Rossi And Hayden To Test Ducati GP12 At Jerez

Anyone wondering when the first of the 2012 MotoGP bikes would make their first public (or almost public) appearance finally has their answer: Today. On Thursday, Ducati Corse's test team - consisting of test rider Franco Battaini and Vito Guareschi - took the GP12 out for a shakedown test prior to handing the bike over to the Marlboro Ducati factory riders, Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden. Rossi is due to put his first laps on the GP12 on Friday, while Hayden will take the new bike out for a spin on Saturday.

Normally, all testing by contracted riders - that is, riders who are currently participating in the MotoGP class - is banned under the regulations, outside of the official tests after the Estoril and Brno MotoGP rounds. However, the rules also make one exception: Rule 1.15.11 allows for "any activity authorized by Race Direction." With the capacity changing for 2012, a gentlemen's agreement almost certainly exists between the factories to allow the factory riders to test the 1000cc bikes outside of the regular schedule. An extra test for the 1000cc bikes has already been planned for the day after the Mugello MotoGP race, but it is conceivable all of the factories will schedule extra tests with their factory riders.

While Rossi and Hayden are testing the GP12, Battaini and Guareschi will be continuing work on the GP11 at Jerez. Images and a press release are expected to be issued after the test, and the test is likely to be held behind closed doors. No doubt brave and wily locals will be sneaking through the undergrowth to get their first glimpse of Ducati's 2012 machine.


Having carried out the first “shakedown” at Jerez de la Frontera today with positive results, Franco Battaini and Vittoriano Guareschi tomorrow will leave the bike in the hands of Ducati Marlboro Team factory rider Valentino Rossi, who returns to the Andalusian circuit five days after having competed there in the Spanish Grand Prix. Saturday will be the turn of Rossi’s teammate, Nicky Hayden, who returns to Spain following a promotional appearance in Germany.

While the development of the GP11 proceeds at full speed according to the directions of the Test Team and Battaini, Rossi and Hayden will be supported by a structure comprising engineers and mechanics from the factory team, with Technical Director Filippo Preziosi overseeing the operation as usual.

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and well ahead of their rivals. Hopefully this will have a trickle down to the GP11 so the riders can fight at the front..

I wonder when Casey will be testing the new Honda?

Hope it does, cause they need it. Would not be surprised if they sneak some GP11 testing in there.

The HRC machine is right here and right now. Guareschi and Battaini were strolling Jerez lap after lap developing the GP 11, not more than a few weeks back.
In all fairness they had a huge success in Jerez. 3rd and 5 placed.
2012 is a 2012 issue and a 1 litre draught issue.
As of now,the only manufacturer's way ahead of their rivals are Honda and Yamaha.
A good dry race in Estoril will give me a better perspective as to 2011 seasons potential.
Wosideg,Casey is the new recruit within HRC. Surely you should be asking HRC when will Dani,Simmo and Dovi be testing the new Honda.

Casey is the new recruit within HRC. Surely you should be asking HRC when will Dani,Simmo and Dovi be testing the new Honda.

What's Nicky then, Chopped Liver? :P

Nothing really needs to be said re: the Ducati situation, but it's definitely there, nonetheless. I just wonder when the wall's gonna go up. Nicky Fans (myself included) just keep on keepin' on ;)

they're ahead..but should we underestimate the roll-on problems Japan has? Even before the earth-quake Ducati were scheduled to test first. For sure it's early, but I'm getting a similar to 2006 feeling in my water...and when will the Honda crew get a chance to evaluate, let alone give direction to next years RCV?

Considering how far the GP11 is off the Honda/Yamaha dry track pace Ducati need every little advantage they can get. It will take a major improvement to get them back to parity with the Jap bikes let alone pass them.

Actually, according to Vice President of HRC Shuhei Nakamoto, Honda were due to test at Motegi in the week prior to the Qatar GP.

They've completed the dyno testing and are just waiting until conditions in Japan return to something like manageable, before starting on-track testing.

I've had this question for a while and I'm not sure if you've answered it yet. The testing ban of '11 bikes is for contract riders only. We've already seen Ducati run several tests at different locations with Franco and Vito. If the testing ban is a money saving measure, where are the reductions in cost between running with the test riders and the contract riders?

because no one bothers testing in season with the test riders...except Ducati because this year they are a bit desperate to get this thing winning races now that Casey is gone.
It's the first time a MotoGP team has been doing private testing in season since this rule came into effect.
In fact Ducati was also the only MotoGP team to do private testing on GP tracks this winter, with this test they have accumulated at least 10 days of private testing, compared to 0 for Honda, Yamaha or Suzuki.
So the Japanese saved money, Ducati did not.
And obviously Honda don't need to spend money to fly their bike to various tracks around the world along with their test team to get a competitive bike right from the start of the season.

and/or very close tracks that they own such as Motegi (Honda), Fukuroi and Sugo (Yamaha), Autopolis (Kawasaki) and Mugello (Ducati, not sure Ducati owns it). Suzuki also has a private test track but I can't find its name.
The point is that testing with test riders at their facilities (often within a couple hours from the factory) costs a fraction of flying the bikes and test team around the world and book a few days at Jerez, Sepang etc.
Also limiting testing to test riders somehow reduces the interest of testing to pretty much the off-season (except this year for Ducati) which in the end limits costs as well.

And you're right, it makes a bit of a nonsense of the entire cost-saving exercise. This is the problem with cost-saving measures, teams will find ways to spend whatever money they can accumulate from sponsors, Dorna or whatever.

The rules allow a maximum of 1000cc, so these bikes will be called the 1000s. If memory serves correctly, the Yamaha 990 was originally a 900cc bike, yet everyone called them 990s. Of course, we could all get around this by calling them just MotoGP bikes ...

Only problem with calling them "1000cc bikes" is what will happen if some stay with 800s or some go with 900 -- it'll become a misnomer.

"2012 bikes"? "81mm bore bikes"?

If I were Dorna, I'd pay everyone to run 1000cc. It simplifies engine design, reduces the possibility of an engine development war, and it guarantees that the rev ceiling will drop by about 4,000rpm.

It's not difficult to put that kind of stuff in the commercial contracts. If I were Dorna, I wouldn't pay anyone who doesn't run 1000cc and pneumatic or desmodromic valves. The displacement and the valve technologies have marketing value.

Yes I'm pretty sure Ducati was first to build an 800cc bike. Also that they made something like ten different engines to work out which one made the most power.

This is really the most important point. Ducati worked on the 800 very early and got it right the first time out. I think they are relying on that strategy this time around as well. I'm sure the other factories are too, but they don't have hordes of Latin journos chasing them around the track so it's much less public.

was ready for its first track test which was scheduled at Motegi a couple of days after the earthquake. So their first version of the 2012 bike was ready before Ducati's though it's not sure if the have already tested it (in Suzuka?) or not.

It can rightly be claimed that Ducati 'got it right the first time out' as they won the championship with it, however, was it the bike or was it Stoner?
After all, Capirossi was their # 1 rider and he didn't place too well in 2007, it was only Stoner that seemed able to get the max out of the bike in that year.

Surely his riding was a better match for the Ducati 800 than the Honda 990 he rode the year before, but the bike was clearly faster down the straights than anything on the track by far. It was almost laughable to see them just pull by other riders down long straights (I think China comes to mind). Relatively, it was a rocket.

That could also be said about the later 990 Ducatis. It wasn't power that was winning races for them.

His riding was a better match for the 2007 Bridgestones, particularly the new Bridgestone front tire. The bike is not important, imo. During his time at Ducati, Casey proved he can ride anything at 11/10ths no matter how bad it may be.

The context in which Stoner's dominant 2007 season should always be put is Capirossi; not engine, not Bridgestones, but the Ducati incumbent Nr.1 rider. Let's remember Capirossi was well on track to winning the riders title 2006 if it wasn't for the reckless behaviour of his own team mate - Gibernau. Capirossi the man, who correct me if I'm wrong, was voted the best rider of 2006 by his compatriots.

Those that read a motorcycles abilities purely on it's top speed have never spent any time in the saddle on track. As with anything in life the are pro and con aspects. Ducati's pro's were horsepower; con's, handling. Yamaha approximately the opposite. Let us not forget the speed differential at the start of the season was also fairly promptly addressed by the opposition. O.K never completely but significantly reduced differential.

Stoner had a rookie MotoGP year on a good bike with third rate Michelin tyres that Rossi wouldn't have used for a trip to the shops. The boy learn't big time that year and became a man 2007. There is no justification for denigrating his title whatsoever. Stoner killed them with steer talent more than any other component.

By your own admission, Stoner was on a satellite Honda with 3rd rate Michelins (probably never got a single overnight special). Equipment was his problem in 2006, and equipment was the solution for 2007. He got a new bike and new tires. Which one enabled him to unlock his potential? 50/50 shot at it.

Imo, Crashy Stoner lamented his Mushelin front tire. Casey Stoner lauded the 2007 Brickstone.

That doesn't really change anything. The argument is that the LCR Honda with Michelins was unable to meet Stoner's potential while the Ducati allowed him to. The qualification there is that probably the best rider the previous year (Capirossi) was unable to extract the same level of performance out of the bike.

This came about because the charge was the Stoner was only able to win because of a top speed advantage. Capirossi proves otherwise.

If you read the chain of replies, no one has credited the Ducati with making Stoner a champion.

The most intelligent commenters still twist words to make some imaginary argument about slights against someones favorite rider.

Indeed. However, looking at the results of all the other champions that threw a leg over the same machine, one have to wonder if Casey might have had an easier time winning his WC on a different machine. So was the Ducati the tool or a "hinderence" ?

..has Loris ever been considered alien-esque?..No! plus his head was a shed that year..he didn't want to be at the race track as he'd just become a Dad, and hasn't ever since! holding Loris up as a shining beacon just doesn't wash. How come Stoners win stats and championship standing went backwards from 2007?

Caseys bike was 10mph faster than anything else, he used that advantage to overtake on the straights then parked it in the corners..the superior bridgestones allowing him to "hang on" til he got back to the drag strip..jeez? some of you guys have very selective memories! Oh, did I hear someone whisper Magneti Marelli?

Loris Capirossi looked like having a fair shot at the 2006 title until he got taken out by Sete Gibernau at Barcelona. Capirossi was considered a title candidate most seasons prior to that, and was definitely the man to watch in the Ducati camp in 2007. At least until we got to Qatar, that is.

As for the old charge about electronics, so far, we have had Nicky Hayden, Andrea Dovizioso, Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi praising Stoner's throttle control, and Stoner himself claiming he uses much less electronic intervention than other riders. The reason, he explains, is because you use less fuel that way, and so you have more left at the end of the race. If you think Stoner's speed has anything to do with electronics, you haven't been paying attention.

You raise valid points, and this is your site..but I was talking about 2007.

Casey is one fast Mo-fo..I know that, so do you. Back in 2007 his bike did have advantages and, on the Ducati, his results went backwards. Electronics, tyres, motor..whatever, he didn't back it up. Simple.

As a rider in the top echelon, he must have learnt..gained experience. He is a fantastic talent but, that's not a guarantee. For me he still has a way to go, to prove he's solid. This is what I'm looking forward to..

Jerez magnifys this, and man or boy, he has to back his shit up..and leave the implosion behind.

2008 was the year he touted he was going to be faster, he disliked that Rossi somehow got to switch to Bridgestone. It became a Rossi walk in the park that year. Casey's suffers fractured scaphoid.
2009 Rossi again, what else can be said. Casey's mystery illness.
2010 Casey and the Big-Bang Duc. Casey in best of health. A Lorenzo walk in the park with Rossi, Pedrosa injured. The two still managed to beat Casey to 2nd and 3rd overall.
2011 Time for Casey to put up or shut up. Perhaps, riding the best handling bike, great topspeed, quickest gear changes, best tires, Rossi, and Pedrosa still not 100% healthy enough to last an entire race. Can Casey ride and bring it home without having to win or bin. Time to put up or shut up.

Huge issue the # 1. Nicky failed with it,Casey did. George,I think will carry it into 2012 and probably beyond. I'm biased.I've got a pile of money bet on #1,#27 and # 11 for the title.
So far,half decent.
Seriously though,Japan took a massive hit,which may even compromise their GP and SBK efforts. The country got another massive aftershock a couple of minutes back.
The way George,Dani,Ben and Casey go about their business on the day remains an absolute pleasure to watch 'On any Sunday'.
Then again,Etna,Vesuvias and old Santorini may yet have a say.
Moto GP 2011,nothing is cast in stone. Long wait untill Estoril. Enjoy an untimely 'off season'.

Just because HRC and Pedrosa have sorted the 2011 RCV it does not necessarily translate that the 2012 variant will automatically be a good 'un. Different engine / power delivery characteristics primarily leading to different chassis reaction.

The Ducati test team of Battaini and Guareschi have already proven that their input is valid only up to a point - lacking that last 3-4% of G.P speed where the problems really manifest themselves. The GP boys and their crews are the ones to really highlight strengths and weaknesses.

Thinking cynically, does any one know what mechanism's are in place to confirm that the bikes being tested are indeed GP12s. Do the factories have to provide data confirming the increased capacity of the bike?
Hopefully first pictures will make some differences clear.

A lot has been speculated about this already since the bikes are there at the same time and Jerez appears to be closed. Anybody an idea? Would it really be that easy?

Their currently in such a bad situation that they should be testing of 2012. Their bike is in such a jacked up bind this year. Looks like they need a TOTAL revamp of this years bike. The direction they have been going needs to change.

Cannot wait for pics to be posted. Hopefully there will be some frame and engine shots. Hopefully something so that we can all study and see the differences between the GP11 and GP12. Wondering how the rear linkage will look, swingarm, the front end. Their Chassis seems to be the least settled out of all the bikes. The engine power seems to be good. But that CHASSIS! Wow! Almost looks cheaply done compared to other teams.

Stoner being on the Honda and telling everyone the power and bike is smooth has definitely had an effect on the Pedrosa side of the garage. The complaints seem to have quieted down a little. For Stoner, after getting off that bucking bull called Ducati, this efficient little Honda is a piece of cake.

I'm curious to see how Ducati responds to the bind they've put themselves in. I remember reading that their 990 bike's biggest issue was the long engine, when placed forward enough in the chassis to achieve the correct weight distribution, was so far forward that the front tire would leave rubber on the front cylinder head during hard braking. They had to wrap the fork legs in carbon to stiffen them against bending during hard braking and add flex to the steering head and triple clamps to compensate for compliance when leaned over.

The 800 rules bailed them out a little bit in that respect, allowing them slightly more latitude, via the shorter engine, to position it better. Still, obviously, it's not a perfect solution.

Ducati has staunchly clung to their "L" configuration to maintain corporate identity, but I just don't see how that's going to be possible under the new rules. If they up their displacement above 800cc, they're going to be forced to cap their bore at 81mm--5mm smaller than on the GP06. This equates to an engine that's even 6mm LONGER than the engine in the GP06 that was such a nightmare to package. That's at 1000cc. Even at the rumored 930cc, that engine still has a 2.5mm longer stroke than the GP06.

Ducati needs to get some weight over the front wheel. I imagine the GP12's engine is either going to be tipped up a bit, or the V angle closed up. I don't see what choice they have.

...turned out to be the wrong direction and they changed it. Loading up the rear tire turned out to be the way the Bridgestones must be ridden. They moved away from shoving the engine as far forward as possible when the 800cc came out, as they figured out that not only did the rear need to be loaded up, but the Bridgestone "fj" front gripped even when lightly loaded. It dictated the whole design of the bike, as weight bias not only shifted, but also a paradigm shift in the way weight was shifted. :)

Just wondering if "the Bridgestone "fj" front gripped even when lightly loaded", why are the Ducs folding the front nowadays? Was there a change in engineering directions of the Bridgestone and what's "fj"? Is it some Ducati spec Bridgestone before the spec tyre rule? Thanks!

its awesome that its taken the mighty Honda this long to balance the 800 package to it's current, seemingly infallible state yet it already lost a race, bummer dude. Ducati, while tiny, has with the help of Rossi and Hayden attracted some HEAVY sponsors that may not get them the 2011 title but I'll bet their investors see the rainbow glowing in the years to come. I think I read here that both riders are under contract for 2012 when the global economy is due to improve.

Are they saying screw the dead formula, we'll spot you this one if you can take it? I am super competitive and never quit even to my doom, but I like the business end too, I would do it just to slay the HUGE dragon again.

Surely, the existence of any 'gentleman's agreement' to allow additional testing by contracted riders beyond the official schedule ought to be, for the sake of transparency, officially confirmed?

All power to Ducati's right arm etc. for having their machine ready so early, but if any manufacturers have a claim to 'extenuating circumstances' right now, it's the Japanese with the entire nation having to exercise a paradigm shift in life's priorities. It seems to me that anything less would indicate a really serious breach of fair play.

Am I right in thinking that any team can run a 800cc engine next year?
If this is the case what is stopping Nicky and Val testing an updated package of the GP11 and Ducati just stick a GP12 emblem on it?
(Or any other team for that matter).

Are any other factory teams using their current GP riders for testing next years bikes?

Flattered. The company is good. MM is responsible me, and yes I got a little turned off with the nonsense that had appeared on here. I wage war elsewhere!

Appreciate the compliment. My interpretation of what we read on MM is an attempt to view the sport through the lens of pragmatic contrarianism. Pragmatic b/c Dorna, the FIM, IRTA, InFront, the GPC, the SBKC, and the MSMA do not tell us everything. Contrarian b/c part of the reason organizations keep secrets is so they can sell alternate reality (entertainment).

I want to know what is going on so I can understand it. MM is a window.

Thanks again, and thanks to David.

The ban on testing is adhered to out of a gentlemen's agreement already. It only takes a minor and mechanically insignificant change to a bike to be considered not a MotoGP bike and free for testing in regards to the rules. So, testing the GP11 is certainly possible since there is no verification.

I wonder what kind of tyres they uses, especially if we are going to compare laptimes with the 800's..

Being an L configuration,the lump is a beaut as a primary balanced engine.In those days,the first thing we would do is throw the unwanted flywheel away. Enhanced the 'screamer' capability without the vibration. The chassis is the issue not the engine layout.
Horses for courses may be the way for Ducati to go. Fast and flowing circuit,the low C of G is fine. Tight and twisty, it's a pain in the neck, arms and shoulders.
Its the difference between riding a longitudal L twin to work and back everyday and comparing the experience with that of doing the same thing with a transverse 4.
Post 2003,Yamaha had the low C of G issue.JB and Yamaha adressed it immediately by raising the lump 50mm in the frame so it could be flicked in the slow stuff.
Ducati can do this by tilting the lump backwards a little and lifting it a couple of mm,thus raising the C of G.
Problem is,that will unload the front even more when it is not desired.
No easy fix for Ducati,but as it is a prototype class with no chassis restrictions, they have the money to play horses for courses within the chassis.
Its almost for them,a case of tire selection equating to chassis selection based on circuit layout.
The motor is and always has been,fundamentally the best. It just causes the chassis to run out of options too often by the very nature of its excellence.
GP12 testing in Jerez.Legal and why not.
At the end of the day,Valentino will have to ride around its idiosynchrosies race in and race out.Ducati will not build an RSV4, nor an RC211V or M1 for 2012.

The cylinder fouls the front wheel if they tilt the engine back even a few mm that has been tried before. Even in the 500cc days all manufacturers moved away from the 90deg format. The strict adherence to the 90 deg angle is what is holding them back.

I see some of you guys talking about V angle with regards to weight distribution. How about we think about it in terms of inner dynamics too. I remember reading somewhere that with a 90° V4, Ducati doesn't need any trick ala crossplane, as the configuration of the engine inherently carries this "inertial torque cancellation" Yamaha has been trying to replicate on M1's and R1's inline fours with their fancy crankshaft config. I remember reading also that such considerations are far from anything new for all those Yankees racing V8 sports cars (but applicable to any V engine).

Also Rossi has been complaining about the power delivery of the engine, but at the same time he and Hayden both praise its great traction, even in the wet.

My point is : isn't there some king of trade-off between chassis / weight distribution issues and engine balance / traction.