Ducati Desmosedici GP12
The Italian MotoGP race bike has broken cover in Italy: Rossi says it is easier to make modifications compared to the GP11
The fanfare that usually surrounds the launches of new MotoGP bikes was curiously absent when the Ducati Desmosedici GP12 was unveiled, as the company tried a novel approach to launching its new race bike.
In a small ceremony at the Italian motorcycle company’s factory in Borgo Panigale, attended by team riders Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden and team personnel, very few media were present. In fact, the ‘official’ unveiling of the new prototype MotoGP race bikes was online.
It could be argued that Ducati was trying to save money ahead of a possible takeover by Audi. but the company managed to attract more than 100,000 fans via Facebook who followed the event online via a live streaming of the presentation, so it was a mission accomplished in the end.
The new bike now has the full biscuit 1000cc engine for 2012 and all the major players from Ducati spoke during the event, including riders Rossi and Hayden, along with CEO Gabriele del Torchio and chief engineer Filippo Preziosi.
Rossi spoke honestly about the new bike, and was cautiously upbeat about the 2012 season, commenting at the Ducati Desmosedici GP12 launch that testing was good but that it would take time to fully extract the most out of the new beast: Our first test of the year was excellent because the feeling I had with the bike was positive and at the end we were very happy because we achieved what we meant to do.
However Rossi explained that getting the power down out of corners is still proving problematic: Maybe we had some little problems when exiting the corner. Then in the second test we tried to solve the problem, but actually we weren’t able to do this so it wasn’t as good as the first one and we lost some in terms of final position.
The bike has changed so much compared to the model we had last year. I think we just need some extra time to establish a sort of friendship with this bike and familiarise ourselves with the new concept.
A superstar of the sport, Valentino Rossi had to settle for less of his trademark yellow on the 2012 race bike and it is interesting to note an Italian theme with a touch of green on the decals too.
While he concedes there’s still a lot of work to be done and lots more testing, we have a sneaking suspicion he could be playing down the bikes potential, hinting that new components will be integrated throughout the year: We still have many things to test and more will arrive during the season. Our objective is to improve constantly, race after race, which we didn’t manage to do last season. The new bike helps us make faster adjustments and modifications, and this is important with practice sessions of just 45 minutes each.
Do you think Rossi can make regular podiums on the Ducati GP12 MotoGP race bike in 2012? Leave your opinion in the comments section below.
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Published. Wednesday, 21 March 2012
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