In previous tales I had analysed Motosprint's articles related to the recent Jerez test (a January issue) accompanying my observations with photos and confirming amongst other things, that Pirro's bike indeed appeared to have something new.
In my last article I suggested how the works team was modifying weight distribution on the GP13 or “GP12 Evo 2” with different airbox covers with a possible additional fuel tank. By shifting weight forward the aim was to make the rideability smoother and more agile as confirmed by Dovizioso in GPOne's article.
In my last article I concluded expressing the desire to find photos of Pirro in action on the lab bike... Some were indeed observed, on his Facebook profile, but not clearly enough to define what's hidden beneath Bologna's desmo bike's fairings.
Some details confirm that infact now the front cylinders' exhaust is flush with the fairing, GP10-style, gp11.1 which I remind used the engine with the 18° inclination, let's call it the “classic” configuration, having the exhaust running along the right side of the oil sump successively going towards the left then right again and finally exiting from the fairing.
This busy exhaust layout was required in order to match the overall length of the rear cylinders' exhaust.
Question: why abandon the GP12 and GP13's recent layout of the exhausts passing to the left of the sump to eventually exit with a single tube running along the swingarm? Have they used an 18° engine instead of the current 45° one?
Not having access to any explicit photos of the bottom of the engine we can only hypothesize, not forgetting that there must be a technical motivation for utilising
the current layout.
As Motosprint presented... effectively it can be seen that Pirro's bike's frame is abundantly covered by either taping or CFRP strips, according to me in order to hide details from “Manz”, sorry for the joke, but there's a reason...
Carefully observing the available photos, the final part of the right hand side of the frame, is composed of a narrower than usual spar which extends past the swingarm pivot (not visible on the right hand side) and
extends downwards; why? The only function could be to form a lower engine support, and a silent block support for the end part of the exhaust where it exits the fairing.
On the left hand side the lower part of the frame which extends upwards can be noted, also camouflaged by tape or CFRP strips which hide details like the rear engine support, well visible on the GP12 or works GP13.
It would appear to be wider than the preceding one, albeit difficult to understand the actual design.
The ''hole'' which used to be present along the frame just before it bends towards the steering head is not there anymore, or if it is it has apparently changed design. Only hypotheses due to the lack of photos.
Did the “anti-Manz” sticker do its job? Not quite...
In the original photo the sticky tape covers enough to hide any detail, but
by lightening a specific photo, where the old engine support was located, it can be observed that the original support is there and covered by tape because the tape slightly sinks into the empty hole; with a silly example to clarify better, it's a bit like covering a dvd's hole with tape - one realises it's there without actually seeing it (this is the best example my sick mind suggests). Here's the photo with the
Here's the photo with the
Summarising: fuel tank, frame, fairing and exhaust are all different.
It would appear Ducati is very active on both fronts, on the works bike with weight distribution mods, as initially experimented and claimed by Preziosi, at Mugello after the 2012 race, then continued at the Misano testing session.
A question comes to mind: if Pirro was observed riding this bike at Jerez in January and Preziosi had been told he was being moved back in November, with an announcement at the November Valencia test that there would be a December Jerez test to finalise the GP12's development... Did they create a lab bike in one and a half months? In order to respect necessary timing they must have started in October.....