Ducati recently unveiled the GP11 MotoGP machine. Technologies developed for this bike will also, ultimately, filter down to Ducati's next-generation superbike...
During the recent unveiling of Ducati's GP11 MotoGP bike, Claudio Domenicali, General Director of Ducati Motor Holding, said that Valentino Rossi’s development skills would also help Ducati with developing their next-generation superbike. ‘Ducati uses the MotoGP series not only as a venue for winning, but also as a laboratory for advanced research. Valentino is universally recognized as a master at taking a bike to its limits and also at providing feedback that’s extremely useful for development. We think this skill will give us a big push for improving our engineering, and to always give our fans the best bikes possible,’ he said.
‘Many of the models we’ve produced in recent years, starting with the 1198, but also bikes intended for less extreme application, including the Multistrada 1200, Streetfighter, Diavel, and Monster, boast technical characteristics that come directly from our experience in MotoGP – like traction control and aspects of electronic engine management. This will happen even more with the new generation of sport bikes that we’re working on now – bikes in which this link will be even more direct, from electronic management strategies to the chassis to the motor. We’re certain that the possibility of also having Valentino test our new models and give us his impressions will make this flow of technology even more effective,’ said Domenicali.
‘One thing that I’d heard about him but that I found to be even more true than I expected was his ability to analyze details in the bike’s behaviour and to describe them in an incredibly precise way. It’s very valuable because the rider is gives us considerable information that we wouldn’t otherwise have. The quality of this information will make a big difference,’ added Filippo Preziosi, General Director of Ducati Corse.
Preziosi also went on to talk about the GP11 MotoGP bike, which, compared with its predecessor, has a flatter and more useable power curve. Completely revised aerodynamics will mean reduced fuel consumption, higher top speed and reduced ‘lift’ at the front at high speeds. Ducati are also working on a new chassis that’s being tested for rigidity and flex characteristics, the suspension is being tuned and wheelie-control and traction-control systems are being optimised. ‘We’re working hard, but the atmosphere at Ducati is really nice, very electric and positive, and we can’t wait to get back on the track,’ said Preziosi.
Whether he wins the MotoGP world championship in 2011 or not, we’re sure The Doctor will at least get some good results with Ducati. We’re also sure the 1198’s successor (which will be fitted with a four-cylinder engine rather than an L-twin...) will be an even better superbike in every which way, since it would have benefitted from Rossi’s development skills.