Consistencies.: My way. ENG

di Giorgio Mulliri

Consistencies.: My way. ENG

After the GP of Qatar, we've listened to a series of statements from
Rossi, Guareschi and other experts (ex world champions included) aimed
at justifying
or blaming the performance of Rossi or Ducati. Rossi, in the interview
to Motosprint (which I could read on solomoto.es) has listed the
problems related to the
GP12 drivability that, according to him, are due to the excessive rear
grip that gives troubles to the front-end chassis creating the
understeer, mostly related to the power delivered by the engine.
An explanation also confirmed by Guareschi, as quoted by MCN: "We try
to understand better what is starting the understeer and the problem
is coming when Valentino first touches the throttle. It is like the
rear pushes the front and we have started working on the electronics
because this is also new. We need to have a smoother engine,
especially at the first touch of the throttle and for this reason
Valentino loses the feeling with the front because the rear tyre
pushes the front.Filippo understands where the problem is and he is
working on solving this issue.The chassis in this moment is not the
main problem. The problem now is the drivability and we want to solve
this problem as soon as possible. I don’t think there will be a lot
(of new parts for Estoril) but I know Filippo is working to improve
the machine and this is a good opportunity to try a new piece or some
new electronics.We need to close the gap and I think it is possible
because the base of our machine is much better than the old one. It is
necessary to make small adjustments and not big changes like last
year".
And so what's the problem? The problem is that Rossi said the same
things last year and, as far as I remember, Guareschi gave the same
explanation talking about a fall of Stoner when the Aussie was still
in Ducati. As far as I can remember, at the GP of Estoril in 2011,
Ducati used a heavier crankshaft just to tame the power delivery of
the V4, along with a more flexible carbon chassis, to mitigate the
understeer already seen during the first test of Rossi in Valencia
2010.
About the title of this article : consistencies. Rossi, in Jerez, has
talked about settings not suited for his riding style.  Settings
chosen by who?

This is a cartoon/photomontage I made some months ago (Guareschi: "We
have prepared a set up for Rossi to add more load to the front end")

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

The workflow in the box should be the following: Rossi talks with
Burgess about the problems, Burgess makes his requests to Preziosi and
Preziosi turns these requests into new pieces for Burgess that, with
his 30 years of experience, tries to translate Rossi's indications in
solutions to satisfy the rider. We've seen this process many times in
the last years; sometimes with miracles accomplished just few hours
before the race: the famous warm up magic with Honda and Yamaha that
suddenly changed the fate of the race after bad practice sessions.
Hayden, with Martinez (ex Gibernau's crew chief), seems instead to
find the right settings every time or, at least, to show that Ducati
is not so bad, even with his youth problems. Let's not forget that
Ducati is at least 1 year and a half late, compared to the
competitors, not counting that the competitors just put a new engine
on the old 800cc bikes with the needed improvements - of course - but
with the most of the development problems already solved, given the
experience matured on a bike which is 90% equals to the old one.
Ducati, on the contrary, can't apply any experience on a bike that is
90% new as the GP12 actually is.
It's interesting to note that Yamaha had a similar problem to Ducati,
with a surplus of power delivery, compared to the 800cc, that gave
trouble to the chassis. It seems the problem was solved, as explained
on GPOne. So we can deduce that Rossi is not lying or, at least, he
credits the Japanese teams that were able to solve that problem,
contrary to what was done by Ducati. But when we say "Hayden setup
adapted to Rossi's bike", it doesn't add up: cause all the sources
have remarked how incompatible Nicky's setup is for Rossi's riding
style. We can go back to when Rossi was in Yamaha, when- quoting Ramon
Forcada - Lorenzo took the cue from Rossi's settings, confirming that
a bike set up cannot be used as it is by different riders: when
someone followed that way (see Lorenzo in Misano 2009 warm up), he got
back very quickly.

Another smile. Rossi and Ducati, the Nicky's wall.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Let's take an example: the balance of the chassis, including the
positioning of the engine inside, the compound levers of the rear
damper, the wheelbase and the fork length they all have very important
drawback on the tyres consumption and also on the bike stability
during braking. In Jerez, Hayden was in the leading group for
different laps, making me think he had a settings suited for full tank
and new tyres and for a track that was still humid. A setting that,
however, lost effectiveness as the bike became lighter and the tyres
deteriorated, with the following loss of performance compared to the
other riders. On the opposite side, Rossi made his best lap toward the
end of the race, with a time that was 3 tenths of a second better then
Hayden's best lap. Rossi stated that he started with the base setup
used by Hayden and that he had improved his feeling with the bike.

This is food for thought. So did the setting used by Hayden for the
test in Mugello work, as many people speculated? Strange, since during
that test it was raining constantly - did they try a set up for the
rain? Let's go back to the consistency problem since, on one side,
Rossi has said he has used Hayden's set up as a starting point - as
confirmed on GPone. But, in other statements, he has said that he and
his team don't understand the bike and that the solutions used in 30
years of experience by Burgess seem not applicable to Ducati. Are
these inconsistencies masking the loss of competitiveness of the
champion of Tavullia? Some people agree on that (Agostini, Nieto,
Pernat) suggesting that maybe Rossi does not want to admit that age,
aches and the new rider generation has put him off.

But the performance during the race, in terms of lap times, compared
to the other Ducati riders, say that Rossi has still a little
advantage when it's time to race. Sure, we're talking about
tenths/thousandths of seconds over Hayden and Barbera that, with
almost the same bike, shows clearly that Rossi has not the confidence
he would like to have with the GP12.

In my opinion, however, it could be that the inconsistencies between
Rossi and Guareschi's statements are used on purpose to hide something
else: Preziosi wanting to maintain his hold on the box? Burgess in
total disagreement with Preziosi? Rossi choosing a setting more
"Ducati-style" (the one prepared by Martinez) than "Burgess-style"
indicates that somebody inside Ducati digged his heels in, to give a
lesson to Burgess or even to tie his hands.
The Rossi's acknowledgement of choosing the "Ducati style" and the
related confession about the team not understanding the GP12, might
give rise to this kind of bad thoughts. Words were passed that
Preziosi's men are in the Rossi's box to monitor the progress. Rossi's
statements that they will start from Jerez set up  - implicitly
confirming he will try to adapt his style to the bike and not
viceversa- give something to think about.

In Estoril, for the Monday tests, a new engine will be used  - that's
the Preziosi's attempt to smooth the engine. What will he give to
Rossi? Given past experience makes me think of a engine with an
heavier crankshaft, but not only that.

As far as I remember, this sort of intervention was done also when
Capirossi was Stoner's team mate; with the introduction of the carbon
chassis, Loris suddenly became a slow rider (a "goner") and was the
first of a long list of victims claimed by the Bologna's monster.
Here's what Preziosi said before the GP of Mugello in 2007: "Mugello
seems to suit our bike, and it is also one of Loris' favourite tracks,
where he has always been very competitive. So, having listened to his
feedback and analysed his data, we have prepared a new package to help
him fight for the kind of results he's accustomed to achieving. These
changes aim to modify the GP7's power delivery to offer rideability
that's better suited to Lori's riding style. The changes include
electronics - revised engine mapping and ride-by-wire set-up - and
mechanics - revised cam timing and fluid-dynamics. The same package
will also be available for Casey if he wants to try it." I say it
again: May 2007. But did not Guareschi say that they had unrevelled
the puzzle?  In my view there are reasons inducing people to hide
other problems: an attempt to avoid bringing someone/something into
disrepute, rather than saying what they are cooking up in the pot.
Even Rossi's last statements, less aggressive than before, are
indicative of the climate in that team.

After the GP of Qatar, everybody has had something to say, except
Preziosi. After the test, he will have something to say, provided that
the changes get the approval of both the chronometer and Rossi.
Preziosi, however, will find out another issue: if the new engine will
work as planned and will be used in Le Mans, the 2 engines used so far
(that should have last for 4/5 GP after Jerez) should be throwed in
the can. Will they find a solution with the electronics? In Le Mans,
Barbera should try the new GP12, according to the rider's
statements... will the satellite bikes use the same engine used by the
official ones
or will they be forced to seal new engines? Was this the origial plan?
Did they already know that this would have been the way to go for the
2012? Will the gap between Ducati and the top teams be eliminated?

Going on with Hayden's statements on GPone, another question has come
to my mind. "In Jerez, on August, I tested the 1000cc and did a
1'39.1". Obviously with the old spec tyres; the new ones have the same
performance, the only difference being the wear life, as Forcada
confirmed to me on Twitter. Let's take into account that in August
they were still using the 800cc and there weren't real elements to
evaluate performance difference between the second version of the
1000cc and the old 800cc. In the last test in Jerez, Hayden did a
1'39.919, the pole time was 1'40.563 with bad track conditions that,
however, did not stop Lorenzo to get closer to the test times -
1'38.953 compared to the1'39.532 of the pole. An advantage of 6 tenths
of a second, compared to the 8 tenths of Hayden. Obviously in August
the weather conditions were different. But were they so different to
justify a gap of 1 second and 4 tenths? It may be, but the question
is: how good was the Hayden's settings in Jerez.

Waiting for all the answers, I give you a present: a picture of the
GP12 took during the Jerez test showing the engine has been tilted. I
just added a line to highlight the ideas expressed by me in other
occasions

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

  Tanks for my friend  @gianpaolo72 

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