Ducati unveiled the 2013 Desmosedici GP13 MotoGP machines this evening. Here are the photos of the new livery, for the factory Ducatis of Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso, and the Team Pramac junior team of Ben Spies and Andrea Iannone. Photos courtesy of Ducati Corse.
The Ducati MotoGP team has gathered at the Italian ski resort of Madonna di Campiglio for the traditional 2013 season kickoff. Today, Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden arrived, and will be joined by Ben Spies and Andrea Iannone of the Pramac Ducati Junior team on Tuesday. Below is the press release from the first day, and some photos, courtesy of Ducati Corse:
Dovizioso and Hayden in the spotlights for Wrooom 2013
Madonna di Campiglio (Italy), 14 January 2013 – A light dusting of snow welcomed the arrival of Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden at Madonna di Campiglio for the twenty-third edition of the Wrooom Press Ski Meeting. The riders arrived in Trentino behind the wheel of an Audi dressed in special Wrooom colours.
Tomorrow morning, the two Ducati Team riders will hold the first press conference of the event that symbolically marks the start of the international motorsports season.
Preparations are almost ready for the unveiling of the Desmosedici GP13, scheduled for tomorrow evening in a mountaintop chalet at Madonna di Campiglio. In the meantime, the bikes were transported up the mountain, clearly under wraps, behind a snowcat, arousing the curiosity of the skiers on the slopes.
Ducati, in partnership with Italian telecommunications company TIM, presented their 2012 bike today in an online launch for a reported audience of 96,000 fans and media around the world. Much excitement had surrounded the launch of the new livery, the color scheme feature a lot more white than in previous years. A hint to that effect had been seen in the new team gear sported by Ducati staff at the Sepang tests, which also had a lot more white than last year's all-red clothing.
The annual launch of Ducati and Ferrari's season got underway today at the Italian ski resort of Madonna di Campiglio. The Wrooom event was opened with the official presentation of Ducati MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden, alongside Ferrari's Formula 1 drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, followed by an official dinner.
Though Rossi and Hayden are present, the expected star of the show will be absent: Ducati will not be presenting the 2012 Desmosedici GP12 at Wrooom, and the bike will make its first public appearance at the Sepang test on January 31st. Ducati Corse project leader Filippo Preziosi told French journalist Michel Turco of Moto Revue that Ducati had planned to do this since November. The bike will be taken to Jerez for a shakedown test; however, it is as yet unclear whether the bike will be tested by Carlos Checa in Spain, or if only test rider Franco Battaini will take the new bike out on the track.
Much will be cleared up about the new bike on Wednesday, when Preziosi will face an extended grilling by the assembled motorcycle media. On Tuesday, it is the turn of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden to face the press.
Valentino Rossi's move to Ducati was a match made in marketing heaven, the combined selling power of the world's most famous motorcycle racer and the world's most iconic motorcycle brand would surely prove to be a veritable sales steamroller. Casey Stoner had already proven that the bike was capable of winning races - though it clearly had a problem with the front end - and with a seven-time MotoGP champion and the crew that helped him win those titles, success would be quick to come.
If sales of merchandise are anything to go by, then the move was definitely a success, MotoGP circuits coloring red as Rossi fans stocked up on Ducati gear, the red still tinged with Rossi's traditional yellow. But a look at the results sheets tells a different story altogether. Though the Italian is 5th in the championship standings (and just 2 points off 4th), Rossi has consistently crossed the finish line between 25 and 30 seconds after the winner took the checkered flag. So far, Rossi has taken just a single podium - arguably gifted to him, with Dani Pedrosa being taken out by Marco Simoncelli, and then Simoncelli being punished with a ride-through - and has found himself in the battle for 5th or 6th. By any measure, Rossi's move to Ducati must be counted a disaster, the combination a massive disappointment to fans, followers and even fellow riders.
As reported earlier this morning, Valentino Rossi spent the day at Mugello testing the 2012 Ducati Desmosedici GP12. The test had been laid on for Rossi to check the progress of next season's Ducati MotoGP machine, and test the updates made to the machine at the request of himself and teammate Nicky Hayden after the Jerez test back in April. Rossi also got to try out the new surface at Mugello, which he greatly approved of. Looking at the photos from the test (shown below), Mugello's brand new grandstand is also clearly visible, a marked improvement from the old grandstand at the circuit.
When Valentino Rossi broke his leg at Mugello last June, he was forced to miss the next three races, the first time he had done so since entering the World Championship back in 1996. The first of the races Rossi missed was the British Grand Prix at the newly restored venue of Silverstone, the track layout modified especially for the return of MotoGP. As a result of that accident, Rossi was the only rider left on the grid who had not ridden at the Silverstone circuit, and as the track counted as new on the calendar, the Italian was still entitled to test there to learn the layout.
Rossi's problem, of course, was that he could not simply turn up at a track day to learn the circuit, as Randy de Puniet did. While De Puniet is a big enough of a star to attract a far bit of attention at a track day, Valentino Rossi's celebrity means that he would never get a clear lap, or probably even a chance to go out and ride.
Yesterday, it was Valentino Rossi's turn; today, it was Nicky Hayden who got to ride the Ducati Desmosedici GP12 machine. Here's what he had to say to the Ducati Corse press office, complete with a couple of photos from the day:
NICKY HAYDEN COMPLETES DUCATI TEST AT JEREZ WITH THE GP12
The first of the 2012 MotoGP bikes - the bikes built to conform to the new regulations permitting machines of up to 1000cc - has taken to the track in testing, and with the most famous of names at the helm. Valentino Rossi rode the Ducati Desmosedici GP12 at Jerez today, getting his first laps on Ducati's 2012 MotoGP contender.
Details are limited, but reports at both GPOne.com and Sportmediaset are saying that Rossi took to the track at around 11am under clear skies and warm temperatures, with only strong winds causing any trouble for Rossi. What is clear from the video and photos is that the bike is very similar indeed to the GP11. The rear swingarm and linkage are visibly different, and the lower exhaust is very different to the unit fitted to the GP11. According to Sportmediaset. The times were respectable, but the engineers' main concern was fuel consumption. Though engine capacity is being expanded to a maximum of 1000cc, the bikes will still only have a maximum fuel allowance of 21 liters, exactly the same amount the 800s are allowed.
Valentino Rossi took to the track today, to assess the state of his shoulder ahead of the resumption of official testing for the MotoGP class next week. Banned from testing a MotoGP bike, Rossi instead tested a WSBK-spec Ducati 1198SP, putting in a respectable 25 laps of the Italian circuit, just a few miles from his home, to judge his strength, mobility and fitness.
The verdict, according to a press release issued by Ducati Corse, is not good, but it is no worse than expected either. "It hurts a lot and isn't very strong," is how Rossi summed up the state of his shoulder after the test, though he added that the test "more or less confirmed what we expected." At Ducati's launch event in Italy, the Italian had told the press that he did not expect to be back at full fitness until May 1st, and this press release confirms those statements.
The photos are already all over the internet, and will be filling up the pages of the motorcycle racing press (or what remains of it). That doesn't prevent us from jumping on the bandwagon, and publishing a few of the press shots released by Ducati of Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi in full Ducati Corse getup. Click on the photos for desktop-sized images, and enjoy!
The third day of Ducati's traditional MotoGP team launch saw several events of real note. The most prominent but probably least significant was the official unveiling of Ducati's 2010 Desmosedici GP10, the machine that Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner will be campaigning in the upcoming season. The bike had been unofficially "unveiled" some three weeks ago, when Nicky Hayden put some photos he'd taken with his iPhone on his personal website without first obtaining permission from Ducati. "It probably got me in the doghouse a bit," Hayden admitted, but as the bike had already made its debut at the Valencia post-race tests, no real harm was done.
Here at MotoGPMatters.com, we are not given to recycling press releases. They are freely available both on the teams websites, and on many other news websites (though some make the effort to turn the press release into a story, and others state baldly that the information is just a press release). But sometimes, we are sent a press release that we are sure our readers would be interested in as well.
One such release landed in our inbox this morning: A background story from Ducati explaining a little bit about the Desmosedici GP9's carbon fiber monocoque chassis, and some of the design decisions which lay behind it. We hope you enjoy it: