After the secrecy concerning Ducati Corse’s test of the Ducati Desmosedici GP12 at Mugello this week, we were surprised to see that the Italian racing team even bothered to submit a press release for the event, which saw both Franco Battaini and Valentino Rossi take laps on a new version of the GP12. Speculated to have an aluminum twin-spar chassis (courtesy of FTR), the photos from the event do suggest a change in the chassis design, though what is actually under the fairings will be debated heavily over the rest of the week.

Making no mention of an aluminum chassis, improved front-end feel, or improved lap times, the statements (press release after the jump) from Ducati Corse and Valentino Rossi are incredibly vague, though perhaps they leave some interesting things to be read between the lines.

The fact that Rossi tersely described the test results without mentioning any improvements to the Desmosedici’s front-end is an interesting point to consider, especially after the nine-time World Champion had a crash on his third lap, binning the GP12 in the exit of the Scarperia-Palagio section of the Mugello track.

Considering that the feel from the GP11/11.1 has been the center-point throughout the 2011 season, we would have expected some indication on how the “good fight” was been waged in the Corse camp. Though spartan in  his words, one can discern some meaty notions from what Rossi didn’t say in his statement after riding 82 laps on the new GP12. Check the press release out after the jump, and leave your conclusions in the comments.


For the final day of a three-day test at Mugello, Valentino Rossi joined the Ducati Test Team to work on developing the 2012 race bike. In doing so, he utilized the sixth of eight days during which factory riders may participate in such outings. The Italian turned a total of 82 laps in conditions that were sunny but not overly hot.

Rossi had a fall on the exit of the Scarperia-Palagio section during the third lap of his first outing in the morning, but it didn’t affect the team’s work, which continued until 6:30 p.m.

Filippo Preziosi and Vittoriano Guareschi were in the garage to follow the test, and official test rider Franco Battaini, who had ridden the two previous days, was with Rossi on the track.

“It was an interesting day, although it was also quite long, because we rode until 6:30,” Rossi said after the test. “Developing a bike requires a lot of focus and effort, but it’s also very exciting and fulfilling to be part of a group of people pushing as hard as it can in the same direction. Today we confirmed various aspects of the GP12’s electronics and chassis, collecting a lot of useful information for Filippo and the guys in the factory. I think that the work is well underway as we prepare for our next steps.”

Source: Ducati Corse

  • The helmet says it all, he must be pissed seeing the bikes he walked away from walking away from him.

  • loki

    Rossi is an “all image” guy. I really don’t think he’s that pissed off. The Ducati challenge is captivating for him. At least for now. He isn’t really shining on the track, but he has sponsors and fans – and so does Ducati. He only tries to make the best of the situation.

    He walked away from the japanese bikes because he had nothing else to prove there. He won both on a japanese V and on a japanese inline. He helped develop those bikes, he (and his teams) made them winners. What he is doing now, beyond the “national call of duty”, is more of a show of his, a display of his capabilities both as a rider and bike developer.

    I’m not one of his fans, though I admit the sheer talent of the guy. He’s the most gifted rider of the last decades. But to really be “The GOAT” he has to win the Ducati bet and be world champion at least once on the shiny red bike – a bike that has generally been seen as a carrer wrecker lately.

  • idrive23

    loki = measured words – v good. Agreed, that he probably needs to confirm he can win on a Ducati before the quantum of children, fanboys and flamers will understand his talent is worthy of genuine recognition and acceptance whether you like him or follow others. It will indeed be a mammoth task with improbable success to win another crown – Herculean even, however if he can win a few races next year that will be enough for me and too much for his rivals I suspect.
    He does not need the money and this is probably for fun, glory and the challenge for that is what these people are about. As with Stoner, Lorenzo and anyone racing in the elite class, as genuine fans of motor racing, we should wish them well for the future, including Rossi , Ducati and even the big mouthed Burgess.

  • Ricardo

    Rossi did not walk away from yamaha, he got caught in his own hook. He gave yamaha an ultimatum about him or Lorenzo for 2012 which he thought they’d cave in to . They stayed put and offer him less money and kept Lorenzo on board. Given that as a man he had to walk the walk after talking the talk he left to the only option available after Stoner left an open seat at ducati.

  • Ricardo

    He gave yamaha an ultimatum about him or Lorenzo for 2011.


  • Rexr

    It must be a pisser for him at the first test (at the end of the last race in Valencia) Stoner jumped off the duke (having won 3 of the last couple gp’s) and #46 was so far off the pace it was laughable #46 doesn’t take long to develop a bike but he must be thinking (WTF) I think they have gone the wrong way with the bike (up unit the new frame as we don’t know the outcome) JB didn’t want to go to Ducati u could tell that from the last minute press release.
    When he was at honda and they released the v5 he was on the pace straight away and when he went to yamaha he won the first race in south africa so my point is this bike (the ducati) is already a winner in Stoners hands but I don’t think it will be in #46’s hands….

  • Frenchie

    I don’t know how long it would take for Rossi to become competitive with Ducati (or for Ducati to become competitive with Rossi) but let’s be honest, he has to be pissed with the situation, what do you think the helmet is about???
    He is a huge talent and he is doing incredibly well adjusting his public communication and not seeming angry at all. But can you believe for one second that Rossi is not pissed when he states week in and week out that top6 is the aim and that finishing 6th or 7th in front of Bautista he is satisfied with his results?
    It is probably gonna be the very first season of his career (16 seasons!) that he will not win a Grand Prix.
    He never ever had less than 2 podiums in a season…never less than 8 podiums in MotoGP!
    No qualification on 1st row, never ever happened before, and this year he qualified only once on the second row.
    It’s an absolute bottom low for him, no question about it, and a competitor like him, I can’t believe for one second that he “is looking forward to the challenge ahead”, he hasn’t won for 16 races he has to be pissed.
    6th in the standings only 28 points clear of Hayden, I don’t think he is having fun and I don’t think he is patting everybody on the back when the cameras are away.
    But I agree he is truly an “all image guy”, and every week he displays an amazing talent by putting his good face on, smiles, jokes and everything even when “commercial bright smile” Nicky is struggling to put a good spin on it…
    For sure he will get out of it and has not lost an ounce of his talent, but I can’t think for one second that he is not boiling inside.

  • Whatever the case now may be, he sure the wont resign a Ducati contract when the current one expires…

  • Andrew Gray

    I think his struggles are tied to his personal grooming.

    Mohawk: goes out and breaks his leg.

    Dodgy moustache: bins it in testing 3rd lap.

    Just saying………

  • Rubberman

    Go Vale!

  • joe

    I’d be willing to put money on him resigning a duc contract

  • ZachB

    I agree with Frenchie. He is very competitive and always has been. He’s not just trying to sit back and make the best of it. I’m sure this is tearing him up inside. Especially after his comment that Stoner wasn’t pushing the Duc hard enough.

    Think the helmet is stating his frustration and maybe personal failure in his mind not being able to do better or make the bike better. I’m a fan and can’t say I’m not a little disappointed. But at that level of competition with great riders you have to also have a competitive machine. Though Stoner did learned to tame it after quite a few falls on the Duc.