Interview: Gigi Dall'Igna On MegaRide, Tire Simulation Software, And Learning From Other Factories

It is no secret that Ducati has invested a lot of time and money into tire management. An investment born of necessity: the Desmosedici is the most powerful bike on the grid, with rumors of over 300hp, and getting all that power to the ground places massive stresses on the tires. Even the smallest gains can have a big effect.

One of the avenues Ducati have been exploring has been through software modeling. The Italian factory started a collaboration with MegaRide, a software company specializing in vehicle dynamics simulation which emerged from the University of Naples. That collaboration kicked up a lot of fuss in 2017 when news of the collaboration broke, though with it came a lot of misconceptions. Ducati Corse boss Gigi Dall'Igna helped clear up some of those misconceptions in an interview with at Silverstone in 2017.

Since then, the public focus on the collaboration has slipped. But the work between MegaRide and Ducati has continued, the Italian startup helping Ducati understand the performance of the rear tire, and extract even more gains from it.

To find out where the collaboration stood, I spoke to Gigi Dall'Igna at the Sepang test. The Ducati Corse boss is as guarded with his words as ever, but still gave an insight into their priorities for 2019, the challenges of understanding tire behavior, and how MegaRide is helping them with improving the performance of the Desmosedici.

New contract signed

The first thing I asked is how the collaboration was progressing. Dall'Igna announced they had extended the contract at the start of the year. "We improved a little bit for sure, otherwise we would not stay with them!" Dall'Igna quipped. "So we renewed the contract with them this year. Honestly, we are quite happy."

The purpose of the collaboration was better understand the performance of the tire. "The reality is that I think the motorcycle world needs time to arrive at the point where now the car world is. Mainly, it's because the motorcycle manufacturers and also the tire manufacturers didn't spend a lot of money in the development of knowledge about motorcycle tires."

The problem, Dall'Igna explained, is that the equipment needed to analyze motorcycle tires was difficult to build. "In the world there are really only a few devices that can measure the tire performance at the roll angle that a motorcycle needs," he said. "Because mainly, all the devices are built for cars." That is, they are flat rolling roads which a car sits on top of.

To read the rest of this article, you need to sign up to become a site supporter by taking out a subscription. You can find out more about subscribing to here.

This is part of a regular series of unique insights into the world of motorcycle racing, exclusive for site supporters. The series includes interviews, background information, in-depth analysis, and opinion. Though most content on remains free to read, a select amount of uniquely interesting content will be made available solely to those who have supported the website financially by taking out a subscription.

The aim is to provide additional value for our growing band of site supporters, providing extra original and exclusive content. If you would like to read more of our exclusive content and help to grow and improve, you can join the growing band of site supporters, by taking out a subscription here.

Tweet Button: 

Back to top


So how do they develop the software parameters to simulate the Michelin tires? Especially as they differ from race round to race round in terms of carcass construction (?) and rubber formulation? Sorry, I find myself unable to wrap my head around this.

And is it my imagination, or do Gigi Dall'igna and Andrea Dovizioso speak very similarly? A case of hive mind? :)

1. If I knew that, I would be writing this in my Tuscan mansion while I watched my private helicopter land. That's the secret.

2. I think it's more a question of both speaking English as Italians. But it is true they have similar temperaments, and Dovizioso has spent a long time working with Dall'Igna now.