MotoGP Launch Season Nears: Ducati Wrooom Starts Monday, Repsol A Week Later

MotoGP launch season is upon us, and as always, the fun starts with Ducati's traditional Wrooom event at the Italian ski resort of Madonna di Campiglio, in the Italian Dolomite mountains. On Monday, 14th January, Factory Ducati riders Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso open the proceedings, while the team management will speak to the press on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Hayden and Dovizioso will be joined by the Pramac team of Andrea Iannone and Ben Spies, the very first time a Ducati satellite team has also appeared at the company's Wrooom launch, and a sign of how close the relationship is between the factory and satellite teams. The new bike will finally be revealed on Wednesday.

There are a good many changes between the 2012 and 2013 Ducati launches. Almost everyone being introduced to the press will be different, only Nicky Hayden returning from last season. Andrea Dovizioso will speak as a Ducati rider for the first time, but more importantly, the Wrooom event is the first opportunity the media will get to talk to Ducati's new management. Bernhard Gobmeier will be presenting Ducati's racing plans for the coming season, and offering the first glimpse of the new order within Ducati after the shake-up initiated by Audi. Ducati's MotoGP team manager Paolo Ciabatti will also be on hand to answer questions. Gobmeier's task will be a little easier than his predecessor Filippo Preziosi's was, in 2012. The GP12 was not ready to be displayed at Wrooom, as work on the radically changed version was still going on. The GP13 is expected to be less of a massive change, and will be ready for the unveiling on Wednesday.

Having both Andrea Iannone and Ben Spies present will also be interesting, and though Spies will doubtless face a barrage of questions about his time at Yamaha, most of those have already been answered by the outstanding interview he did with Cycle World magazine.

Ten days after Ducati's launch, the Repsol Honda team will unveil their squad for 2013, at Repsol's headquarters in Madrid. The Repsol launch is less glamorous than Ducati's, though not by very much. Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez will unveil the livery the pair will be racing in for 2013, and speaking to the press about their ambitions for the coming season. Repsol's launch will take place on Thursday, 24th of January.

No date has yet been set for Yamaha's launch, though traditionally, Yamaha launch their bike at the Sepang tests in February.

Below are the press releases from both Ducati and Honda, announcing their team launches.

Ducati Team gears up for Wrooom 2013

23rd edition kicks off Monday, 14 January at Madonna di Campiglio

Ducati Team to join Scuderia Ferrari for the traditional F1 and MotoGP Press Ski Meeting

Riders from Ducati factory-supported Team Pramac also guests at Wrooom

Borgo Panigale (Italy), 11 January 2013 – The Ducati Team is gearing up for the start of Wrooom 2013, the traditional Press Ski Meeting, which will take place from Monday 14 to Friday 18 January, symbolically launching the MotoGP and Formula 1 seasons.

As always the event, which has reached its 23rd edition this year, will take place at Madonna di Campiglio in the Trentino region of northern Italy, the 'heart' of the Dolomites, and will host the MotoGP riders, bikes and Ducati management, along with those of the Scuderia Ferrari F1 team.

Wrooom 2013 opens its doors on Monday, with the arrival of the Ducati Team riders, American Nicky Hayden and Italian Andrea Dovizioso, at Madonna di Campiglio. The following morning, the two riders will hold the first official press conference. In the afternoon they will meet up with the massive crowds of fans that always come to the 'jewel' of the Dolomites for this unique 'Made in Red' event. But from Tuesday afternoon the Ducati Team riders will not be on their own as the 'Special Guests' in this 23rd edition will be Team Pramac, supported directly by the Borgo Panigale factory for the coming season, and who with two riders of exceptional talent, American Ben Spies and Italian Andrea Iannone, will be on the grid at the start of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship.

This terrific line-up of four riders, with an impressive array of titles, experience and talent behind them, will meet and greet the Campiglio crowds and together they are ready to represent Ducati in a MotoGP season that promises to be interesting and full of excitement.

On Wednesday it will be the turn of both Ducati and Ferrari management for their press conference. Expectation is high for the first official quotes from Ducati Corse’s new General Manager, Bernhard Gobmeier, who will illustrate the plans for the 2013 MotoGP racing season. Also on Wednesday, the new Desmosedici GP13 machine will be unveiled at a time and place still to be defined. For the first time ever, four bikes, two Desmosedici GP13 of the Ducati Team and two Desmosedici GP13 of Team Pramac, will be officially presented, ready to tackle the 2013 MotoGP World Championship.

Scuderia Ferrari drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa will be at Wrooom on Thursday, and proceedings come to a close on Friday evening with the traditional exhibition race, featuring the Formula 1 drivers and MotoGP riders competing in karts on a circuit laid out on Madonna di Campiglio’s frozen lake, a spectacular Grand Finale for an event that symbolically marks the start of the 2013 racing season.

Pedrosa and Márquez to unveil the 2013 RC213V livery in Madrid

Repsol Honda Team presentation to take place Thursday, January 24th, at 11am, at Repsol Headquarters in Madrid.

Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez will be unveiling the new Honda RC213V livery, with which they will compete in the premier class in 2013, in a presentation to be held on January 24th at 11am. The official Repsol Honda Team presentation will take place at Campus Repsol, the commercial headquarters of the energy company, located in Madrid (Calle Méndez Álvaro, 44).

For almost two decades, the Repsol Honda Team has been an icon in motorsport. For the first time ever, this year sees the most powerful team in MotoGP fielding two Spanish stars: Three-time World Champion and reigning MotoGP runner-up, Dani Pedrosa, and reigning Moto2 World Champion and 2010 125cc titlist, Marc Márquez —debuting in the premier class.

During the presentation the new livery for Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez’s Honda RC213V, to be used in the 18 races held in 2013, will be unveiled.

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"Take Lorenzo out of equation and what's left?" I guess we'll all have to concede that point, sort of. If one half of Yamaha's factory team riders were 'taken out' the team would definitely look iffy. Similarly if they were made to ride on one set of tires the whole weekend or have their total engine allocation cut to 3 for the season I think their chances of success would not look great. Hard to argue with that :)

Good luck Ducati, really hope the try something a little different, another season like the last 4 just seems like a terrible waste of money and resources especially in the current climate. Be more than happy if they fight for top 5 regularly this year and should be possible with stoner missing. Course if Rossi does better than 6th it won't look great. Fingers crossed they have a decent season.

for Ducati? Spies is saying that he feels the bike will suit his style and he has the team he wants. Time will tell, but with the various riders who have been on basically the same layout struggling to make it work (safely)I'm not betting the house on it!
At least Audi seem to have made all the right basic moves to ready Ducati to turn out an all-new machine sometime next year. They will not be able to mimic Honda in 2012 with their ‘new’ bike before season’s end, I feel, but if money and resources count for anything and they are ‘lucky’ in their engineering choices we may just get a pleasant surprise.