train from hell) are just standing around doing nothing. Good Luck Ducati Corse! Your going to need it and I’m going to hope
    for the best!

  • new year new format… Hopefully they get it right like 2007!!!

  • MikeD

    No Press allowed u say…………Aahhh, Ducati…u are so gutless and SOOOO lacking confidence and BALLS, LOTS OF BALLS.

    If u guys blow it don’t worry about it being known….’CAUSE IT WILL BE KNOWN…the next day or the next week…..but the dirty undies won’t be hidden forever.

    With that said…good luck, u guys sure NEED ALL IT U CAN GET.

  • Westward

    Last years bike was ugly… It’s one thing to not be as fast as the competition, but the least they could have done was look good doing it…

    Hope the liveries and the shape of the fairings improve too…

  • MikeD

    Talking about colors and liveries… I hope VR’s bike doesn’t look like Ronald McDonald’s bike…AGAIN.

  • emerson bigguns

    Yep, the bike needs new fairings, engine, chassis. Other than that its fine.

  • loki

    The engine’s fine, I’m sure. If anything, it’ll be rotated backwards a bit, like in the Panigale. It’s more interesting to see if it’s a “big bang” or not.

    As for the chassis, something is puzzling me: Ducati abandoned the trellis in 2008, just after winning the title on it. Then they tried the Carbon fiber which they didn’t properly figure out. And now, they’re trying to implement the twin spar Al used by the competition… that they beat in 2007 with a trellis frame. For me, that’s a double step back; I don’t see any reason in this madness. I don’t think that they’ve got absolutely everything out of that trellis frame in the first place, so why not getting back to that solution if the Carbon fiber monocoque didn’t work?

    OK, I know the trellis has it’s drawbacks (with the welding points and all that), but come on, after decades of working (and winning) with it, I think they’ve pretty much mastered it. Abandoning that in favor of what the japs do the best for many years doesn’t make any sense…

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  • Ian Miles

    Dear Mike D. Ducati is the smallest manufacturer on the grid by a large margin (including many of the CRT companies). It has seen many other manufacturers come and go,. It has persisted and had some success in a category of motorcycling which is unfamiliar. Since 2003, one world rider and manufacturing championship, 32 wins mostly with middling riders. Yam in the same period have 55 wins, 37 with Rossi. Therefore 18 without.
    It has been bold at times, Bridgestone tyres, carbon frame (as demanded by Stacey Coner) and made mistakes clearly.
    This is significantly more than Kawasaki, Aprilia, KR, Suzuki and several others could muster. It is unlikely that any other manufacturer will do other than drop in some CRT bikes (hardly bold) next year either. Since joining in 83 Honda have really dominated MotoGP. Spencer, Gardener, Doohan, Rossi. Only Ducati and Yamahaha have mounted a challenge even then it took Rossi to do so with Yam, straight from Honda. Ducati managed to challenge without him since 2003.
    Do you really want another Moto2 championship * 500’s and 990’s. The CRT (500’s) bikes will not be on the pace compared to Motogp bikes (990’s).
    Even if you can’t stand the Italianness of Ducati better in the championship than out I say.

  • Westward

    @Ian Miles

    Rossi has 46 victories on a Yamaha…


    I see where you are coming from. Why not go back to it, or a carbon fibre version of it…

  • @MikeD – all manufacturers have periods where no press is allowed during testing/development. This is not a giant leap of imagination for you, is it?

  • MikeD

    RaceTrack Style:

    If we were talking about a MONEY MAKING/DEAL BREAKER production model…i would understand it…but a friggin prototype ? also known as IMPERFECT MONEY SUCKING PITS ?! Sorry, maybe there’s a lot more riding than my narrow “vision” can see.

    What’s there to loose ? “Face” ? Blah…is called prototype for a reason…they have to get it right…thing is not borned PERFECT unless ur a frigging Motorcycle God or something.

    Besides, what face is LEFT after all the Frame DRAMA ?!
    People don’t know what they’re talking about, there’s nothing WRONG with our bike…BLAH, BLAH, BLAH…and AT the bitter end they had to squat and TAKE IT like a man…new frame, new this, new that…basically a almost a complete new machine.

    I don’t know about the rest, but to me it means a lot when people come OUT clean and let it be it and call it by it’s name…not turd sugar coating for me, thanks.

    Ducati is a great company and i don’t want to see them go or leave GP… but they have to cut the “beating around the bush” CRAP and just let it all hang out…and if they see A PROBLEM aknowledge the danm thing and fix it, before SHIT HITS THE FAN(S).

  • AC


    The reason for the numerous changes, included abandoning the trellis frame, is the tires. Ducati’s argument is that the series has changed in the past few years to heavily cater towards twin spar bike design. So rather than fight against the grain, they’re going to roll with it.

    I hope it works! Their 2011 season was a disaster.

  • Ducati this Ducati that!!! Nobody ever talks about how many frames Perdosa went through in 2010… He test 28 frames through out the year …. Honda hasn’t won consistantly until Stoner got on the RV2112………. Hopefully Ducati is back up front with both factory riders….

  • MikeD

    It’s easier to pray on the fallen lamb.LOL.

    Ok, ok…ur right(hard to arg against FACTS)…best of wishes to Ducati…(^_^)

  • irksome

    The issue with the trellis frame was in the inability to create identical and predictable versions of it, due to the number of welds.

    As to changing the cylinder angle, Ducati has maintained their need to recreate their 90-degree production motor mystique, a point which is lost on me since their MotoGP bikes are 4-cylinder rather than twins.

  • john walker

    Wow whats with all the negative talk about a company that can still compete in motogp should you all talk shame them out of the competition or should we simply embrace the FACT that they can hang in there, i hate the fact that 2 companys rule. im for what is best for the sport rather than who has the best bike

  • @Dc4go – agree.

    @MikeD – Yamaha didn’t make everything public when they had many problems to fix when Rossi first joined.

    Every team has big challenges met by talented people, regardless of the brand. We will see their progress soon enough, without demanding public access in January testing.

    You mentioned these are Prototype machines..
    What other brand is willing to use this high profile platform to push design to new areas to the level Ducati is trying?

  • MikeD

    @RaceTrackStyle said:

    You mentioned these are Prototype machines..
    What other brand is willing to use this high profile platform to push design to new areas to the level Ducati is trying?

    Let’s just say they are trying…and let them be (-_-)’