Ducati Press Release: Rossi Tests The Ducati At Mugello

As reported earlier this morning, Valentino Rossi spent the day at Mugello testing the 2012 Ducati Desmosedici GP12. The test had been laid on for Rossi to check the progress of next season's Ducati MotoGP machine, and test the updates made to the machine at the request of himself and teammate Nicky Hayden after the Jerez test back in April. Rossi also got to try out the new surface at Mugello, which he greatly approved of. Looking at the photos from the test (shown below), Mugello's brand new grandstand is also clearly visible, a marked improvement from the old grandstand at the circuit.

Once again, it is hard to see much detail about the bike from the photos. As noted from the photos from the Jerez test, the aerodynamic package is different, the engine radiator vents in the fairing side panels very different to the package currently being used, featuring multiple exhaust vents rather than a single large vent. The nose looks slightly more bulbous than the 2011 machine, looking a little rounder. The swingarm looks similar to the one used at Jerez, using bracing underneath the main spars rather than above them, as is the case in the GP11. And the secondary exhaust on the right-hand side (the exhaust from the front bank of cylinders) is much longer than the current exhaust, and a completely different shape. This is the most obvious sign that the bike is a different displacement to the 800, though there is still not hint as to the actual displacement Filippo Preziosi has selected.

The text of the press release and photos (courtesy and copyright of Ducati Corse) from the test follow below:


In warm and sunny conditions, Valentino Rossi climbed back aboard the Desmosedici GP12, turning sixty laps during the third and final day of a Ducati test at the Mugello circuit. As usual, technical director Filippo Preziosi led the Ducati test team, which had also worked with Franco Battaini and Vittoriano Guareschi over the previous two days.

It was Rossi's second test with the GP12, and he used the opportunity not only to check the first few updates to the bike, carried out according to the instructions of Valentino and teammate Nicky Hayden, but also to enjoy the Tuscan circuit's new surface.

"I'm pleased, because it was a positive test," said Valentino at day's end. "We took full advantage of the time we had, because the track and weather conditions were perfect. I liked the new asphalt a lot. The surface is smooth, those holes that I knew so well are now gone, and the grip is fantastic. I must say they've done a great job, because if it's possible, riding here at Mugello is now even better than before. I'm happy to have come back here to test after my injury last year, because it was a nice feeling and a good day. We started around 11:00 this morning, and we completed sixty laps in all—many kilometers without any problems, either physical or with the GP12. We tested everything that Filippo had planned to try, and we're satisfied because, although we're still at a pretty early stage, we're going in the right direction."

"We completed our second day of testing the GP12 with Vale," said Filippo Preziosi. "I must say it's a strange sensation, but also a really nice one, to be here at Mugello with Valentino, on a track where we've been rivals so many times in the past. We worked on the electronics and various other updates to next season's bike, some of which were made following the requests that Vale and Nicky had given us during their first outing with the bike about a month ago at Jerez. It was a useful and positive test that will enable us to continue with the development of the GP12, which has some new details coming soon. Working with Valentino is always very nice from a technical perspective, and we were lucky with the weather, as we had perfect conditions. Vale also really appreciated the new asphalt: we have to compliment the folks at Mugello, because they really did a great job."

Valentino Rossi testing the Ducati GP12 at Mugello

Valentino Rossi testing the Ducati GP12 at Mugello

Valentino Rossi testing the Ducati GP12 at Mugello

Valentino Rossi testing the Ducati GP12 at Mugello

Valentino Rossi testing the Ducati GP12 at Mugello

Filippo Preziosi talking to Valentino Rossi about the Ducati GP12 at Mugello


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Yeah the GP12 is great and all, but roll on the 2012 Superbike!! :D This may be completely false, but I heard that there were some pretty big design differences to the next gen 1098/1198 consumer superbike. If so, would the production bike differ largely from what Ducati puts on the grid in WSBK?

The new 2012 superbike will be very different. No more steel trelliis frame and single-sided swingarm. New bike will have desmosedici style frame(albeit aluminum) and swingarm.

for a frame system that has had as many problems as the monocoque frame in GP racing, I'm very shocked to this being injected into a production based bike. I'm no bike engineer, but with the number of problems still to be sorted out with the GP11, couldn't these problems become multiplied when applied to a WSBK program?

However I'm also realizing the potential additional research and development that homoglating a frame system from GP and WSBK could provide a small factory like Ducati. Whether this is true or not, it clearly shows Ducati's determination to make this system work. You could definitely say they are putting all of their eggs into one basket now....

The CF frame its something unique, probably because everybody else knows it doesnt work.

I would like to see how the ducati goes with a standar chassis.

Well that's a very simplistic take on things. Stoner has racked up seven wins on the thing in the last couple of years. Yes the Desmocedici sounds like a tempestuous latin (I rather like that characteristic in my Italian motorcycles), but it is also a proven winner, even if Stoner did win in spite of the machines handling.

To lay all the blame on the chassis is not the full story. Engine delivery & placement, electronics and weight distribution all come into the equation.

Ducati are trying to look forward, not backwards. More power to them.

for a production bike is validation of its worth.

Ducati would have to be insane or stupid to sell a bike with a "flawed" design. It is risky enough to race a questionable concept with hopes of developing it, but business suicide to market such a bike.

The flat-earthers who believe CF or 2-piece frames have inherent flaws have short memories of the pre-CF frames Ducati bikes which were never the paradigm of nimble handling.

How then would you explain all the ill-handling "traditional" aluminum beam framed bikes?

A contender for a constructors cup? Hardly. There is a reason that ALL of the Hondas are fast right now. Just like BOTH of the factory Yamaha's in 2009-2010. They are/were bikes that any borderline alien could ride and win and have a shot at the podium every race. The Ducati was a winner in the hands of a guy who knew how to ride it, hard and fearless and that still resulted in just as many low-sides as wins.

There have been plenty of "standard chassis" that didn't work. Just because the current frame doesn't have the right characteristics with regards to rigidity doesn't mean it doesn't or can't work or that the concept should be abandoned at all. Ducati's expertise has always been the steel trellis frame, not the aluminum twin spar frame. There would be a learning curve for them to switch course at this point and follow the rest with absolutely no guarantee of success either. The only thing that they would be assured of is that they would be throwing out all of there data and be starting from scratch which really is much worse that starting from a known quantity, even if it isn't perfect.

+1 Rossi, JB and crew are also on their very first time with the cf frame. It's a pretty exciting period in the sport wondering whether these guys can be the ones to make cf the material of choice in motogp.. Does anyone have the breakdown on what the advantages are of using a cf frame? I'd thought of weight but there is a minimum weight limited though it should help with distribution..

The photos are obviously well chosen to show as little as possible, but in the photo of VR dismounting the bike, is that a frame "beam" of sorts visible between tank and fairing? His knee conveniently obscures the swingarm pivot details, but the "praying to the footpeg god" shows the seat unit flaring out quite markedly where it goes past the tank. Is it flaring out around a spar which goes down to the swingarm pivot??
All very well shrouded by black, but lightening the image shows a little more. Is that the same as a GP11?

It's probably just the side fairing left in unpainted carbon look at this area.

From a marketing POV it wouldn't make sense building the GP12 with a standard frame and advertise the new SBK with a subframe.

Suspicious lookin', aint it? ;-)

That sprocket isnt much bigger than the bolt pattern, Yikes.

Good photo's. I'm totally in the dark as to what lurks beneath the paint job.
The side fairing vents and extended front pot exhaust is pretty obvious. The aerodynamic profile looks better in spite of appearing more bulbous.
Big plus is that Valentino did 60 laps,great weather. No more shoulder issue hopefully.
On another level it is Mugello. Resurfaced and my GP highlight race,season in and season out. In fact, I'll stick my neck out and say its THE race of the year as a sheer spectacle. That circuit has everything.
This years Mugello race is of paramount importance for Ducati and their sponsors.
Its almost a 'must win' race for them 2011. I hope it all comes good for them on the day. The fact that they have a head start on the new surface is neither here nor there. HRC and Yamaha will be sorted for the race.
The real intrigue post race will be the Japanese outfits testing on the Monday alongside Ducati in their backyard. With baited breath,we await confirmation of engine capacities to be used by factory teams 2012.

But Ducati have already ticked the Mugello box, in 2009 with Stoner.

I think what is important for them by the time Mugello comes along is that their riders are more competitive than they currently are, of which the Desmocedici is a contributing factor. But how much?

I agree though. Mugello is my favourite race of the year too. Only been there once ('95) but the wonderful undulating flowing track, the surrounds, the natural amphitheatre viewing and the crazy crowd make it the dogs bollocks. Man it's going to be a quick race this year.

I agree with pretty much EVERYTHING you have to say. (Cue the Twilight Zone theme music) That's TWICE IN ONE YEAR!

From Mugello being the favorite race, to the hopes for some competitiveness, minus shoulder problems, plus some knowledge of engine capacities...it's all there. Well said.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go find a comfortable spot...and faint.

Now we start to see the reason for the all-out blitz on getting the frame correct on the GP11; the technology is going into the new production superbike. Obviously if Rossi isn't winning by the end of this year on it, that will be a big black mark on the technology of the "frameless bike". Which I truly have my doubts about as a good idea for a street bike, using the engine as an integral part of the frame. Seems like a good way to total a bike from a relatively easy low-side, but that's neither here nor there.

From seeing a GP09 up close at Indy last year, Ducati do leave unpainted areas on their fairings. The Duc GP bike seemed more like a prototype to me, compared to the M1 that Yamaha had there - the Duc is much less an aesthetically "finished" product, looks more like a proper racebike. It looks to me that is what we're seeing that looks like a frame spar.