On May 11th and 12th of this year, Ducati will be offering a unique chance to own some of its racing history. Among some of the bikes being offered for sale by the Bologna factory are two of the most desirable - and perhaps most controversial - of the Italian manufacturer's history: the Ducati Desmosedici GP10 MotoGP bike ridden by Casey Stoner in his final year with the factory; and the Desmosedici GP11 machine which Valentino Rossi started his career with Ducati on at Qatar.
Both bikes on offer were built during the winter testing break before the season they were raced in, took to the track for the first time at Sepang and made their race debut at Qatar. The GP10 raced by Stoner is the machine that he went on to win his home Grand Prix at Phillip Island on, before being retired after Valencia, having racked up a total of 4232 km. Rossi's GP11 would see less track time: the bike being offered is the GP11, the bike Rossi started the season on before abandoning it in favor of the destroked version of the GP12 dubbed the GP11.1 by Ducati Corse. In total, the GP11 ridden by Rossi would clock up 2342km of track time.
As you might expect, the sale of bikes that were raced so recently come with plenty of strings attached. The party lucky enough to purchase the bikes will have to sign a confidentiality agreement before taking delivery of the bikes, and agree not to disclose technical details about the machines. Though the bikes are of a previous generation - and completely different to the GP12 which Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden will be contesting the 2012 MotoGP season with, far beyond just the capacity increase - the technology used is still current enough for it to be of interest to Ducati's competitors. That may explain why it is a GP11 on sale, rather than a GP11.1. The bike Rossi used from Assen onwards was an early version of the bike which Ducati had been planning to race in 2012, with the crankpin moved to reduce swept capacity to below the 800cc limit. Even though the GP12 has been radically redesigned, the internal engine dimensions are likely to have remained the same, and that is not knowledge which Ducati wishes to have become public knowledge.
But the Ducati Desmosedicis are not the only objects of desire to be sold by exclusive auction house RM Auctions at the sale to be held in Monaco. A number of historic bikes from the private Saltarelli Ducati collection is also on offer, including Giancarlo Falappa's 1992 888 World Superbike racer, some early Ducati Cucciolos, the machine that transformed Ducati from an electronics and appliance firm into the legendary motorcycle manufacturer, as well as a host of early desmo singles and twins. You can see the entire catalog on the RM Auction website.