Gordon Hatch, MotoGP correspondent
The Wroom festival continued today at Madonna di Campiglio in Trento, Italy and it was the turn of Ducati Corse General Manager Filippo Preziosi’s to talk to the world’s press all of whom anxiously waiting for any new information about Ducati’s new 1000cc GP12 machine that team riders Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden will rider in this year’s championship.
Without the GP12 at the press conference, contrary to years previous, the Ducati MotoGP Boss still spoke about technical aspects of the Desmosedici GP12 that will be instead unveiled at the first test of the year at Sepang from 31st January to 2nd February. Preziosi however was holding his cards closely to his chest regarding the workings of the new bike but did reveal that the machine that will be taken to Malaysia will be all-new.
Ducati is a company that has already faced significant challenges in the past...
“As is the case every year, it’s a pleasure to kick off our season in such a nice setting as Madonna di Campiglio,” Preziosi began before providing a brief summary of the work schedule that led to the assembly of the GP12, currently taking place in Borgo Panigale. “Over the recent months, we followed an intensive, consistent test program, which culminated with the two-day post-race test in Valencia. By analyzing the data-acquisition information, the riders’ comments and the setup sheets, we defined the target values for the new frame geometry. Now, with Jeremy (Burgess), Juan (Martinez) and our riders, we’ll work at the track to define the bike’s base setup so that we can then proceed with the customary development work that’s typically done during winter testing, with the goal of starting a trend of improvement in terms of competitiveness,” he said.
The normal development of a MotoGP bike, a pure prototype machine, takes a lot longer than Preziosi and his Ducati engineers had as they began in the middle of last season and the team boss admitted there is a big challenge ahead but also said that he is confident in the team’s chances and paid tribute to the work of everyone involved.
“Normally, it takes two years to complete the process from the calculation stage, to design, to component construction, to test-bench ‘shakedown,’ to track testing, to racing. By compressing this process down to a span of just months, we’ve accepted a challenge that we know will be very difficult, but we believe it’s possible. All this is thanks to the extraordinary group that includes Valentino and Nicky, who last year agreed to a number of tests, that often affected their performance, as well as our team, our designers and our sponsors—in particular the Title Sponsor, a partner that has always been steadfastly at our side. Ducati is a company that has already faced significant challenges in the past, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Tomorrow, the Wrooom festival switches focus to four wheels and the Ferrari Formula One drivers, meaning Rossi and Hayden will have the chance to relax and enjoy Madonna di Campiglio before the final day, that features the kart and auto exhibition with the riders and drivers thrilling the spectators on the town’s frozen lake.