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.
Despite the fact that normally, not much of substance is revealed at bike launches, Ducati's was a little different. Ducati Corse boss Filippo Preziosi finally came clean on two questions which had had the paddock most intrigued: what was the angle of the Ducati's engine, and had Ducati gone with the maximum capacity allowed. Preziosi confirmed that the bike was indeed still a V90° engine, as most informed sources had suspected, but he still had a surprise up his sleeve. The bike, Preziosi said, used the maximum capacity allowed at 999cc, and was not, as had been suggested by some, somewhere between 900 and 930cc. Given the disadvantages of a higher-revving engine (losses due to friction) this is less of a surprise, though there had been much speculation that a smaller engine would allow for more efficient combustion.
Both Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden repeated their statements from Sepang that the bike was massively improved over the GP11 they raced last year, with the major problem - a lack of front-end feel - largely solved. Now it was a lack of grip at the rear that troubled them, but with development and more parts expected to come as the year progresses, both Rossi and Hayden were confident of being much more competitive. Hayden added that changes to the bike were now much easier to make and made a difference to setup, making it easier to get the bike to work in the way that they want.
Another interesting note in the presentation came when Ducati's president Gabriele Del Torchio thanked the many sponsors involved in helping Ducati's MotoGP program. He made a note to personally thank Maurizio Arrivabene, Vice President of Global Communications and Marketing for Phillip Morris. Though Marlboro is not shown on the list of sponsors issued by Ducati Corse, and none of the communications make any mention of the tobacco company, it is clear that Marlboro is still backing Ducati's MotoGP project. The power of association is such that although the visible sponsorship is long gone, the mental link to Marlboro carries on, just as Giacomo Agostini is still always associated with MV Agusta, despite being an official Yamaha ambassador.
The bikes will now be shipped to Jerez, ready for the IRTA test which begins on Friday for the MotoGP riders.
#46' hopes ride on this one
|DUCATI DESMOSEDICI GP12 Technical Specifications|
|Engine:||Liquid-cooled, 90 degree V4 four-stroke, desmodromic DOHC, four valves per cylinder|
|Maximum power:||More than 230hp|
|Maximum speed:||In excess of 330 km/h (205 mph)|
|Transmission:||Ducati Seamless Transmission (DST). Chain final drive|
Indirect Magneti Marelli electronic injection, four throttle bodies with injectors above butterfly valves
Throttles operated by EVO TCF (Throttle Control & Feedback) system
|Fuel:||Shell Racing V-Power|
|Lubricant:||Shell Advance Ultra 4|
|Final Drive:||D.I.D Chain|
|Suspension:||Öhlins inverted 48mm fork and Öhlins shock absorber, adjustable for preload, compression and rebound damping|
|Tyres:||Bridgestone 16.5" front and rear|
|Brakes:||Brembo, two 320mm carbon front discs with four-piston callipers. Single stainless steel rear disc with two-piston calliper|
|Dry weight:||157 kg (346 lbs.)|
|DUCATI TEAM 2012 SPONSORS|
|Telecom Italia:||Telephone, internet|
|Generali:||Insurance, bank services, finance|
|Enel:||Electric and gas energy|
|Riello UPS:||Uninterruptable power supplies|
|Diesel:||Casual clothing, sportswear, accessories|
|SanDisk:||Flash memory and SSD technology devices|
|CM Composit:||Carbon fibre work|
|Fiamm:||Auto and motorcycle batteries|
|Magneti Marelli:||CPUs, data-acquisition systems|
|Mechanix:||Technical work gloves|