2012 MotoGP Season To Kick Off With Ducati's Annual 'Wrooom' Press Launch

From Monday, a select group of the world's print and TV media will assemble at the Italian ski resort of Madonna di Campiglio to attend Wrooom 2012, the annual press launch of Ducati's MotoGP project and Ferrari's Formula One assault. The junket, funded by the Italian arm of tobacco giant Phillip Morris, starts on Monday and culminates on Friday in an exhibition race where Ferrari's F1 drivers take on Ducati's MotoGP riders (minus the injured Nicky Hayden, in all probability) in a kart race held on an ice rink in the heart of the Italian ski resort. The week features a series of events (full details on the special Wrooom website), including a chance for the fans to meet Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi at 5:30pm on Tuesday, and the presentation of Ducati's 2012 Desmosedici GP12.

Where last year, Valentino Rossi was at the center of press interest during Wrooom 2011, this year it will probably be the GP12 which takes center stage. The 2011 Ducati Desmosedici underwent several iterations and at least one major transformation during the season, culminating in the introduction of the aluminium twin spar chassis at Valencia. That bike was little better than the carbon fiber chassis bike, but then that was exactly the point of having built that frame, to replicate the behavior of the carbon fiber bike using just aluminium.

The bike to be presented at Madonna di Campiglio is expected to be different again, with major changes to both the engine and the chassis. Whispers coming out of Bologna are suggesting the 2012 bike will have its 90° V4 engine rolled back, making it much less of an L and more like a traditional V layout. The same has already been done to Ducati's new Panigale 1199 superbike, which has had its engine rotated back 6° compared to its predecessor, the 1198. The aim of rotating the engine is to centralize the mass of the engine, allowing the bike's center of mass to be relocated more easily. The chassis will also be heavily revised; the original twin-spar frame debuted at Valencia was excessively stiff in some parts, and the new chassis is expected to be the first step towards providing more flex into the frame and get more feel from the front end.

But the bike which Rossi and Hayden will unveil at Madonna di Campiglio is unlikely to be the last version of the bike for this season. Rossi is still not comfortable with the riding position - even the revised position, with the new engine, rumor has it - and is looking for another change to the engine layout. Rumors that Ducati is working on a narrower angle V refuse to go away, with multiple sources suggesting the new engine will be a 75° V4. Given the amount of work Filippo Preziosi and his staff have on their plate, it is possible that Ducati could call in outside help to design a narrower angle engine. Ducati's partnership with AMG, the performance arm of Mercedes, could see German expertise being drafted in to do some of heavy lifting in the engine redesign, despite Ducati's stated desire to retain as much expertise and development knowledge inside of their Borgo Panigale R&D department. When (or even if) such new engine could be ready is a complete unknown, but it will not be raced any time soon. However, given the number of rumors surrounding Ducati's MotoGP project over the past year, it is hard to discern whether the smoke being picked up by the racing media actually has fire as its source, or is just a by-product of the hot air they themselves are producing.

What is known is that once the bike has been presented in Italy, it will be taken to Jerez for another round of testing at the hands of 2011 World Superbike champion Carlos Checa. From there, it will be shipped to Sepang for the first official test of 2012 at Sepang, starting on January 31st. The data from that test will be used to make yet more refinements on the GP12, especially for the chassis. Despite rumors of another 5 engineers being added to the staff of the Ducati Corse department, the men and women designing Ducati's MotoGP bike will not be getting much rest in 2012.

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Comments

Like i'm sure most of us are, i am looking forward to seeing what developments Ducati have made to the GP12. After such a disastrous 2011, i hope all the data collection and development work they done last year, has got them going in the right direction with the new bike.

FTR built frame and AMG built engine=Ducati?!?!?!?! I don't think, that competitive MotoGP bike is just a sum of exellent components.

I wonder, If Rossi and Burgess could buy the M1 engine, and they could order FTR frame, with exact specifications, Would that bike handle as wel as an original M1?

Out-sourcing is OK. But Ducati is building a LEGO bike. That is not good.

The alternative is to run what Ducati have got and have another well below par year?

The most obvious point is... Ducati will do whatever it takes to get Rossi winning again before the 2012 season ends. The embarrassment alone keeps everybody at Ducati working 24/7 to produce positive results! I hope they pull it off for their own sake and for the racing fans that want to see Rossi battling Stoner, Dani, and especially Jorge at the sharp-end every race weekend.

"That bike was little better than the carbon fiber chassis bike, but then that was exactly the point of having built that frame, to replicate the behavior of the carbon fiber bike using just aluminium."

Eh? Perhaps they replicated the geometry to maintain some sort of reference point, however I thought building a twin spar beam frame was to see if the riders sensations were different? They kind of replicated the CF with the aluminium spider chassis.

And how the hell do we move from the rider not being comfortable on the machine to talking of a 15 degree narrower vee? How is that supposed to make his yellow arse more attuned to the machine? Even if these two mutually exclusive points were somehow related, surely the starting point would be pegs, bars and seat before major engine redesign?

i presume there's something called CG of the bike and CG of the rider, and CG of the bike + rider... with a tall rider your CG is going to be slightly off compared to short one. adjusting the foot pegs will adjust the CG of the rider on the system, but you can also work by adjusting the CG of the bike which will help the rider a lot more.. need to change both to reach the optimal... thats why Rossi cannot use stoner's setting and ride on that.. or Nicky Hayden cannot steal Dani Pedrosa's setting and win a championship on that...

Riders range from 50 to 70kg (67 in the case of this one) and are dynamic. Constantly shifting their weight fore, aft and side to side. You tell me but I'm pretty damn sure you can't design that into the equation.

oh ya they do.. there are three criteria for design in motorcycle.. atleast there were 3.. any component design involves a normal or 90 degree design, a design at min lean angle, and max lean angle.. every time the angle changes the CG and downward force changes. Now you go through the angles in very fine steps, but does not make a big difference. based on the data and forces at the three angles most of primary members are designed. so a change in weight will change everything around it based on the min and max lean angle. now, by how much does it change, that totally depends on the rider and motorcycle.

it does not matter if the rider is dynamic, you need to only know the max lean and min lean angle and you can design everything based on that. The CG varies in exactly the same way.

you didnt understand it, didnt you? i said it does not matter if the mass is dynamic you can still resolve the forces based on lean angle. so the rider weight and height matters in getting the CG of the rider, and the bikes weight and dimensions matter for getting the CG of the bike. You need a design based on both the CGs to get the best results. please read through carefully before being outright skeptical.

Brutale your theory is lovely but I couldn't care less. It's right out the door as a rider clamours all over the thing. You do know they slide back and forth in their saddles and hang off the inside, weighting outer pegs, pushing, pulling and man handling the things - all in different manners from one rider to the next? Bikes are not model predictable dull old cars.

BS is the the first thing that comes to my mind when i read ur arguments.. its very easy to observe from your arguments that you dont know anything about design.. here's a technical publication of how a swing arm is designed. check out the mass of the pilot and and offset included to design the swing arm. design is based on a right hand curve at a particular lean and rectilinear motion along a straight line.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/a55g282465351356/

If you want to argue, make a valid argument. One can design a component based on the average offset of the CG. Now minor tweaks can be made by changing lot of geometries. This is the generic protocol in design of motorcycles. BTW you can model almost everything using mathematics, and almost everything has been modeled. IF YOU ARE NOT AWARE OF IT, DOES NOT MEAN IT DOESN'T EXISTS!!!!

"Bikes are not model predictable dull old cars" LOL.. I laugh at ur complete ignorance.. here's another technical paper on control behavior of motorcycle rider.. atleast read the abstract, its in ENGLISH!

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00423118808968903

this is for a single lane change action and was done in 1988! its been 24 year, and the amount of work on motorcycle + rider dynamics done quite recently is enormous.. So please know what you are talking about in the first place..

My comments come from the real world of riding for thirty years and racing for the last twenty of those winning plenty along the way. I've got a pretty damn good idea how a motorcycle responds on track.

I would think it would do you the world of good to remove your nose from these so called expert technical publications ( the last of which talks about a simple single lane change maneuver and not a racing motorcycle. Are you serious?! Besides which I could only access the say nothing summary or pay €206 for full access, ha, ha, no show. "The amount of work done quite recently is enormous" and then you quote a 24 year old publication on lane changing?! And that's your argument?!) and enroll yourself in a trackday with some expert tuition. You might surprise yourself and realise you bolt upright never moving technique will serve you well up to a point and help reinforce your theory. But then try to go quick and see just how much body english is required to bend the motorcycle to your will. It's damn physical. Good luck describing how an ever moving lump of rider changes your COG'S, MOI's and what a quite uncalled for ignorant condescending POS your last post was.

oh, your 30 year experience on the track may mean nothing simply because 24 years back they simulated the rider motion for a single lane change... Like i said earlier, if you dont believe it exists, does not mean it does't exists.. without guys who work with mathematical models and come up with refined designs, guys riding the motorcycles will never progress.. here's what you dont see,... you are blinding yourself to everything that goes behind the design...

"I would think it would do you the world of good to remove your nose from these so called expert technical publications".. LOL i am laughing very hard.. these are the people who are in R&D of motorcycle companies... and you are saying so called expert publications.. haha... i am sorry, but i make a living by research and this happens to be one of my areas... and you are saying it would good to put away publications.. haha!!!! i am laughing ever more.. really makes me wonder what you know about bikes, and how they were created and the R&D put into it.. the previous post of yours answers everything: NOTHING! if you cannot even appreciate technical publication, there is no more talk here... i cannot argue with the blind... good day..

what point you're trying to argue. Especially after that last barely coherent ramble. You enjoy your sad little laugh, but how I am supposed to take you seriously on a website dedicated to road racing motorcycles as you carp on about a bloke changing lanes in 1988 on a GN250. I'm having a good old chuckle myself at your expense.

I'm very content thank you in my knowledge of the workings of a motorcycle, having pulled them apart and reassembled them often enough, and here's the crack up bit - actually used them in the manner they were built for.

I've never denied the need for very clever people to design and build the machines. But god forbid that you have any input into any of them!

I am extremely sorry your mental capabilities are so bad.. If you do not understand how technology grows over time, it is not my fault. The human understand of motorcycle dynamics has come very far from 1988 and i am absolutely sure u have no idea about that..

and there's a world of a difference between taking apart a motorcycle and putting it together, and actually sitting down and designing one.. and that is exactly what you dont see..

and finally thank you, i have designed composite swingarms, tested them, and got better results compared to conventional swingarms... and i dont need a "30 year experienced" biker to tell me how to do it.. and when i need inputs, i'll be ecstatic when i dont get a rider like you giving POS inputs.. good luck with your "30 year experienced skills"... nice talking to you.

What started out as an interesting exchange has degenerated. Best not to respond to each other any more.

>>The human understand of motorcycle dynamics has come very far from
>>1988 and i am absolutely sure u have no idea about that..

Funny, then why do our performance bikes look largely the same as those made in 1988? We understand more but have not accomplished much with that understanding.

Yes, there is a lot of simulation in designing a motorcycle but a large part of the final tuning is rider feedback which is _extremely_ difficult to digitize and use as input to CAE packages.

Most manufacturers provide several chassis to its riders each year and lets them select the best one. If simulation is so powerful why can't it predict which one will be the best? Because it can get you maybe 90-95% of the way there (which means being lapped at 1/2 race distance) and the rest needs to be tweaked by the organic computer of a top level racer. Just like the computer can't calculate exactly what spring rates and damping curves are optimal. It gets you close then relies on a good rider and crew to go the last 5%.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

@david, sorry for moving away from the discussion. its his condescending attitude and outright skepticism that fuels it. Sorry for confusion.

@chris. Things have changed a lot from 1988, both in terms of design and material. If you start to look at lap timings, then its going to be difficult. i guess its always that last 10th that matters the most. If you look at the fastest lap from season to season, the development has only gained a few seconds. But over all technology and design has come a long way. All based on our understanding of the subject.

I totally agree that the fine tuning is rider input, but the initial part of the design is totally based on mathematical models. The issue between modelling cars and bikes is that the rider movement is very subjective and varies from rider to rider. But while designing, one starts with a generic design based on generic parameters. You cannot create a bike for Vale or casey, but a generic bike can be fine tuned for them.

And most of the in-house development goes in terms of simulation. For example, while designing the swingarm, the best feedback you can get from the rider is, does it work or not. But to create different designs, one has to base it completely on simulations and mathematical models. And for a given track layout, you can easily find the optimal trajectories. once you know the trajectories, most of the parameters can be optimized. Thats exactly how most of companies simulate. Right now, its much easier to simulate and design components, then introduce into the bike, get rider feedback and redesign. This is the process used now.

apparently the final conclusion was that the problem was the weight distribution so they said that they made a bike with the same weight distribution to be able to compare all data even though they now have a different material and a different type of chassis.
Also they said (all I'm saying here is what they said, I have no idea) that the change to twinspar was to able to change chassis without changing engine and that the aluminum was cheaper and easier to make allowing them even more chassis testing.
What's being said about what's going on behind the stage changes every week.

And I think they still don't know what the problem actually is. We had Preziosi telling us many times that the engine is in the middle of its adjustment range so in his opinion it was not C or G or front wheel loading that was the problem.

I think the problem is the tire design and can (cynically) say it will be corrected ASAP in 2012 due to the appointment of Rossi's good friend Loris as the Dorna safety director. The first thing Capirossi did is told BS how bad their tires are and how much they need to change. They need to get softer and easier to warm up, conveniently addressing both problems that Ducati have been experiencing.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Ducati broke with tradition when they dumped the steel trellis. Having tried the monocoque in CF and alloy guises has been accepted,so going perimeter frame is an extension of frame departure.
Breaking with traditition and trying a V layout as opposed to the L layout is hardly likely. Rotate it backwards a few degrees. Fully plausible.
Apeing Honda,Suzuki and Aprilia V4's,not a chance. About as much chance of them dumping desmo in favour of pneumatic valve gear.

The steel-trellis framed Desmo had a straight-line speed advantage in those days but having tyres specifically designed for the bike enabled the bike to compete with the better handling Jap bikes where it counts.

When the one-tyre rule came in, Casey and Ducati's fortunes slowly started to go downhill. The blame is usually placed on Preziosi and the CF monocoque design but they seemed to be on the slide in 2008 (using trellis frame) when Rossi got his way (as usual) and threw some Bridgestones on the Yamaha.

As has been said already, Loris is going to talk to Bridgestone about the tyre situation and a softer tyre might help Ducati this season. Of course, all of the other teams will be using those tyres so it might not be the magic bullet that they need but it's got to help.

All of this seems irrelevant if Carmelo pushes for a CRT championship though...

I've been wondering if Ducati is taking lessons from the master of the mind games (Rossi) and keeping its deck well hidden until it really needs to reveal its hand? Hector Barbera was briefly effusive about how much feel the new frame gave him in the post-season Valencia test, comparing it to his Aprilia 250, yet he seemed to have been immediately shut down and we heard no more, from him, or from any of the other Ducati riders other than saying "we still need to do more work".

http://motomatters.com/analysis/2011/11/09/2011_valencia_post_race_day_1...

I would not be surprised if they've made much more headway than us armchair experts think and that everyone will be in for a bit of a pleasant surprise come January 31...

I really hope you are right!
But i have read so many "Rossi is only sandbagging" comments prior to the 2011 season that I find it hard to believe.
Besides, I don't know what Ducati would gain by hiding the real progress they made. I'm sure Honda and Yamaha do their best to be competitive in 2012 regardless of how well Ducati have sorted their bike.

Heard a rumour the GP12 isnt present due to the final livery not being decided on. But if I remember correctly last year the riders were wearing kit that was red with a white stripe which is how the bike was then presented. This year they have predominantly white jackets with red trim....a hint maybe?