Karel Abraham Press Release: GP12 Is 999cc, Has 250HP And Top Speed Of 360 km/h

While Filippo Preziosi played his cards tantalizingly close to his chest at the Wrooom event, where Ducati launched their 2012 MotoGP challenger for the Marlboro Ducati factory team, satellite squad Cardion AB is being a lot more loose-lipped. Today, the team, which will be running Karel Abraham again in the MotoGP class, issued a press release full of some fascinating details about the satellite Ducati GP12 which Abraham will be racing this season. 

According to the press release, the bike produces 250 horsepower, 15 hp up from the 800cc GP11 Abraham raced in 2011. Top speed is up also, from 340 km/h for the 800cc GP11 to 360 km/h (or nearly 225 mph) for the GP12. Both numbers are in the region expected, though numbers released through the factories tend to be intentionally inaccurate. Whether factory numbers are optimistic or pessimistic - and by how much - is left very much to the imagination of the reader.

A more interesting figure quoted in the press release is the engine capacity of the 2012 Ducati. The bike to be used by Karel Abraham will have a capacity of 999cc, according to the press release. Early reports on the GP12 suggested that Ducati might opt for a smaller engine capacity - 900 and 930cc were numbers being bandied about - with Filippo Preziosi encouraging such speculation. The thinking behind such a design was that with a bore limited to 81mm, fuel could be burned more efficiently, and at higher revs, with a shorter stroke engine than with a long stroke, large capacity engine. However, the lessons from Yamaha's first attempts at a MotoGP bike in 2002 and 2003 - which were both well under the maximum capacity of 990cc - were that although a smaller capacity engine could make the power with ease, the extra torque from more cubes made the bike easier to ride and more competitive. 

The thinking behind full capacity for the 2012 machines is also informed by the engine allocation limits. If a 930cc engine proves not to be competitive, capacity cannot be increased without violating the engine rules. It is easier to manage power and fuel consumption with a large capacity engine, increasing power as fuel efficiency improves, than it is to build a new engine with a larger capacity.

How much resemblance the specs of Abraham's bike bear to the machines to be raced by the factory Ducatis remains to be seen. At Wrooom, Preziosi also revealed that the satellite machines of Abraham and Pramac's Hector Barbera will be replicas of the so-called GPZero tested by Valentino Rossi at Valencia last November. That means that the engine is the GP12 as originally designed and tested during 2011, in the aluminium twin spar chassis built for Ducati by FTR. Rossi's and Hayden's bikes are redesigned from the ground up, with the engine rumored to be very different (most probably, rotated backwards, as has happened for the 1199 Panigale) and the chassis radically modified, though still a twin spar. Whether Abraham and Barbera will get the new version of the GP12 later in the year remains to be seen, but is probably very unlikely.

Below are the two press releases issued by the Cardion AB team today: 

Ducati Desmosedici GP12: Power increased by 15 HP, max speed up to 360 km/h

Czech motorcycle rider Karel Abraham will ride with more powerful and faster bike in his second season in the MotoGP class. The new Ducati Desmosedici GP12 is powered by four-stroke 1000 ccm engine with four cylinders and power of 250HP, which allows maximum speed of 360 km per hour.

Comparing to the last year's model, the new bike has completely modified concept. For example, carbon chassis is replaced by deltabox aluminium frame. "At first glance it may appear that the bike is similar to the last year's model, but under the fairing is a series of significant changes," says crew chief of Cardion AB Motoracing Marco Grana, who spent two weeks in Bologna with his colleagues from the Czech team.

Also the external part of the bike is slightly modified, but the design is still based on a combination of blue and white colors. "In 2012 we decided to return to the blue color a little bit, but I think that our bike will be still well recognizable," continues Karel Abraham. Atypical wings, which he used on the fairing of his bike in 2011 to increase the pressure on the front wheel, will disappear this year.

Most of the components on the new bike are from the same manufacturer as last year. Suspension of Abraham's bike is provided by Öhlins while the brakes are from Brembo. All teams from the premier class use Bridgestone tyres. "I tried the new bike during the post-season test in Valencia, but the first real test will be held at Sepang in Malaysia at the end of January. We need to be well prepared for the first test because we want to try a lot of things. We also must work on the set-up of the bike because the 2012 MotoGP season kicks off in Qatar on April 8th," added Karel Abraham.

According to the provisional entry list for the 2012 MotoGP World Championship, the Cardion AB Motoracing rider will compete against eleven bikes from Ducati, Honda and Yamaha. Other nine positions on the grid will be filled by CRT teams using bikes based on serial machines. Between many rookies are also Abraham's old friends from the Moto2 class, for example reigning Moto2 world champion Stefan Bradl. "Thanks to the increased number of riders, the MotoGP will be more attractive for spectators and for us. It's great that I will ride against my old rivals and friends, but I'm concetrating on my goal – be on the front positions as much as possible, regardless the factory machines or a CRT bikes."

Ducati Desmosedici GP12 of Cardion AB Motoracing

Bike made in Borgo Panigale factory in Bologna has a new 1000 ccm engine with power around 250 HP, which corresponds to a new rules in the MotoGP class for 2012 season.

The name is derived from atypical engine valve system, so-called desmodromic (valves are opened and closed by camshaft). Sedici is "sixteen" in Italian and indicates the number of valves in the engine.

Comparison of Ducati Desmosedici GP12 and GP11

Ducati Desmosedici GP12 Ducati Desmosedici GP11
Weight: dry 155 kg Weight: dry 150 kg
Max. speed: >360 km/h Max. speed: >340 km/h
From 0 to 100 km/h: 2,6 s  From 0 to 100 km/h: 2,7 s
Power: 250 HP Power: 235 HP

Technical data of Ducati Desmosedici GP12

Water-cooled four-stroke engine with four cylinders and four valves per cylinder which are controlled by desmodromic valve system. The cylinders are formed in an angle of 90 degrees.
Capacity: 999 ccm
Electronics: Magneti Marelli
Six-speed, with the possibility to adjust the ratio of degrees.
Clutch: Dry, multi-plate
Chain: Regina
Ducati aluminium frame
Fronf fork: Öhlins with a diameter of 48 mm
Rear suspension: Öhlins
Brakes: front four-piston Brembo calipers, 2x disc Brembo with a diameter of 320 mm, rear two-piston Brembo caliper, Brembo steel disc
Discs: 16,5" magnesium Marchesini
Tyres: Bridgestone
Fuel tank: 21 litres
Fuel: Eni


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I thought the minimun weight is 157kgs?

That is half wet, empty tank but otherwise ready to go... ie the end of the race weight.

My guess is that the tech-specs writer just made it up, like the speed and hp.

Releasing info for the satellite bikes may just be Ducati sprinkling gas on the Media-fire again. But my questions start at: If the satellite teams are indeed riding a completely different spec machine (GPZeros) compared to the Factory Team, are the satellite teams closer to becoming a CRT group? After the rules-debate over Aprilia's involvement with the CRT groups is finalized, will Ducati and other factories follow suit?

I read the press release and it looks like it's been written by a three year-old.

Where do Cardion get the info from, Ducati?..after the lengthts they went to at Jerez earlier this week to keep everything schtum?
Have they speed tested the bike, had it on the dyno or stripped and measured the capacity?

C'mon guys..we're all gagging for news about the new bike but this ain't it.

Altho some of the press release's details might be rather imaginative, I'm pretty sure Ducati has given AB Cardion the right to communicate on this and most of this PR sheet is based on true facts about the GP12.

the number of cylinders is correct ;-)

Actually, except for the top speed I'd say most of the rest is correct too.
They are going to be chasing fuel economy, which means a less undersquare combustion chamber and lower revs to reduce friction losses (and to allow more burn time). So full capacity is a no-brainer, as is a hp boost much smaller than the capacity increase.

The top speed could be a theoretical top speed based on the power to weight ration, the available traction in the tires, and specific gearing. Whether such figures are realistically attainable, or even desired, on any of the gran prix circuits is doubtful when we take into account the length of the straits and ideal bike set up.

It is pretty typical for the satellite teams to run an older spec version of the factory teams bikes. In fact I'm not sure if they ever get the same bike as the factory teams. I remember in 2010 the satellite Yamahas really struggling because they were using 2009 bikes that were really down on power.

If Ducati gave Cardion AB an 1199 Pinigale engine then they would be a CRT team but otherwise it seems like business as usual to me.

And to be fair to Ducati, they've only just finished assembling their factory team bikes, how could you expect them to have another two bikes ready for the satellite teams to test on too.....

But I think the whole point of the new rules and rules expected to come in 2013 is that the factory teams will go the same way as Aprillia seem to be going. So I think we can expect Aprillia to be very competitive in 2013 as they will already have a year of development in the bag.

You could also infer from the fact the new Ducati GP12 is rumored to have the engine rotated back, the same as the Pinigale, that Ducati are making their MotoGP bike compatible with their production engine; ready for a switch in the future.

re: "You could also infer from the fact the new Ducati GP12 is rumored to have the engine rotated back, the same as the Pinigale"

i'm afraid you have it backwards. the D16 engine was already rotated back. the superquadro inherited it's architecture from MotoGp... not the other way 'round.

Where did you get the idea they'd have GP-zero's? Has anyone suggested anything like that? Does the spec sheet not say GP-12?

As for the Panigale engine... there is the minor detail that its bores are too big and too few in number... it's not a legal CRT engine.

Good point about the 1199.... had forgotten it was a V-Twin for a minute there!

From the article above -
"At Wrooom, Preziosi also revealed that the satellite machines of Abraham and Pramac's Hector Barbera will be replicas of the so-called GPZero tested by Valentino Rossi at Valencia last November."

It wasn't actually Ducati that called it the GPzero originally....

Yes I see... in that case yes, they would have the right to be rather unhappy...

It is pretty confusing! Even engines will have to be different, at least on out side. Most probably on in side as well. Or not?!

re: "As for the Panigale engine... there is the minor detail that its bores are too big and too few in number... it's not a legal CRT engine."

rules can be bent. others can be broken. and engines newly designed for use with wet liners can be easily resleeved.

well since they aren't there of course they don't do anything 'cept match the 1000cc (been there, done that for corse). but this is grandprix, and as we see nothing is etched in stone. tracks are on the schedule one day, not on the schedule the next. even the rules are changing minute by minute. ezpelata just went from merely allowing CRT's beginning in 2012...? to now wanting all CRT come 2013...? imagine what the rules will have morphed into 6 months from now...? at the moment, "change" is the only "certainty" in grand prix.

6% more hp would normally be good for 2% more speed. But then it says ">340", so in fact it says nothing at all.

But it is full capacity, how surprising (rolling of eyes here).

If this is true, that Ducati will force the satellite teams to race the GPZero, they must have known this when they signed up, otherwise this would be quite a surprise, finding out suddenly that you are forced to use a package that Ducati itself says makes no headway on the failed GP11 (save for the interim engine). I wonder what the lease rates are on an uncompetitive satellite Ducati?

"It is pretty typical for the satellite teams to run an older spec version of the factory teams bikes. In fact I'm not sure if they ever get the same bike as the factory teams."

I'm pretty sure I read an interview with Herve Poncharal once a couple of years ago where he said the Tech 3 and Factory Yamaha team pretty much started the season on the same bike but the satellite bikes didn't get the upgrades as the season went on?

Yeah that may have been the case. Maybe last year was like that for Tech3, but certainly not always like that.

That has to make Karel feel at least 5% faster. Much speculation about everything Ducati right now,but sure as hell, 2 weeks from now in Sepang,the shocking truth will out. Old father time and Tissot timing will have their say.
No surprise Abraham's enthusiastic about the bike. By my reckoning he was lumbered last year with mid 2010 sattelite Ducati spec kit.
He did a sterling job with it in spite of it all.

being able to go that fast to begin with, but am simply scared silly by the thought of having to brake from that speed.

being able to go that fast to begin with, but am simply scared silly by the thought of having to brake from that speed.

guess that's why I'm watching!

At the end of the day, Big Phil is simply not going to let the cat outta the bag about the GP12. It's typical Ducati fanning of the media flames. As had been said above, the stopwatch is not gonna lie. It this bike is not in the top 6 come the end of Sepang, they're bang in trouble..I do however have faith in JB and VR and the crew. They're not silly.........

That can't be right. That bike still has the wings on the fairing.
Maybe it shows the livery accurately, but that can't be the bike.
Can it?

i believe hector barbera and Karel Abraham had a good feeling with those wings and so asked Ducati to retain it in their bikes... am not surprised about that... difficult to tell from outside, but the bike looks like it has a carbon subframe..

This looks like the last years bike. The earliest version. Look at the swingarm.

The reason Karel had used the version with winglets was due to the wider fairing he preferred. The wider one had winglets on it. He mentioned it was much better for him on the straights, since with the narrower fairing his head was bobbing around due to the aerodynamic resistance and he had neck muscle problems. It had nothing to do with winglets themselves.

Ducati most likely don't have the 2012 model ready for him yet so gave him one of his old bikes to showcase his new livery on and probably said .... "it'sa okay .. nobody'a weell noteece'a"


Accesory or not ? Couldn't help taking a pot shot at the launch photo. Does it get balanced on the left side or right side winglet (cupholder) during the race for when Karel needs a sip. He's a big bloke,so he should have enough reach. Is he a lefty or a righty ?
Seriously though,I can't believe they're still fooling around with that nonsense other than to make the bike easily identifiable.

They needed something to hang the paint-job on to show the sponsors. Did they say it was the GP12? So far as I know it was to launch the new livery, not the new bike.

You're right, its the old bike. i think they just wanted to show the livery... :-/ i dont know why they would do that especially after "revealing" specific information about top speed, displacement etc. i find it a little lame apart from the marketing and investors POV.