Back to the future? ENG VERSION

di Giorgio Mulliri

Back to the future? ENG VERSION


Finally we start again?

It was since the last race at Valencia that I hadn't written anyting about Ducati. I had limited myself to a simple comparison – a bit of a gamble – regarding the technical differences of the factory bikes participating in the MotoGP World championship.

But with the Madonna di Campiglio event – now a high-altitude classic for the presentation of the two red machines – Ducati and Ferrari, with respective pilots – merits a comment and some consideration.

The question is one, and only one: what were we expecting of the new team, renewed for 2013 without Filippo Preziosi at the helm? The answer is quite obvious, and is confirmed by fact: neither more nor less than what Filippo had left in November at the Valencia track.

At Valencia in November, the traditional after-race test occurred, with  the new riders hired by Ducati for this season: Andrea Dovizioso, Nicky Hayden, Ben Spies and Andrea Iannone. And who performed their first laps (except for Spies) with Filippo Preziosi's latest version of the GP12.

During today's press conference in Madonna di Campiglio, according to the factory riders Dovizioso and Hayden's statements, it would seem that for the upcoming Sepag tests Ducati will start the season with substantially the same bike seen at Valencia and Jerez last season. Hayden confirmed this explicitly, stating that the GP13 will not be very different to the GP12....

From what he claims, the American rider hints that he has seen the new ideas in the race department for the next bike made in Germ...OGNA?  (Germania, Bologna)

Let's analyse for a moment what went on track in Valencia: an evolution of the GP12 seen in testing at Misano, this bike.

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An evolution of the frame, shortened in the front and with a different oil sump with respect to what had been seen until then, with an inclination of the sump which now follows the crank case line of the inclined engine.

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Now let's read what Preziosi had to say at the end of the Misano test dated September 2012:

“It has been a very useful test” Preziosi claimed. “We had prepared a frame identical to the one used yesterday in the race as far as geometries are concerned, but modified in the stiffnesses; Valentino gave us feedback which will allow us to develop an evolution with the positive characteristics which he highlighted, and which correspond to our expectations derived from our calculations, without losing in precision. We also had a different swingarm which Valentino liked and we will therefore take to Aragon. Nicky performed a first comparison between a pre-Misano frame and swingarm and what Valentino tried yesterday. His first impression was positive but we need to confirm this at Aragon when his physical condition will have improved. On the basis of data collected today we are accelerating the production of the next development step of the frame, which may be ready before Valencia”.


Was Preziosi already laying the foundations for 2013?

It would seem so, while awaiting for the new Technical Director Gobmeier's opinion regarding the future of the GP13, and its development plans.

And how about the new bike with the frame commissioned to Suter as mentioned by Motosprint in its article informing that Filippo Preziosi would have been relieved from the MotoGP project duties?

Meanwhile Suter denied several times that they were involved in designing a Ducati frame inhouse.

The next moves would so far seem to indicate a comprehensive test on Preziosi's latest ideas, which were never seriously put to test neither at Valencia nor at Jerez, principally due to the bad weather and also Dovi's physical impediment (shoulder injury) at Jerez.

So, for now there's nothing new under the sun, apparently only an evolution of the frame tested at Misano with modified stiffnesses as requested by Rossi, as stated by Preziosi....

In today's press conference Dovizioso stated that future development will commence in Sepang, and that in Malaysia they will test the last evolution of the GP12 seen at Valencia and Jerez.

A confirmation of the latest modifications implemented to then move onto the new design? Done by whom?

Because if this was not the case what would be the use of these tests with the “old” bike?

What comes to mind is the last test towards the end of 2011 at Valencia with Rossi's debut with three different frames and an engine about to be inclined and then put on track at Sepang in Feb. 2012.

Summarising: will Ducati start from the old bike and develop it? Or will they start with this one while waiting for Gobmeier to pull something new out?

Tomorrow at Madonna di Campiglio, Gobmeier will officially start, alongside Domenicali.

We are looking forward to find out the next moves in Ducati MotoGP's future, without forgetting Audi management foreseeing a difficult 2013 and a few victories in 2014. Adding to these considerations Dovizioso's long term opbjectives, of at least two years.

Domani a Madonna di Campiglio debutterà ufficialmente Gobmeier, con al fianco Domenicali.

Now I ask myself, are we sure Preziosi was “moved” or did he resign from that role...?

Back to the future?

GP12 Madonna di Campiglio 2012

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GP13 Madonna Di Campiglio 2013

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thanks for the translation to my friend W.Adam

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