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Wrooom unveils the Ducati GP11's new liveryThe spectacular scenery of the Trento Dolomites served as the background for the first official photos of the Desmosedici GP11 in its new livery, while today‚Äôs meeting with the press starred Claudio Domenicali, General Director of Ducati Motor Holding, and Filippo Preziosi, General Director of Ducati Corse.
MotoGP project,‚ÄĚ Claudio Domenicali began after saluting the audience. ‚ÄúThe first was with Loris Capirossi, who in just six races took the Desmosedici to its first win. The second brought the world championship crown, thanks to Casey Stoner, in 2007. The big news for 2011, which opens a third phase, is the arrival of Valentino Rossi on the team. It‚Äôs an important phase for our company, which relies a lot on research and development, and which uses the MotoGP series not only as a venue for winning, but also as a laboratory for advanced research. Valentino is universally recognized as a master at taking a bike to its limits, but also at providing feedback that‚Äôs extremely useful for development. We think this skill will give us a big push for improving our engineering, and to always give our fans the best bikes possible. Many of the models we‚Äôve produced in recent years, starting with the 1198‚ÄĒour flagship sport bike‚ÄĒbut also bikes intended for less extreme application, including the Multistrada 1200, Streetfighter, Diavel, and Monster, boast technical characteristics that come directly from our experience in MotoGP, like traction control and aspects of electronic engine management. This will happen even more with the new generation of sport bikes that we‚Äôre working on now, bikes in which this link will be even more direct, from electronic management strategies to the chassis to the motor. Filippo‚Äôs work with both of our riders will be even more evident, and we‚Äôre certain that the possibility of also having Valentino test our new models and give us his impressions will make this flow of technology even more effective. It‚Äôs an important challenge and a big responsibility, but also a great opportunity to grow, made possible by a combination of factors: In my opinion, there are three principals. First: The positive results that the company is having in a very difficult, contracting market. In the year just concluded, we grew our sales by 5% despite the fact that the segment for large-displacement motorcycles shrunk by over 13% in 2010.
‚ÄúSecond: the faith in the MotoGP project demonstrated by our majority shareholder, the Bonomi family‚Äôs Investindustrial.
‚ÄúThird: the valuable support of our sponsors, from Title Sponsor Marlboro to our official sponsors, Telecom, Generali, Enel, Shell, Riello UPS; the addition of important new partners like Diesel and AMG; companies that have renewed their commitment; and others that have joined us.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúThe thing that struck me the most about Vale,‚ÄĚ said Preziosi in response to the first question, ‚Äú is his great ability to create a positive climate around himself. On the other hand, one thing that I‚Äôd heard about him but that I found to be even more true than I expected was his ability to analyze details in the bike‚Äôs behavior and to describe them in an incredibly precise way. It‚Äôs very valuable because the rider is gives us considerable information that we wouldn‚Äôt otherwise have. The quality of this information will make a big difference.‚ÄĚ
Moving on to the topic of the GP11, the Ducati engineer explained the principal changes for the new season. ‚ÄúThe bike we see here at Madonna di Campiglio is the GP11 ‚Äėstep 0,‚Äô as it represents the initial level from which we plan to evolve. The principal characteristics are the evolution of the motor and of the throttle body thought to obtain, fundamentally, a flatter and more useable power curve. As for the chassis, the aerodynamics are completely new, with the goal of improving top speed, reducing consumption, and also reducing front lift as much as possible. Other aspects we‚Äôre working on for the Malaysia tests in February are the new frame, which has already undergone various tests of rigidity and flex‚ÄĒfor torsion and under braking‚ÄĒa swingarm with different rigidity characteristics, and a fork that combines the 2011 hydraulics with the 42mm tubes, instead of 48. As for the electronics, we‚Äôre working on wheelie control and traction control. These are all solutions that we‚Äôll try out next week at Jerez with three days of testing and two development teams‚ÄĒone for Franco Battaini and one for Vittoriano Guareschi‚ÄĒand that Valentino and Nicky will then try in Malaysia. We know that Valentino isn‚Äôt at 100%, and Sepang is a very ‚Äėphysical‚Äô track, so we‚Äôll try to optimize his sessions and to use his time on the track in a ‚Äėsurgical‚Äô way in order to have his feedback. Many tests will also be entrusted to Nicky Hayden, who will be able to ride normally. We‚Äôre working hard, but the atmosphere at Ducati is really nice, very electric and positive, and we can‚Äôt wait to get back on the track.‚ÄĚ
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