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Ducati’s General Director discussed the evolution of the Desmosedici GP11.1 during the official MotoGP Test at Brno on Monday.
Ducati’s work on the Desmosedici GP11.1 continued at Brno on Monday where the Borgo Panigale factory made further efforts to improve their prototype.
The bike, which was first rolled out for the Assen GP by Valentino Rossi and which incorporated the chassis being developed for 2012 by Ducati’s engineers, has been used and continually developed by the Italian since, and on Monday team-mate Nicky Hayden used the full day to work on the GP11.1 having ridden it in practice but not during the race at Laguna Seca.
Filippo Preziosi, General Director at Ducati and the creative force behind the machine, discussed the bike’s evolution with motogp.com at the Test as he explained that the progress being made is as much about the future as the present.
“The changes we made during the weekend at Brno were finalised to make a faster bike for the race, and now we are working for the mid and long term in order to define the target for the designers for the new generation of bikes,” said Preziosi. “For that we need huge modifications in the set up to evaluate bike behaviour when you do these things.”
Preziosi continued: “I’m happy that Nicky is confirming Valentino’s ideas. We know that introducing a new bike during the Championship usually produces a worse performance in the short term for a couple of races, and you must accept that because it is normal. But if you have a small advantage you can gain from it and stay with it, and it is especially important for the development of next year’s bike.”
There has been much recent speculation that Ducati could break with tradition and produce an aluminium frame for 2012 in place of its favoured carbon fibre construction. Preziosi responded: “For me aluminium is not the key point – what is necessary is to find some stiffness. We are working a lot and in the future we will test new solutions because we want to improve the performance and our knowledge, so as usual we will run new solutions back to back with the standard one and we will decide which one the rider prefers.”
Rossi appeared far more comfortable on the GP11.1 over the Brno weekend and finished the race in sixth place. Whilst the result may not have been one to highly satisfy the Italian or his team, the fact that the gap to the race winner had been closed to just over 12 seconds as opposed to nearer 30 seconds as seen in the preceding rounds was reason for encouragement.
“I think we took a small step in the right direction in giving Valentino more feeling and more feedback,” said Preziosi when reviewing Round 11. “We know Valentino is a winning rider so it is up to us to put him in the condition to be able to realise his potential.”
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