The launch of the Ducati MotoGP team was full of surprises and left plenty to talk about. There will be much more news on the site about that later today and tomorrow. For now, here is a massive gallery of launch photos, with a lot of close up shots of the bike.
It is difficult to overstate just how different the GP15 is from its predecessors. Some details are already clear from the press shots, but more will come tomorrow. For the moment, here is a selection of the press shots.
With the start of the World Superbike season just a couple of weeks away, the factory Ducati team launched their 2015 WSBK campaign.
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.
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.
Below is the official press release from the first day of the Wrooom event:
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.