From left: The Ducati Desmosedici GP9, Bayliss himself and Bayliss on his way to winning the last MotoGP race of the 2006 season, at Valencia, aboard the GP6
There seems to be some debate on whether the GP9 Ducati Desmosedici is the best, or worst, machine right now in the MotoGP paddock. On one hand, Australian Casey Stoner seems to be able to win races rather effortlessly, while on the other hand, no other Ducati rider seems to get anywhere close to the kind of results that Stoner does.
Ducati are, of course, eager to build a machine on which riders other than Stoner can also win races. And hence, another Aussie – ex-World Superbikes champ Troy Bayliss – has been roped in to help with testing and development duties, alongside Ducati’s regular test rider Vittoriano Guareschi.
Bayliss, won the last MotoGP race of the 2006 season at Valencia, aboard the Ducati GP6, recently tested the GP9 at Mugello, in Italy. ‘This is the first time I've ridden a motorcycle since we unveiled the 1198 after the end of last season at Portimao. It was nice to shake off a bit of rust and with Mugello being such a physical circuit it was a good workout,’ says the Aussie, who’s probably one of the toughest, hardest and most talented men to ever race a motorcycle.
‘The last time I rode a GP machine was at Valencia, which was the 990cc, but the 800cc isn't exactly lacking power and I just spent today getting a feel for it. I can't wait to get back out there tomorrow and on Thursday and hopefully by the end of the session I'll be able to give some useful feedback to Filippo,’ says Bayliss.
Of course, nobody expects Bayliss to be able to provide a magic solution that would suddenly allow other Ducati riders to start winning races right away. However, with his vast racing experience, Troy may be able to provide some insight into why Stoner is the only man who can win races on the Desmosedici, and what Ducati need to do in order to build a machine on which others can also win.
Stay tuned for more updates on this one…