As reported earlier this morning, Valentino Rossi spent the day at Mugello testing the 2012 Ducati Desmosedici GP12. The test had been laid on for Rossi to check the progress of next season's Ducati MotoGP machine, and test the updates made to the machine at the request of himself and teammate Nicky Hayden after the Jerez test back in April. Rossi also got to try out the new surface at Mugello, which he greatly approved of. Looking at the photos from the test (shown below), Mugello's brand new grandstand is also clearly visible, a marked improvement from the old grandstand at the circuit.
Once again, it is hard to see much detail about the bike from the photos. As noted from the photos from the Jerez test, the aerodynamic package is different, the engine radiator vents in the fairing side panels very different to the package currently being used, featuring multiple exhaust vents rather than a single large vent. The nose looks slightly more bulbous than the 2011 machine, looking a little rounder. The swingarm looks similar to the one used at Jerez, using bracing underneath the main spars rather than above them, as is the case in the GP11. And the secondary exhaust on the right-hand side (the exhaust from the front bank of cylinders) is much longer than the current exhaust, and a completely different shape. This is the most obvious sign that the bike is a different displacement to the 800, though there is still not hint as to the actual displacement Filippo Preziosi has selected.
The text of the press release and photos (courtesy and copyright of Ducati Corse) from the test follow below:
VALENTINO ROSSI TESTS DUCATI GP12 AT MUGELLO
In warm and sunny conditions, Valentino Rossi climbed back aboard the Desmosedici GP12, turning sixty laps during the third and final day of a Ducati test at the Mugello circuit. As usual, technical director Filippo Preziosi led the Ducati test team, which had also worked with Franco Battaini and Vittoriano Guareschi over the previous two days.
It was Rossi's second test with the GP12, and he used the opportunity not only to check the first few updates to the bike, carried out according to the instructions of Valentino and teammate Nicky Hayden, but also to enjoy the Tuscan circuit's new surface.
"I'm pleased, because it was a positive test," said Valentino at day's end. "We took full advantage of the time we had, because the track and weather conditions were perfect. I liked the new asphalt a lot. The surface is smooth, those holes that I knew so well are now gone, and the grip is fantastic. I must say they've done a great job, because if it's possible, riding here at Mugello is now even better than before. I'm happy to have come back here to test after my injury last year, because it was a nice feeling and a good day. We started around 11:00 this morning, and we completed sixty laps in all—many kilometers without any problems, either physical or with the GP12. We tested everything that Filippo had planned to try, and we're satisfied because, although we're still at a pretty early stage, we're going in the right direction."
"We completed our second day of testing the GP12 with Vale," said Filippo Preziosi. "I must say it's a strange sensation, but also a really nice one, to be here at Mugello with Valentino, on a track where we've been rivals so many times in the past. We worked on the electronics and various other updates to next season's bike, some of which were made following the requests that Vale and Nicky had given us during their first outing with the bike about a month ago at Jerez. It was a useful and positive test that will enable us to continue with the development of the GP12, which has some new details coming soon. Working with Valentino is always very nice from a technical perspective, and we were lucky with the weather, as we had perfect conditions. Vale also really appreciated the new asphalt: we have to compliment the folks at Mugello, because they really did a great job."