Ducati GP11.1: Two Parts Different To The GP12

While much of the focus at Assen this weekend has been on how different Valentino Rossi's new Ducati Desmosdici (dubbed the GP11.1) is from it predecessor, the GP11, perhaps the more intriguing question is how close the GP11.1 is to the GP12. The differences between the GP11 that Rossi was riding two weeks' ago at Silverstone and the GP11.1 he has at Assen are huge: when asked by reporters what parts from the GP11 were used for the GP11.1, Ducati team boss (and head of the test team) Vito Guareschi reeled off a very short list: "The wheels, the brakes and the front forks." Everything else, he said, was different.

The GP12, on the other hand, is a different kettle of fish altogether. The difference between the 2012 machine tested by Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi last week at Mugello and the 2011 machine which Rossi is riding this weekend is just two parts: a modified crankshaft to give the engine a shorter stroke, bringing it inside the 800cc maximum capacity, and longer conrods to fit the relocated crankpins. Everything else, Guareschi revealed, was identical, the bike being an adaptation of the GP12 which Rossi had tested and been so pleased with at the Jerez test.

That test had planted the seeds of an idea in Ducati technical guru Filippo Preziosi's head. With Rossi so enthusiastic about the 2012 bike - a machine which had started life on Preziosi's drawing board in 2010 - if it could be adapted to comply with the 2011 rules, then that would be one possible way of helping make Rossi competitive again. After the test, Preziosi altered the crankshaft and connecting rods, and put the new, shorter-stroke engine on the dyno to test reliability. It was then put into the hands of Franco Battaini at Mugello, to ensure that it all worked, while Rossi continued to test its big brother, the GP12.

Once the reliability of the engine had been tested to Preziosi's satisfaction, he gave the go ahead for Rossi to use the new bike at Assen, and given Rossi's 2nd place during Thursday's only practice session (the second one canceled due to oil on the track), the experiment appears to have worked. Rossi was delighted with the bike, praising the rear of the bike, and saying the feeling with the bike was already much better. He admitted than he was once again enjoying riding the bike now, something that was clearly visible out on the track.

Guareschi told reporters that the goal of the switch had been twofold: to improve the performance of the bike this year, and to gain valuable data for the 2012 machine. By switching to the chassis layout they will be using on the 2012 bike, Ducati can get a headstart on next season, and iron out some of the problems which are likely to raise their head due to switching to a radically new design. All the data being gathered from now until the end of next season have also forced a change of plan as far as testing is concerned: the original schedule was for Ducati to test their 1000 after the Mugello test, along with Honda and Yamaha. But with five of their eight days already used, and data coming from the 800cc iteration of the bike, instead, Ducati will wait until after the Misano race, to test some new updates due around that time. With nothing new to test - and only three more test days - using two days at Mugello would have been a waste. Honda, it seems, agrees, and will reportedly also not be testing at Mugello.

Guareschi's admission that the Ducati GP12 that Valentino Rossi tested last week at Mugello is so incredibly close - or more accurately, identical except for two, admittedly major, engine components - would seem to be a violation of the MotoGP testing rules. But as we have explained here before, what they have done is entirely legal. The wording of the rules prohibits riders from testing "machines eligible for MotoGP" but a 1000cc MotoGP bike (or 900cc, or 930cc, or whatever capacity Filippo Preziosi has determined is the most efficient at using the available fuel) is not eligible for MotoGP, as the rules stipulate that the maximum capacity for MotoGP machines is 800cc. 

You may say that this is a violation of the spirit of the rules, - though it is not so much violating it as abducting the spirit of the rules, raping its wife, killing its kids, emptying its bank account and dumping its body in a cess pit - but the fact of the matter is, the Grand Prix Commission (and most importantly, the MSMA, who make the technical regulations) have spectacularly failed to take any of this into account when drawing up the rules. When the category switched from 800cc to 1000cc, the only thing that was changed was adding eight extra days of testing for the 2012 machines, the factories considering that they had covered all bases.

But Valentino Rossi riding a 2012 machine with a couple of parts to make it eligible for 2011 has raised a large number of questions that could have been avoided. MotoGP statistician Dr Martin Raines had a simple and stunningly elegant solution to the whole mess. If the Grand Prix Commission had merely added eight extra days of testing, specifying that any of those days could be used for either the 2011 or the 2012 machine, whatever a particular factory felt was needed most, then we would not even be having this debate.

In other words, as GPOne pointed out, the problem is not that Ducati are violating the rules. The problem is that nobody spent any time thinking about the rules, and thinking about the possible consequences those rules have had. Ducati have merely applied some intelligence to the situation, and used it to their advantage. Expecting a MotoGP team to do any otherwise is rather naive. In the words of GPOne.com "he who thinks, wins."

Back to top


Wow, that's kinda astounding. I have nothing of import to add. Just wanted to register my surprise that it actually is a completely new bike.

Hard to say from one wet session but it looks like it will help too.

"The problem is that nobody spent any time thinking about the rules, and thinking about the possible consequences those rules have had." Well, I don't see this as a problem. Too many rules can ruin racing - especially prototype racing. As far as I am concerned, MotoGP has dug itself into a rut with all its rules over the last ten years.

"though it is not so much violating it as abducting the spirit of the rules, raping its wife, killing its kids, emptying its bank account and dumping its body in a cess pit"

Very colourful though.

my thoughts exactly! really paints a picture for ya. I love this site. David, definitely planning on subscribing

Might have lost face with such a move! ( if we knew about it )
they may be laughing behind their hands at the naive Italian
Publicity mongers. They have tested as new components as well,
the new transmission is causing plenty of scrambling, and
the 2011 Championship is well in hand...

Oh, BTW, I'm a Rossi fan from the 125 debut, and I hope the
Ducati Skunk Works and GOAT embarass the Behemoth Corporations
again. I fly to Rome wednsday, GO VALE!

Ahh, you see! Everybody worrying about them using GP12 test time to improve the GP11 and what they are really doing is racing a 800cc GP12. Hope it works and the new bike goes as fast as the hondas.
Also I hope they give the new bike to Nicky at Sachsenring instead of Laguna Seca and that Yamaha gives Lorenzo and Spies a more powerful engine soon.
Wouldn't it be amazing if all 7 factory bikes were fighting for the win?

Anybody who watches F1 knows that engineers read the rules and figure out how to get around them and get what they want. Ducati pulled an F1 move. Look at the flexy wings in F1 they need to hold a weight and not move but there is no test for twist so the wings twist and don't flex.

I am not really sure of this spirit of the rules statement. I mean I understand what it means but the rules are there to make people participate and follow a certain direction. If everyone had a great spirit there would be no rules.

I ride a Yamaha but I don't wear Japanese tinted glasses. I applaud Ducati. Such a small company taking on the big 4 (or big 3 in this case in GP), with much less $, they need every advantage they can muster. Good on them. Here is to a more competitive season although I think it's much too early to call this experiment a success as we have had 0 dry sessions with it yet and no races. Engine reliability could come into play.

Even in the best case scenario for Ducati (Rossi is competitive from here on out) the 6 engine rule could kill them. As seen from last year, Honda owns everyone in engine reliability (look up the engine use for Repsol compared to everyone else last year) and if the point tally is close at the end of the season, well, watch this space........IIRC in terms of engine management it's Honda, Yamaha, then Ducati, and Suzuki dead last. It didn't factor heaps in last year's championship but if this bike works the rules might rear their ugly head at the end of 2011 to determine the victor. All speculation but at least we have something to mix up the so far boring season thus far. Without Rossi becoming competitive or Jorge getting a power boost from Yamaha I will call it and say the season is over. Stoner will be 2011 champion barring these events.

They've already considered the fact that they aren't even half way through the season but have now effectively left themselves with half the engines for the 11.1.

Rossi has already stated that if it comes to that they will make a choice to either run the old bike or start from the back.

To me, that means Rossi/Ducati hope to make life hard for those chasing the championship with a bright eye on next season.

As a fan of MotoGP, violations of the spirit of the rules is one of the things that I find most difficult to reconcile, as it always leaves a feeling that a semi-fixed series is being presented as sport. Rossi is the biggest offender when it comes to skating on the thin edge of the rules, I love motorcycle racing so like many others swallow it and keep supporting the series. I hope that in future generations of MotoGP that nobody is made bigger than the sport; if the sport is king then everyone competes correctly, simple as that.

that team ducati is not more close to the vest about al this.. they're pretty much telling the world in pretty close detail much more about the bike than they need to know. Me thinks their P.R folk, did not communicate with them prior to this anouncement about discreation and valor - oh and then there's the presure / frustation and now perhaps some relief that something feel like it could go their way?

If rossi doesn't have an epic weekend (podium at least) than it's not going to be a happy time going to Mugello...

ah.. love the intrigue and I hope for the sake of watching a decent race that the bike is comp. too.. (oh yeah, and I am also a rossi fan too).

Ducati are a small manufacturer and they have just poked a sleeping giant, should be very interesting indeed how development is affected across all manufacturers - on the proviso that the Ducati works well in the dry, of course.

I've said the same thing. If Honda and/or Yamaha choose to skate the rules in this fashion it could do Ducati more harm than good. They have the resources to test Ducati straight out of future contention.

Do Ducati more harm than good by doing what? I don't know what Yamaha has up their sleeve but Honda already played their super development card with the new transmission.

I don't see how having Rossi (and Hayden) most suredly finishing down the order for the entire season is better than taking a gamble on a bike that will potentially lift them up considerably.

Does Honda have another super transmission style rabbit in their hat? I don't think so. Can they do the same as Ducati and play the rules to improve their bike? Sure. But their bike is already a very fine machine as it is.

You can be sure Ducati and Rossi had already considered before they played this card that what one team can do, another team can do. And they did it anyway.

If Honda wants to test their 2012 bike and then run it for the rest of the season, then bring it. It's already been stated that the 2012 Honda is not that dissimilar to the current bike so it's not even the same scenario as Ducati anyway.

Yes, Ducati could have done themselves more harm than good. Ducati has set a precedent they better hope none other followers. What's to stop Honda or Yamaha from renting all the remaining tracks or any track that they wish and test unlimited with any bike they wanted? They can test with this years bike by just changing to a larger tank or what not (since this will make it not eligible for MotoGP competition and therefor could be tested at anytime by factory riders) or they could do unlimited testing with next year's bike for the same reason - that's if they wanted to skate the rules like Ducati.

Ducati isn't Yamaha and surely isn't Honda - they don't have the resources to keep up with them if they decided to test and develop continually and unlimited - if they so choose to skate the rules.

The testing limits are there for a reason - to reduce spending and help even the field. But if Honda and Yamaha decide to walk through the door that Ducati open, then they can spend Ducati out of contention.

You don't need to explain. I know exactly what you meant.

All that money Honda has hasn't won them a championship since 06. They're on course for 2011 but that sure is a long drought for Money Bags HRC, no?

If Honda and Yamaha want to follow Ducati's lead here, let them have it. You think Ducati never considered that? Honda doesn't have nearly the same to gain from doing so as Ducati does. They won't and they don't need to do what Ducati is doing. Anyway, I don't remember if I said it already but the 2012 Honda is not that different from the bike they are riding now. They aren't faced with the decision to quit the current bike and put all their hope into a new one. You think if Honda discover any good development in their remaining 2012 tests those developments won't end up on the 212V though? They may not even be as up front about it as Ducati.

It's not even necessary for Honda or Yamaha to "spend Ducati out of contention". Using the GP11.1 doesn't necessarily put Rossi closer to spoiling Casey's title party. They have 3 GP11.1 engines for 12 races then they have to go back to the GP11 or start from the back.

Valentino and Fillipo know exactly what they've done and the consequences of their actions. It's not like you've come up with someone they don't already know. Nobody is doing any 801cc or 21.5L tests. Ducati just used their legitimate alloted days 2012 test days and happen to be applying that progress to this year. If they venture outside of their remaining test days with 21.5L carrying bikes, then we'll see. Until then...

P.S. If it wasn't already cleared up by David, Ducati hasn't skated the rules. The sooner you (and everyone) accept that, the better.

with the comment of "it is not so much violating it as abducting the spirit of the rules, raping its wife, killing its kids, emptying its bank account and dumping its body in a cess pit". No, there was no written rule broken but I think a line was crossed. And that fact that Ducati has been so brazen and open about how they PLANNED to use the bike as early as Jerez makes it feel even more wrong.

Since it's not illegal for a factory rider to test a bike "not eligible for MotoGP competition" than can't a manufacture test a 2012 1000cc bike at anytime and anywhere (because it's not eligible for competition this year) making the 2012 test days redundant?

They probably could if they wanted to, the rules that were delivered regarding extra testing, are so flippant that there are sure to be loopholes within loopholes. It has been suggested that there should be mandatory riders meetings before each race, maybe the manufacturers should have to have mandatory manufacturers meetings too, they could discuss the rules and violations of the spirit of the rules face-to-face.

This spirit of the rules stuff is funny. I haven't been this entertained since Honda's 'cheater' transmission.

Is it because people are worried this move by Ducati might actually produce some good results? I don't remember any spirit of the rules hoopla when Suzuki was granted more engines. But they weren't a threat to anybody either.

Also, in 06 when Nicky was going for the title, wasn't there a lot of talk of HRC ruining Nicks' chances at the title by having him test new parts on race weekends for the 07 800 bike. If I remember correctly, they were clutch parts. No one made a big deal about it then, why now?

he was testing them on race weekends - not at a test designated for something else. Just like Hayden is running a new Ducati carbon fibre chassis this weekend. Unlike the chassis the Val has which has been run in a test design specifically for 2012 not 2011, the chassis Nicky is using hasn't been run in the 2012 tests. He's running 2011 update components in the designated time when that's suppose to be done.

Let's not make Ducati genuis's using hindsight and wishful thinking. I suspect they made the decision to mod the GP12 into 11.1 due to Prezzi's brainwave and only because of the pressure they are under. To say they planned it from the start is a bit too hard to believe having gone through quite a few of these scenes myself. History is always a bit more messy than usually reported by those taking credit. They are already out of it this year due to engine usage so it's all just a bit of fun.

I don't know about anyone else, but I just got a huge man crush on Preziosi. One smart guy.

This is why Italians once ruled the world, very clever people.

In terms of fair and right, is a giant (Honda) fighting against a dwarf (Ducati) fair? If the giants have size and strength, the little guy has to use tactics and intelligence.

to the 'might' of the Japanese generally and Honda specifically?

Ducati have a highly skilled, highly motivated race department that has been working in an extremely efficient and tech leading manner for 20+ years, primarily beating up on the Japanese in WSBK.

O.K in terms of global unit production Honda are light years away. But that doesn't mean to say Ducati have an inferior race dept, or less engineering talent. Yeah they punch above their weight but they play on pretty equal terms in a purely racing sense. More so this year with the sponsors purse strings loosened significantly to accomodate the choosen one. This is no Odysseus versus the Cyclops battle.

Honda has more engineers than Ducati has employees, or some such thing like that. There is a huge discrepancy in terms of money to be put into the racing programs and number of people working in the racing departments. That's what makes it a dwarf fighting a giant.

The people writing the rules in WSBK have been very, very kind to Ducati while they've been there.

are not really very relevant to a racing programme though are they? Ducati took advantage of the WSBK rules when they were first proposed. Good for them. The WSBK rules status quo as it stands is very good.

Honda R&D is the x-factor we never here about. Corse and HRC are probably roughly the same size, and they probably have roughly the same personnel. However, HRC leverages Honda Research & Development corporation in Japan which has a special division for motorcycles. No telling how many additional engineers and rapid prototyping facilities are available to HRC via Honda R&D.

Right with you sircristo, I am on my chair and applauding Ducati loudly for attempting to drive the frontiers of motorcycling by making CF the material of choice(not a novelty) and for Rossi and Crew for saying OK lets go for it, not play safe, let's bring together our experience to see if together we can make this happen.. Very exciting times, maybe in a couple of years time all frames will be CF maybe not though of course as well.

Despite the fact that the concept of separating testing for the '12 bikes and development of the '11 bikes has been driven through with a large truck, at least Ducati are being almost brutally honest about it and also accepting the risk of being seen to have stuffed up again if it isn't a significant breakthrough. If you assembled all the official comments from Ducati since the start of this year in strict chronological order it would show either confusion or obfuscation on a grand scale - even in the same damn weekend!

Rossi seems almost too willing to open hostilities with Stoner of late - and of course, Stoner responds when it would probably be more effective for him to just smile and let the results do all the talking. It will be great for the racing if the Ducs are back once again as a real force, but I rather doubt Honda and Yamaha will take this step with a shrug and a smile if the Ducs start to show any real prospect of returning to an '07-style domination.

"Despite the fact that the concept of separating testing for the '12 bikes and development of the '11 bikes has been driven through with a large truck"

Has it been driven through with a truck? Who decided what the 'spirit' of this rule is? They WERE testing the 2012 bike. It just so happens that they are now using it in an 800cc capacity before 2012. This is still the bike being developed for the 2012 season. If Honda and Yamaha want to race their 2012 bikes in 800cc capacity, I say have at it.

Now IF there was a completely different machine that is going to be used in 2012 that is not the GP11.1/12, then I would say yes, the rule has been driven through with a large truck.

If you have a different design or a different bike you think will be better, nobody ever said you couldn't start racing it early. It just so happens that we're in a transition period with more days granted to new bike development and the solutions found for there can be applied this season.

I know this all depends on your personal feelings and perspective about how a team should or shouldn't conduct themselves in respect to the rules but honestly, to me, this is the highest level of racing. If a rule was intended to give you an inch but you see it actually allowed for a mile, you take the whole mile. Especially if the chips are down and you don't have as much to lose as others.

What many people are failing to acknowledge is running the 11.1 is a double edged sword. With the way things are, this is not an assault on the title any better than continuing with the GP11. 3 engines won't last 12 races. They're going to have to deal with that and they know this. This move by Ducati is a calculated gamble and I praise them for it. They saw the cards on the table and chose to hit, not stay. We'll see if it adds up to 21. The whole thing may end in tears.

Running the 11.1 may not give Ducati anymore chance at finishing higher this season than if they stayed with the 11 because of the engine limitations. It would take a Herculean effort maybe beyond anything Rossi has done before. But it surely does give them a brighter chance at 2012 and isn't that what testing the new bike is all about?

between testing components on the '12 bike and testing development for the '11 bike is that the manufacturers are restricted to 'official' test days for the '11 bike at FIM-nominated tracks which puts them on an equal footing regarding weather etc. Testing the '12 bike appears to be allowable when and where at the whim of the manufacturer so the greatest utility of time can be taken. Personally I believe that should be the case for ALL testing but it is a restriction that applies.

what ducati want is a win. one legit win against Honda and Yamaha this year (especially Honda, obviously and especially if Rossi can take it to Stoner) and everything will change.

if they finish the season with the GOAT at zero wins, that will be the ultimate failure.

What are the main developments for 1000cc?

Imo, the manufacturers are developing modified or all new electronic control systems, they are optimizing engine performance for increased cylinder capacity, and they are improving engine reliability and safety.

Ducati have performed these tasks during the extended 2011 testing which means they have followed both the letter and the spirit, imo. The 800cc GP11.1 will not make use of the major 1000cc developments, nor will the GP11.1 serve as an engine/electronics development platform for the GP12 (AFAIK).

Ducati realized they could update the GP11 by adding dozens of new parts, or they could simply change 2 parts on the GP12 and take it racing as the GP11.1 800cc. It looks bad, but I'm not sure Ducati gain anything other than production efficiency.

I think we're making too much of this supposed/possible "spirit of the rules" infringement, and that's mostly because of Ducati's forthcomingness. Let's look at the Honda example: we have no idea what the differences are between the RC212V and the RC213V. What if the RC213V is merely a stroked variant of the 212V, and it shares almost all parts beyond the crank and rods (similar to the GP11.1/GP12 relationship)? Would we then be accusing Honda of "raping" the spirit of the rules by incorporating lessons from the development of the RC213V into the current 212V? I don't think so.
This is a unique situation where a rules shift is allowing increased "pre-season" testing of a bike that is technically not allowed to compete in the current season, but the factories regularly put together a development plan with testing for a future model that they end up accelerating to use in the current season due to demonstrated performance potential. I say let Ducati continue doing what they are doing, especially since they are so upfront about it. At least they are entering a bike for 2012, unlike some factories (I'm talking about you, Suzuki).

Saved me from typing it up.  Thank you.

Are we to complain about anything on the RC213V that had been previously developed for the '212 or '211?  Like, maybe the frame, or the swingarm?

Ducati has ADMITTED that what they did so there is no speculation - it's all on the table. It's one thing to speculate but another to be told from the horse's mouth. Ducati are the one's who open pandora's box.

They admitted it because they realize that to peope who can't understand the rules, it may look surreptitious. So they are honest and open about it so as to show they have nothing to hide. By not hiding anything they are saying "this is what we did, it is within the rules, were are moving on now."

So why all the fuss? It is legal and as has been said already the other manufacturers are free to do the same. As has also been said they don't have any big changes coming next year so it doesn't help them any to do so.

Some of you sound like you would rather Ducati cheated and just didn't say anything about it.

Nothing to see here.

Is the 81mm rule going to be the opening of Pandora's box?

Using the GP12 in 2011 isn't really that big a deal. In prototype racing, companies often forgo making updates, and opt to completely overhaul the bike. The purpose of additional testing was to accelerate the development of the 2012 bikes. I'd say it's going swimmingly; however, I do question how much work Ducati can actually do without the proper displacement. The electronics development will surely be useless when they increase the stroke in 2012.

The most intriguing part about Ducati's move is something we discussed on in the forum section last year (or maybe two years ago now) about whether or not teams would run multiple engine variants in 2012. For instance, a 1000cc version would be optimal for qualifying when no fuel limits exist. Perhaps certain tracks lend themselves better to a lower displacement with less torque.

If Ducati felt comfortable enough to make a new crank and new con rods, I don't see why they can't make lots of variants for next season. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Unintended consequences: the indelible theme of MotoGP.

If the 2012 Honda is just a stroked version of the 2011 model that is a fair use of the rules, lessons learned from chronological legal testing and development. Ducati have broken the spirit of the rules IMHO by reverse engineering the testing process, they are using testing only granted due to the capacity change and using it in their 2011 bike. Sure they could be doing as much testing and development on the 2011 bike as they liked, but they would be starting from the 2011 bike and moving forward in the normal way and they would also be using test rider data, not contracted riders data.

Again more people arguing against the spirit of the rules.

You are all are basically saying that any technological advancement discovered in a prototype series while testing for the future cannot be used in any way to improve a current racing package. This is retarded. Applying learned technologies as quickly as possible to the current platform should be the number one goal of any racing team. I'm really tired of reading all this, and really glad that Ducati is being 100% and telling everyone exactly what they did, why, and how its perfectly legal and beyond that, 100% LOGICAL.

The addition of retarded to your comment, did not lift the quality of your argument.

I don't think anyone who thinks Ducati have scampered sideways around the rules on this "one" issue, are suggesting learned technology should be withheld, I have no problem with the seamless shift gearbox, I am sure they all started developing one as soon as Hondas was declared legal. The only problem I have is the use in its entirety (minus the engine) of a 2012 bike, these new parts have been tested by contracted riders, not test riders using extra testing time made available exclusively for development of the 2012 1000cc machine.

Of course it is a moot point in regards to anything being done about it, the bike has been declared legal, but as far as I am aware the object of sites like this is discussion and that is what we are doing, calmly discussing our views.

I wasn't name calling. I was simply stating that in a racing environment if you are not exploiting future technologies whether they were obtained from future developments (GP12) or in-season upgrades, then you might as well stop racing because you are going to lose, and if you aren't losing, you certainly are giving up an advantage that comes from ingenuity and engineering which is exactly what prototype racing is supposed to be about from a technical viewpoint. I'm not even arguing whether its right or wrong, I'm saying its absolutely necessary to apply these methods when you aren't winning races.

"With Rossi so enthusiastic about the 2012 bike - a machine which had started life on Preziosi's drawing board in 2010..."

If the GP12/11.1 is a stark departure from the direction of the GP11 design, and if Preziosi began this design work in 2010, well before Rossi/Burgess came on board, then this would shoot some big holes in the "Arrogant Ducati wouldn't listen to the pleas of its riders and couldn't admit the reality that the GP11 had developed in the wrong direction" storyline...

On another note, can anyone explain to me the function of the dual-exhaust?

The "solution" to this "problem" is to not have any rules at all on any of this.

1. Here's how much gas you get.
2. Here's the tires you're going to use.
3. Race what you brought.

The people who make rules think everybody should just follow blindly. They have no idea about game and choice theory.

Is watching something that equates to a race, not a procession that has less bikes over-taking than a group ride with my friends.

It's interesting to see all of the discussions and for the most part it seems to fall exactly in line with the same tribal divisions regarding which rider you cheer for.

Personally I think that the lack of testing has contributed to our current position of disappearing leaders and boring races (unless you get excited about comparing lap splits and race times).

It's a shame that the rules don't have a similar section for testing days that it does for extra engines. I don't see how having several more engines is going to help Suzuki, what they need is more track time. Why not make the rule that, if your bike hasn't had a victory in four races and none of it's riders are within 50/60/whatever from the championship leader, then you get an extra days testing. If you haven't won a race in another 6 races, then you get another etc.

In the last few seasons, there have been the "aliens" which is realistically the only people who will win the race. With Ducati unable to mount a challenge and another Alien out of commission; the number of people likely to win a race is even smaller - can this be good for MotoGP?

Rules serve a purpose! If you are prepared to accept that they are there to be broken, then god help how you make decisions that determine where you'll end up in life. Blame the FIM etc for the loopholes a bus could drive through, but however you look at it, this is no spur of the moment decision from those who drive development at Ducati.
It's not a comfortable feeling thinking that the other manufacturers may now treat the rulebook with the same contempt and pull out all stops to dominate and that won't be good for the future of motoGP. Looking back, the last several years have been an interesting mix of results, unfortunately actions like this from Ducati can often strive to alienate individuals even from within the same team due to budgets etc which in turn leaves ducati funding and developing only one of the five bikes they have interests in. If HRC and Yamaha start doing that and you are already disappointed about knowing that there's usually only four or five riders that can win a race, then this won't do much for our hopes for seeing closer, more competitive racing.
It maybe a cynical view, but the rider who has commercialised the sport so much in the last decade, may also be the one to drive it into the ground.

For developing such a wonderful machine. I mean if we are to accept the precept that it is a riders feedback provided to engineers that result in mechancial changes, and if the GP11.9 is all that (remember it was designed pre Rossi), then obviously this is primarily down to Stoners clarity of thought and precise feedback.
'You're welcome Vale' replies Stoner 'Will we see you on the podium now?'

unfortunately actions like this from Ducati can often strive to alienate individuals even from within the same team due to budgets etc which in turn leaves ducati funding and developing only one of the five bikes they have interests in.

I don't see how Ducati developing a bike that more than one rider can win on is going to alienate other Ducati riders?

Do you really think that Hayden is saying "if I can't have the new bike at the same time as Rossi, then I'm not riding it?". Do you think that any of the other Ducati riders think that they are the top dog?

The only person that has won on a Ducati in recent times is Stoner, if the new direction makes it more rideable, then surely all of the other Ducati riders stand to benefit from this?

I would imagine that Ducati's budget for Moto GP is at an all time high with the arrival of Rossi, so should they let him test the new bike as soon as possible or wait until later in their (decidedly mediocre) season until they have a bike for everyone? The development of the bike will inevitably follow the path that Rossi and Burgess dictate, so surely the sooner they get their hands on it the better?

Rossi transformed the Yamaha from a podium finisher to a championship winning bike (which Lorenzo won a world championship on and all the other Yamaha riders could at least be competitive on), if he does the same for the Ducati, then I don't see how this can be a bad thing for the series.

Perhaps Ducati using a loop hole in the rules (and that's the fault of the governing body) will see some of the other widely unpopular laws reviewed.

Either way, it will make little difference to the outcome of the championship this year and if it means that we don't have to watch the leader circulating comfortably, several seconds ahead of the next rider then I'm all for it.

If you take partisan support out of the equation, I don't see why anyone would be against turning the Ducati into a competitive bike; even if they have used the rules to their advantage.

Agree 99%(I don't think the factory yam team scored a podium in 2003.. :-)) It's pretty well known that ducati above all others run their satellite bikes closer to the factory ones than anyone else, and over the current season and next, non of them will have had a better ride recently than what they will get, certainly not on a duke.

I never have a problem with the rules, (if you chose not to do something that does not mean that nobody else can) if they are the same for everyone.

that is what they are and that means continual development - evolve or die
Ducati punch above their weight in this class, and are over represented in numbers on the grid: hang your heads in shame Kawasaki, Suzuki (Yamaha?)
And I notice some posters are now trying to involve the riders in this - shame on you too

Greg (motorcycle racing lover)

How could Ducati essentially just have 'de-stroked' their 1000cc engine to 800cc and still make the GP11.1 competitive?

Assuming they're using an 81mm bore to fit in with next year's regs as they've traditionally run large bores, I see them having to use an extremely short stroke of around 38mm (someone who actually has engineering skill please check this) and if so, this b/s ratio of more than 2:1 would make the engine extremely peaky.

Even if Preziosi was a clever cookie and decided to run a ~930cc engine for next year, just bunging in a different crank/rods would still give this year's engine a significantly shorter stroke, thus sacrificing the engine's pulling ability lower in the rev range.

Surely they must've also sleeved down the bores to keep the optimal bore/stroke ratio?

Or have I missed something?

You spotted an important information: By admitting they just adjusted the stroke that almost certainly implies that both engines (2011 and 2012) are using the full 81mm bore to have the shortest stroke possible and hence the lowest piston velocities and hence the highest revs.

If we accept that the 2011 engines will make full use of the 800ccm displacement we now know the stroke of this years engine: 38,8 mm.

So that basically means the 2012 engines will rev lower, and by finding out how much one could conclude on the stroke and hence on the chosen displacement.

Um, I don't think they implied at all that the bore is the same on the 2011 & 2012 machines. They just said that they reduced the stroke to bring the engine under 800cc. I re-read the post, and still don't get any suggestion that the bore is shared between the two machines.

But at least we can guess that the 2012 machine _is_ more than 800cc :)

Well technically speaking, the bore has to be the same between the GP12 engine and GP11 otherwise that would necessitate new pistons, headwork etc wouldn't it?

I guess the point I'm trying to make is Guareschi said that they only changed the stroke of the motor, which to me is really strange as it would result in a motor with an extremely large bore/stroke ratio. So either this is the case, or they have also changed the bore accordingly and have in fact, changed a lot more than just the crankshaft and con-rods.

Maybe don't believe everything you read? I also have a hard time believing that the whole bike is 2 components different. Up until this article everything I had read said that the problem was getting the current '11 motor reworked into cases that could mount into the GP12 chassis. I suspect that is what finally happened.

" ...raping its wife, killing its kids, emptying its bank account and dumping its body in a cess pit -"

another rather unpleasant, overstated analogy from a site that is fast gaining a reputation as the ethereal HQ of anti-Ducati/Rossi comment.

That analogy was completely overblown and overstated. It amused me, though, which is why I wrote it.

If you took the time to read what I wrote below that part, you will have seen how I praised the intelligence of Ducati for understanding the rules and using them to their advantage. Ducati have done absolutely nothing wrong, as I was the first to point out a couple of days ago. The problem with the situation is that the rules have not been written to accommodate it.

I understand, however, that to diehard fans of some riders, anything which isn't outright praise is perceived as criticism.

With some people anything other than praise about their rider is percieved as criticism or even hate. What's even more worrying is that one can't even criticize or question the manufacture without some perceiving it to be an attack on their rider. Just because you criticize Ducati for what they've done doesn't mean you are "hating" on Rossi or wish him any bad luck because of it. But I have notice that some take it that way when anything is said about Ducati process with the GP11.1/GP12.

Speaking of die-hard fans of a certain rider has there been any official inquiry lodged against ducati not just in the comments sections?? I thought it was a storm in a teacup, gaps in rules are be exploited not closed after someone clever takes advantage, that's cheating officially..:-)
as Redbull are learning..

There have been no official complaints lodged, as everyone understands that this was perfectly legal. If the rules had been drafted as Dr Martin Raines suggested (i.e. 8 extra days of testing, choose for yourself if you want to test an 800 or a 1000), then this whole issue would not have arisen.

I can't understand why we are now choosing to defend the rules and bemoan those who choose to interpret them to their advantage!

Everyone knows that Suzuki could easily make an engine that would last the season, let alone manage to limit themselves to 6 engines. However, they wouldn't be quick enough (they already aren't quick enough), so they don't and they are granted a special exemption based on their lack of podiums.

The limits on engines was brought in to save cash. Honda threw megabucks at materials technology, engine development etc and have the most powerful AND most long serving engines in the competition. Surely this is just as much against the 'spirit' of the rules as anything Ducati has done. The dullards who wrote the rules assumed that everyone would go home and turn down the wick on their engines in order to extend there life expectancy. Yeah right. That was every going to happen! But, Honda have (just like the italians) broken no rule.

I'm with the poster above on this. Throw out the rules as far as you can:-

1. Here's how much gas you get.
2. Here's the tires you're going to use.
3. Race what you brought.

Except I'd consider whether we could manage without rules 1&2. Michelin owned MotoGP for years until Bridgestone came to play. Eventually they produced a tyre that worked better on some of the bikes. When they went for a single supplier, we lost the money Dunlop were throwing at the Tech3 team, and the weekly entertainment of Stoner getting upset about them having more Q tyres.

When Suzuki 'breaks' the rules nobody cares because they are still happy to be fighting for top 10. When Ducati 'breaks' the rules it is to win races so it ruffles more people's feathers. The problem is allowing 'breaking' of the rules in the first place. I'm not sure what to make of Rossi's statement that now with the GP11.1 every race weekend will be development for 2012. It's like a taunt to Dorna. That is explicitly against the rules as development of the 2012 bike is only allowed during the 8 days of 2012 testing, not during race weekends. A grey area due to poor rule wording but isn't some clarity necessary? In F1 they seem to have a rule clarification nearly every race. Why do we get to muddle along with vague rules forever? The sanctioning body will not do anything because what could they do? Suspend Rossi from races? Somehow penalize Ducati? You're more likely to see the pope visiting the red light district after FP2.

I usually agree with 'rulebook stinks' comments but don't know about engine life rules. The rule was to save teams money, not manufacturers. The teams are using less engines so they are saving money. What the engine rule does is give manufacturers a way to spend money that is more directly translated into production bikes than some other tech like GPS engine mapping. This is easy to justify to the board of directors. Every manufacturer (and buyer of motorcycles) would like to have engines that last longer without losing power output and this rule fosters that type of innovation instead of making extremely powerful yet essentially disposable engines.


So when a Sat Honda team suddenly use half as many engines in a season, Honda reduce the lease charges? I can't imagine for one moment that that is the case?

You are right to suggest that innovation in engine tech which makes more reliable engines is more likely to be passed on to road engines than GPS equipped engine management, but the argument for fuel limits was that it would encourage an improvement in the fuel consumption of road bikes. I think the latest R1 is the most fuel hungry yet, and that the 'super lean' race bikes are so unridable that even the best riders in the world need GPS equipped electronics to control the fuel delivery for them.

According to an Ezpeleta interview with Oxley from a few years ago (featured in RoadRacingWorld), Dorna pay the MSMA to produce satellite bikes, then they pay IRTA commercial rights money so IRTA teams can afford to run them. If the bikes use fewer engines, it seems likely that Dorna would push for lower lease prices.

Whether or not fewer engines actually reduces the costs teams incur for spares and repairs, is a different matter completely. We may never know the answer to that question.

I don't think there was a big increase in development effort for the long life engines. If the factories were not developing longer life engines they would be developing more powerful engines. The same development effort but a different target. If a satellite bike lease for 2007 was 2 chassis and 18 or so engines and a 2010 lease was 2 similar chassis and 6 engines I would absolutely expect a lower cost.

The low fuel limit they have now is of questionable benefit for street applications. Where they are saving fuel is running very lean maps under hard braking linked with GPS to be track position aware, an area where street relevance is limited. Having some sort of fuel limit is good to keep the engineers on their toes, after all doing more with less is to me the definition of progress. However, I think due to the intricately interrelated systems on these bikes the 21l rule just has too much influence on racing, not just through bike design, but with engine and race strategy. Some would say rider physique too.


If, in theory, riders can test non-GP legal equipment as much as they want, why was an 8 day test limit ever even announced? Really, this makes it sound like there IS a rule to be broken, when there is not.

With the problems Ducati is having I would have prepped a 790cc engine long ago (all you need is new rods and a crank, right?) and would have Rossi riding the wheels off of it. And Nicky. Why isn't that happening?

Are the rules for the 2012 season the same as 2011? Or do they even exist yet? If they remain similar to as they are today, could next year, the manufacturers not techinically violate the rule (say build a machine with 1001 ccs) but otherwise allow the primary GP riders to *test* that non-GP eligible machine, yet it would be so close that they could glean a lot of useful information for the actual GP series. Effectively, cheating without actually violating the rules.

Or, would that simply cause a war between the manufacturers and get the rules immediately changed?

It almost sounds that Ducati is bragging about it, the way they go about it .... I am sure it will come back bite them. Somebody used the term 'taunting Dorna' ... exactly spot on. They should have shut up, not to explain every part of the bike to the world and have Rossi tell everyone how they will be developing 2012 bike while racing in 2011 season ... ridiculous.

Poor little Ducati, eh?

But how many races or years without a win do you have to go before you get the extra Engine's (ie Suzuki)
Can Rossi start 2013 with extra engines ? assuming they dont win this year or next !
Maybe they are thinking further ahead than 2012 and 1000cc

Ducati seem to have put allot of work into their Desmocidici with little obvious improvement in the dry. Hope this GP11.1 proves they are going in the right direction and Rossi starts to get some good results in the dry very soon.
Considering he is a rookie in the class, Karel Abraham has often been most impressive on the Duke, maybe its a case of `cant show an old dog new tricks`?

though not very gracefully, stating that maybe if Karel was faster than him that was because he did not know how a MotoGP SHOULD feel like!
Karel is definitely riding the Ducati in a wild way, except for him it's not "win it or bin it" but rather "top 10 or bin it" which, sadly, does not rhyme...

Exciting rookie for sure, making life harder for Cal to end up rookie of the year, even if it shouldn't be that much of a problem for the Brit.