The Accidental Spy: Nicky Hayden Publishes Photos Of Ducati GP10

The dangers of modern technology are notorious, and easily overlooked. As any visitor who has done Ducati's excellent factory tour can affirm, the racing department, Ducati Corse, is closely guarded, with only a small glass window for the curious to peer through. All requests for entry are politely but firmly declined, for fear of anything leaking out before a formal announcement.

Of course, that does not stop news from getting out inadvertently. The Italian site had an interesting "scoop" today, displaying a "spy" photo of Ducati's brand new 2010 Desmosedici GP10 MotoGP bike. And who is to blame for this indiscretion? A sleeper planted by the covert industrial espionage unit of a rival factory? A cunning and resourceful Italian photo journalist talking his way in under false pretenses?

Ducati Desmosedici GP10 Spy Shot by Nicky Hayden

It was none of those things. In fact, the shot was taken by Marlboro Ducati rider Nicky Hayden, in a blog post on his very own website. Hayden took the shot using his iPhone, during a visit to the Ducati factory he made to keep up to speed on the progress being made with the GP10. Whether Ducati intended for the shot to leak out or not is not known, but the fact that Hayden took the fact on his cellphone highlights the ubiquity of technology, and the difficulty of controlling it. One major European car manufacturer has banned all cellphones from its R&D facilities, and Ducati Corse may be wishing they had done the same.

MotoGP fans and followers will be glad of Hayden's indiscretion, however. The photo shows some interesting details, giving an insight into Ducati's current thinking about the MotoGP bike. The most obvious change to the bike is the enlarged side vent in the fairing. This serves to channel heat away from the engine as quickly as possible, something the Ducati is notorious for producing. The enlarged panel is probably a part of the engine life extension program, as any drop in engine temperature allows the engines to last longer, and with just 6 engines to last for all 18 races of the 2010 MotoGP season, engine temperature is going to be a critical factor. The fairing also looks to be slightly more rounded than the 2009 version, perhaps creating a slightly larger air bubble for riders to hide behind, thereby improving the aerodynamics.

Those longing for more details will have to be patient. The bike is not due to be officially unveiled until January, at Ducati's annual WROOM event, which traditionally takes place in the middle of January.

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Fascinating... but that shot doesn't really reveal anything crucial--especially with all the fairings on. I wonder if the factory will be upset or if they'll care at all.

There is a very good chance you are right. However, what I found interesting about the story is that it is becoming more and more difficult to control information as data devices become more integrated and more ubiquitous. This is both a good thing and a bad thing, but it is certainly fascinating.

Yeah, I'm curious as to whether Ducati gave Nicky their unofficial blessing to release the pic. You'd have to think they did right? I mean he's a nice, friendly, personable Ducati salesman, and I know Ducati like him as a person, but let's be honest, results are ultimately what matters. On that basis, his professional relationship with Ducati might not be tenuous just yet, but adding off track gaffs to his list of on track woes definitely wont make life easier.

I'm actually more intrigued by the colour. It's definately not the typical ducati red, but I really like it. Anyone seen any of their previous pre season prototypes? Have they used it before and then reverted to the more usual red? I'm assuming they're pretty die hard about the colour (like Ferrari) and wont sway too far from tradition, but I just wonder.....

It pays to remember that the photo was taken on a POS ifone. As if the camera is any good..!?!!

I was about the post the same. You'll notice all the reds are washed out. Red is a very difficult colour for some cameras to get right.

It is virtually unthinkable Ducati would not have known Hayden took that picture. Likewise, it's almost inconceivable (INCONCEIVABLE!!! from "Princess Bride," sorry.) Hayden would post such an image without Ducati's blessing. Neither party—Hayden nor Ducati—are that simple-minded or naive.

If things turn out differently—that is, if Hayden actually posted that image without Ducati's agreement, tacit or otherwise—well, hand me the crow. It won't be the first time.

However, none of this alters Emmett's statement that it's becoming increasingly difficult to control information. That's a given. And thank you for posting it.

"I was about the post the same. You'll notice all the reds are washed out. Red is a very difficult colour for some cameras to get right."

Yah, I had a good look at the photo before posting. I noticed the reds were a bit off too, but not that badly. The tool chests are distinctly darker, and the red paint ducati normally use is at least that dark. And definitely deeper.

The 2G/3G don't have stellar cameras, but they don't turn deep red into near fluro red either! It could have been taken on a 3GS which has a much better 3MP camera. We'll prolly never know exactly what it looked like though.

Nicky has been in the bizz for too long to ignore safety protocols and i'm certain he's been giving the OK to post that photo by Ducati. The man has been at the highest level of racing for years and he knows for sure one doesn't post the stolen picture of a prototype on his blog :)))
Furthermore, there really isn't much to see except a funny red/orange color and few minor generalities. Plus the bike will be showed to the world press in 15 days at the usual Ducati On Ski extravaganza, right ?

Storm in a nutshell. Bring on the season :)))

It's a workshop innit? Flourescent lighting + red paint + phone camera = Less than optimal color rendering.

And yeah, it's a phony "leak"....shocker.

That is the biggest front fairing I've seen in a long time. They must've spent quite a bit of time in the wind tunnel. Maybe its custom for Nick? Can anybody tell what the swinger is made of in that image?

BTW David: Thanks for the calendars and Merry Xmas! Congrats on a breakout 2009.

Taking a guess, my money would be on that swingarm being CARBON.

My checklist says:

1) The colour is right.
2) You can juuuuuust about kinda/sorta see what looks like the criss-cross latticework of carbon fibers (or I seriously need to get some more sleep), especially the long, wide ridge beneath the rear tire hugger. The hugger is certainly CFRP, and the weave of the carbon fiber can be seen on it, and that same weave pattern can be seen on the swingarm itself.
3) It's got the ultra-high-gloss finish, instead of the satin finish often used on alloy swingarms. In fact, you can see (what one would assume to be) Nicky's legs and feet reflected on the side of the swingarm. We can see the left leg (our right) up to the knee, and the right leg (our left) is partially obscured by part of the rearset. It looks as if he's wearing very baggy pants (sweats?), that seem to have a cuff of some sort keeping them from covering his shoes, which are probably trainers of some sort or other. Regardless of clothing and footwear choices, the high-gloss finish of the swingarm would seem to be further confirmed, or else we wouldn't be seeing mirror-like reflections in it. Satin-finished alloy wouldn't look that way.

It looks like CFRP to me.

It's my tale, to which I shall remain attached... (ha!)

ugly fairing. maybe it's meant to look better leaned over, away from us. seen from above- that straight edge on the side vent looks like an afterthought. judging from panel fit, it's still in early prototype stage.

The fluro orange is the correct colour. It's orange in real life but on television it's bright red. This was the first thing I noticed went I saw max biaggi's yamaha for the first time in 2000.

We live in a virtual world people.