MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO, ITALY, JAN 12 – Ducati Corse unveiled the first generation race bike with input from nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, though the changes, at the moment, are mostly cosmetic.The bikes were rolled into the congress center where the world’s Formula One and MotoGP journalists are gathered for the team intros of both the Ducati Marlboro and Ferrari Formula One teams.
The first order of the day was a press conference with Ducati Corse boss Claudio Domenicali and designer and resident genius Filippo Preziosi. Preziosi described the bike that would be shown for the first time in just a few hours.”The bike you will see is the GP11 step zero, meaning that it contains, apart from the graphics that are slightly different, with Aldo Drudi contributing to the drawings and to the graphics, I’m sure you will like it,” he said.
“As for the characteristics of the bike, these are the characteristics more or less that we tested in Valencia. They are the initial step from which then we want to evolve. The major changes are in the engine. So we have an evolution inside and outside the engine and the goal is to have a flatter and more favorable torque curve. So to have an extension of the interval between maximum torque and power, which will be broader than in the past.
“As for the bike itself, you can notice the change in the aerodynamics. You had seen this already in Valencia in its black color with the the aerodynamics entirely new. The goal now, instead of decreasing the drag, is to improve the maximum speed and cut down on fuel consumption. And to reduce as much as possible the front lift of the bike so as to be able to give power without having the bike lift. This is the characteristic of step zero.
“There are some activities that we are carrying forward and we have started on these before the test in Valencia. However we have prioritized them based on the feedback coming from Nicky (Hayden) and Vale (Rossi) in Valencia so they have become a priority, and fundamentally these changes are related to the bike as a a whole. Starting from the frame we have made some rigidity tests of a new frame as a different flex and torsional rigidity when you brake. We are developing for Sepang a new fork which has the new hydraulics of 2011, the one brought to use by Ohlins in Brno for all the teams. These are the 42mm forks and not the 48mm forks.”This is the visible hardware. Apart from the physical hardware ,we are also working on the electronics and working on the control of the lift of the bike and also traction control.”