Carlos Checa To Test Ducati GP12

Carlos Checa is to help Ducati in developing the Desmosedici GP12 MotoGP machine. According to the leading Spanish website Motoworld.es, Checa told the post-race press conference at Magny-Cours that he had been asked by Ducati to help them with developing the GP12, as the factory has already used 7 of the available 8 extra days of testing the 1000cc machine using contracted riders Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden. The announcement got a little lost in the euphoria of the title celebrations, with much of the questioning focused on the WSBK championship.

The newly-crowned 2011 World Superbike champion also confirmed he would be testing the 1199 Panigale, Ducati's successor to the 1198R on which Checa secured the title. Ducati will not be racing the Panigale in the World Superbike class next season, entering it for a year in the Superstock 1000 class first, and so Checa will be competing on the 1198R again next season. Balancing the different engine configurations remains a bone of contention, with Ducati finding the four cylinder manufacturers - and especially Aprilia, BMW and Yamaha - lined up against them, according to GPOne.com. The four-cylinder manufacturers want to impose a 6kg weight penalty on the Ducati from the outset of the season, in contrast to the current rules where the four-cylinder and two-cylinder bikes start out equal and the weight of the twins is adjusted based on a formula measuring their performance.

Troy Bayliss, who has been heavily involved with the development of the 1199 Panigale, had previously been linked with development of the Desmosedici GP12 as well. But at Imola, Ducati Corse boss Filippo Preziosi told GPOne.com that although Bayliss was undoubtedly fast, the setup he uses was too different from other riders, making his data less relevant for the bulk of the riders currently racing the Desmosedici. Checa, with experience of a wide range of both MotoGP bikes and World Superbike machinery, should provide more directly useful feedback from testing the GP12.

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It was only a matter of time before Ducati would approach a former motogp rider to do testing on the GP12...If I were Ducati I'd have Checa running it once a week if he can post times remotely close to Rossi/Hayden on the gp12.

It was only a matter of time before Ducati would approach a former motogp rider to do testing on the GP12...If I were Ducati I'd have Checa running it once a week if he can post times remotely close to Rossi/Hayden on the gp12.

Why is it that the teams don't have very fast test riders, are none available / motivated to do just testing?

If testing without racing drivers was possible for F1 teams they'd be banging laps day in, day out.

If a test rider could post competitive times...he would be in MotoGP!
The skills required to ride at race pace on these beasts are rare, if you have it, it would not go to waste as a test rider and you would end up racing instead of testing.

I mean who would ride 1 or 2 seconds from Rossi and say "that's fine you know, I don't like the pressure, have no use for the money, I'll just keep testing in the shadows instead of racing in the pinnacle of motorcycle racing".

At Motegi Honda test rider Akiyoshi was 2"-3"/lap slower than Dani or Casey pace but only about 1-1"5/lap from top10 pace, this is how good as it gets.

But the amount of bikes is so limited that there must be riders outside MotoGP who can be faster than the test riders who are 3-4 seconds slower. Perhaps being a Moto2, WSBK or WSS rider is more fulfilling to a racer.

'...although Bayliss was undoubtedly fast, the setup he uses was too different from other riders, making his data less relevant for the bulk of the riders currently racing the Desmosedici.'

Well, that seems a strange kind of reasoning to me, given the fact that there are some drastic changes needed to that Desmosedici. If Bayliss would use the same sort of settings as the current riders, they would not be getting anywhere, would they?

Ducati engineers must have some fear of listening to Australian riders when it comes to advice on how to build bikes. And that fear MUST come from insecurity due to the innate, far reaching superiority of any given Australian's talent, grit, wisdom, intelligence, toughness, courage, eye-sight, communication skills and what I can only imagine is larger size of certain anatomical structures. But I could be misreading things.

Or you could be guilty of facetiousness, or sarcasm, or some other outbreak of smart-arsedness.... :-)

The Italian company is sick and tired of building motoGp bikes that Australians win on four times to every one Italian win. They want a bike that gives Italians an even break - and even a Pom can win on. Somewhere, the new Hailwood is lurking.. oh, damn, according to Agostini, he's already here, and he's Australian.

Curses, foiled again. It's a conspiracy!

Anyway, Checa is incomparably qualified for the job - after all, it was he that Barry Sheen christened 'Charlie Chucker' - and throwing the thing down the road is de rigueur for Ducati pilots. OK, he's been forgetting that recently, but the old skills will out..

and he had spent as long in Australia as Casey spent in the UK, we'd call him Australian
(until he started throwing telephones at hotel clerks, then we'd give him back).

The English should just claim him. If enough people on the internet say he's English, it will become true. It almost worked for the "Anglo-American" Hopper, and there was a campaign to make Edwards half Australian (forgotten once he stopped threatening the podium).

It makes perfect sense to me to have Checa helping out with the GP12 testing, with his vast experience and riding technique more akin to the majority of GPriders.
Maybe the existing riders/race engineers have got in the situation of `can`t see the wood for the trees`. And it is possible that Checa`s relative outsiders opinion could prove invaluable.
Would be interesting to see Checa given a wild card ride at the Valencia GP on the latest version of the GP11.1 if a 800 Engine is available for the latest ally frame.

No doubdt, Carlos Checa is vastley experienced and very fast rider, in top form. For World Supers. BUT in 2010 he replaced Mika Kalio, for last two races. He finished dead last in Valencia, and pulled out of Estoril GP race. Toni Elias got all messed up in just one year of Moto2. Can King Carlos still feel the Bridgestones? After 3 seasons on Pirelli and production frames, can he still put the MotoGP bike to the test?

I Wish he could do it. But i would not bet on it.

...when he tests.
If he laps 10s off the pace, they'll have wasted some tyres and fuel.
If he is 3s off and says "it's way better than the POS you gave me to ride in 2010, but it's still awful", they'll know Burgess and Rossi are not telling lies.
If he laps at Casey's pace they'll re-write his contract with an extra zero.

Why not ? Ducati need all the input they can get. Arm pump GP wild card and iffy season for Carlos last year as privateer SBK rider. Right now he is on top of his game and the darling of Ducati. Lets face it,they have little else to shout about. Carlos this year is mind pumped. There is a psychological aspect to racing aside from physical state and ability. Abraham's concussion,Capirex' injury,Barbera's bad luck. Give him a GP 11../ GP12..something for Valencia. Its valuable data for Preziosi and Ducati.

The four-cylinder manufacturers want to impose a 6kg weight penalty on the Ducati from the outset of the season

I hope Flammini tells them to naff off. If Ducati can win races with a design that is inherently lighter but has less power, maybe it will start a trend away from building increasingly bloated, over-powered bikes that have no relevance to the real world.

Forcing the bike which has the lightest weight in production form to race at a heavier weight than the more powerful 4's would be perverse indeed. Why not force Aprilia to fit fairings that are at least as wide as the Yamaha? It would follow the same NASCAR logic.

I think a wild-card race might mess Checa's opportunity to test without Ducati losing test days.

Ducati 'officially' withdrew from SBK 2011. Anyone feeling aggrieved that the paltry 200cc benefits the twin need only rewind to Monza 2011 was it ? Hardly Carlos' fault that he kept his head whilst the rest were throwing it all into the air fences. To be fair, they should permit the Twins to lose 6 kg rather than gain 6 kg. This brings me to the 675cc Triumph triple. They should expand SS to 750 triples and 900 twins vs 600 fours. That way parity may be resumed across the classes. Who can forget the Honda SP2 in Edwards' hands back then. Most likely the issue is cost rather than performance equality. Believe it or not, V,L layouts cost a hell of a lot more to make available to Joe Public than universal transverse 4 configurations.
KTM and RC8.RR. Were they to join the SBK fray with their 1200 twin would it be welcomed or frowned upon ? The bike rules BOTT's where I come from. The more the variety the better. Without Checa, SBK fans would not have a twin to complain about 2011, much less 6kg.

According to Nicky Haydens notes on Twitter,he is on his way to Jerez. Apparently after only 18hrs from returning from Motegi, he got a phone call from his boss to see how quick he could get to Europe. So assuming he is riding in a GP12 test, it will have used all of Ducati`s private test days up [with regular GP riders] .
But certainly no one can deny that Ducati are not giving 100% effort to sort their bikes out.

The article and above comment sum up pretty well just how stupid the rule is that the actual racers who are paid fortunes have sit at home whilst guys whose input could well have little benefit are riding the bikes.. You couldn't make it up.
It's good to see Nicky getting another outing, wonder if it's the twin spar design??

as usual to be the company-man that he is and ride the GP12, Hayden is 1 dedicated racer! Gotta love that guy for never saying die. Hayden has been the odd man out while all the designs are implemented around Rossi! Being Rossi's team-mate is nothing new to Hayden but it must suck to be riding a bike that's going backwards in performance from last season. I hope it's the twin-spar frame and Hayden does competitive lap times on it! The bike is being made for Rossi to win on and if the other Ducati riders can't get up to snuff on it... then it must be them and not the bike that's coming up short. Checa is coming off his hot streak so why not let him throw a leg over it to see how the chassis feels compared to the 1198. Too bad they can't throw some Pirellis on the bike for Checa.