Scott Jones, Ducati Corse
The first of the 2012 MotoGP bikes - the bikes built to conform to the new regulations permitting machines of up to 1000cc - has taken to the track in testing, and with the most famous of names at the helm. Valentino Rossi rode the Ducati Desmosedici GP12 at Jerez today, getting his first laps on Ducati's 2012 MotoGP contender.
Details are limited, but reports at both GPOne.com and Sportmediaset are saying that Rossi took to the track at around 11am under clear skies and warm temperatures, with only strong winds causing any trouble for Rossi. What is clear from the video and photos is that the bike is very similar indeed to the GP11. The rear swingarm and linkage are visibly different, and the lower exhaust is very different to the unit fitted to the GP11. According to Sportmediaset. The times were respectable, but the engineers' main concern was fuel consumption. Though engine capacity is being expanded to a maximum of 1000cc, the bikes will still only have a maximum fuel allowance of 21 liters, exactly the same amount the 800s are allowed.
Valentino Rossi took to the track today, to assess the state of his shoulder ahead of the resumption of official testing for the MotoGP class next week. Banned from testing a MotoGP bike, Rossi instead tested a WSBK-spec Ducati 1198SP, putting in a respectable 25 laps of the Italian circuit, just a few miles from his home, to judge his strength, mobility and fitness.
The verdict, according to a press release issued by Ducati Corse, is not good, but it is no worse than expected either. "It hurts a lot and isn't very strong," is how Rossi summed up the state of his shoulder after the test, though he added that the test "more or less confirmed what we expected." At Ducati's launch event in Italy, the Italian had told the press that he did not expect to be back at full fitness until May 1st, and this press release confirms those statements.
The photos are already all over the internet, and will be filling up the pages of the motorcycle racing press (or what remains of it). That doesn't prevent us from jumping on the bandwagon, and publishing a few of the press shots released by Ducati of Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi in full Ducati Corse getup. Click on the photos for desktop-sized images, and enjoy!
Well, the presses have stopped rolling, and a stack of MotoMatters.com 2011 Motorcycle Racing Calendars are sitting at the printers waiting to be delivered. That means shipping will start some time on Monday (or Tuesday morning at the latest), and the calendars will start winging their way to their lucky owners.
It also means that the pre-sale period will come to an end, and the price will go up, from $19.95 plus S&H to $21.95 plus S&H. So if you want to take advantage of our pre-sales discount, secure in the knowledge that your calendar is just a few days away from dropping onto your doormat, then you have to hurry. The prices go up on Monday night.