Friday, June 24, 2011
Valentino Rossi to ride the Ducati GP11.1 at Assen
In a serious bid to salvage the 2011 MotoGP season, Valentino ‘The Doctor’ Rossi has been testing the Ducati GP11.1 at Assen. The GP11.1 is a hybrid – the GP12’s chassis, fitted with the GP11’s 800cc engine. The bike is also fitted with the new DST (Ducati Seamless Transmission) gearbox that Ducati Corse have engineered for their MotoGP bike.
‘Filippo Preziosi, the guys at Ducati and the test team have worked really hard, and that has enabled us to make this new step with the development of our bike. We haven’t had the chance to test the 800 since Estoril, so we’ll do it during the race weekends, being aware that despite having very limited time, we’ll have to focus on two jobs – making basic adjustments to the new technical parts and finding a general setup for the race on Saturday,’ says Valentino. ‘We’ll have to do a good job on the track in order to get the most out of the work done at the factory. It will be hard, and we know it might take some time before we can completely reach the potential of the whole package, but we’re happy and motivated by the work we’re doing,’ he adds. ‘Ducati is working hard, and that’s motivating for me, for the team, and for all of our Ducati supporters. I look forward to getting my hands on a GP11.1 as soon as possible as well,’ says Nicky ‘The Kentucky Kid’ Hayden.
‘We decided to make the GP11.1, which is an 800cc engine in a GP12 chassis, in order to accelerate development on next year’s bike, and also to provide our riders with a potentially better base for the current championship. Considering that Valentino still hasn’t ever ridden the GP11.1, this decision could require some races for the team to completely take advantage of its potential, but we decided to move forward with it because we believe it’s an important step for our development process,’ says Filippo Preziosi, Technical Director, Ducati. ‘The next-generation gearbox, on the other hand, is a solution that we think will be an immediate improvement. The Ducati Corse Department will continue studying further innovations, both for this year and for 2012. At the same time, we have developed an additional step for the frame for Nicky, and he’ll receive the GP11.1 at Laguna Seca,’ he adds.
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