Saturday, July 2, 2011
Valentino Rossi tests Ducati Desmosedici GP12
“I’m happy, I like the GP12,” Valentino Rossi said afterward. “In my opinion, it’s more enjoyable, more fun to ride. It was the first time we had it on the track, so we had some work to do, but the engine is nicer. It’s a lot of fun, and you can do some nice slides. It’s the bike we’ll ride next year, so it was very important—and also very nice—to be among the first to take it on the track.” Both racers and fans are hoping that the 1000cc bikes will mark a return to the days of the 990cc era, when lurid rear-wheel slides out of the corners were the norm instead of the atypical. The current 800cc bikes (as well as the fuel capacity restrictions) have made sliding in the corners more of a rarity, due to their spikier torque output and need to conserve momentum—a byproduct of which is usually less fuel usage. The problem is that—as they sit right now—the rules for the factory 1000cc machines still enforce a 21-liter fuel capacity limit. Whether the engine configurations chosen by the OEMs will allow fuel efficiency to be high enough to permit more sliding obviously remains to be seen.
“We chose to have our factory riders—today Vale, tomorrow Nicky—try the bike beginning with its first test, because we think their feedback is essential for starting us on the right path for the early development,” Ducati Corse technical director Filippo Preziosi said. “To be able to work with Vale for a full day is more than any technician could ask. We gathered considerable feedback that we’ll translate into further design and development for next year’s bike. The positive thing is that the technical choices made for the GP12 in the initial planning phase, in 2010—and I’m referring primarily to the engine, which is still a big-bang, and to the rear end—were endorsed by Valentino. This gives us great satisfaction, and we’re optimistic about the work that still remains to be done. We know that our competitors are also working hard and developing their 2012 bikes, but that just makes the challenge better.”