It is the fastest, most powerful and most high-tech motorcycle Ducati have ever made. Yes, it’s the Desmosedici GP12 racebike, which Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden will ride in MotoGP this year. With new tech regulations coming in this year, the GP12 is powered by a 90-degree, Desmodromic, 1,000cc DOHC V4 that produces 230 horsepower. With a dry weight of 157 kilos, the Desmosedici GP12 can hit a top speed of more than 330km/h.
All-new bits on the GP12 include Ducati Seamless Transmission (DST), on which we hope to get more details soon, and aluminium twin-spar chassis in place of last year’s carbonfibre monocoque frame. The bike’s Magneti Marelli electronic fuel injection operates via four throttle bodies and the throttle is operated and controlled via Ducati’s new EVO TCF (Throttle Control and Feedback) system.
A 48mm inverted fork at the front and and single shock absorber at the back, both Öhlins units, handle suspension duties and are fully adjustable for preload, compression and rebound damping. The Ducati GP12 rides on 16.5-inch wheels shod with Bridgestone rubber and braking duties are taken care of by twin 320mm Brembo carbon brake discs at front, with four-piston calipers, and single stainless steel disc at the back, with a two-piston caliper.
The competition will be formidable and we don’t know if the Desmo GP12 will be the best machine on the MotoGP grid this year, but with The Doctor onboard, we do hope Ducati will get better results than they managed last year. We wish them all the best!
Update (24.03.2012) More pics of the Desmosedici GP12, from this year's final winter MotoGP test, at the Spanish circuit in Jerez de la Frontera. Nicky Hayden finished sixth and Valentino Rossi was ninth. 'I was able to ride all day and finish sixth, which isn’t bad even if the gap is obviously still too big. Our goal is to get closer to the leaders, especially with the lap time,' says Nicky. 'We solved some things today, but not one important thing, which is corner entry, especially in the fastest part of the turn. I’m not able to be incisive there, and it’s where most of our gap comes from. I can’t load the front enough to enter fast, so I don’t carry enough speed through the corner, and that’s why we’re far from the front. We have to reduce the gap,' adds Rossi