Ducati finished up its three-day test of the all-new GP12 MotoGP bike in Jerez yesterday (Thursday 17th January). The bike, that factory riders Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden will rider in this year’s championship, was tested by current World Superbike Champion, Carlos Checa and full time Ducati test rider Franco Battaini.

The test was to find a base setting for Ducati engineers to take back to its headquarters in Bologna and in under two weeks time to Sepang, Malaysia on 31st January where the factory riders will have their first taste of the bike that Ducati Corse General Manager and creator of the GP12 Fillipo Preziosi said is 90% brand new.

The Italian manufacturer is desperate to leave behind its disastrous 2011 campaign that saw it on the podium only once in the year. This has led the team to design and build a new bike in just two months; a process that Preziosi is quoted as saying would normally take two years.

Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi
Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi

Photo by: Ducati Corse

Preziosi, test riders Checa and Battaini, and the whole of the Ducati outfit has remained tight-lipped about the bike’s specifications and at its annual Wroom Ski festival that took place just over one week ago, the bike was nowhere to be seen contrary to previous years. The only thing that Preziosi would be drawn on was his admission that the team is facing a big challenge but they are doing everything possible to provide a much more competitive bike to the factory riders.

However, while the world waits with bated breath for the first shots of Rossi and Hayden on the new GP12 and the specifications to be released, Satellite Ducati team Cardion AB Motoracing has released a number of figures from the new machines and compared them with the 800cc GP11. The Czech Republic team that fields Karel Abraham in MotoGP released the information on Friday 20th January.

Abraham and fellow Satellite Ducati rider Hector Barbera (Pramac Racing) will ride replicas of the GP11 (or GPZero as Preziosi called it at Wroom) that were tested by Rossi in November. The figures released by the Cardion AB team reveals the engine is 999cc in capacity so it is believed that the same unit will be used in the factory machine. Below is the original press release posted on Abraham’s website.

Ducati Desmosedici GP12: Power increased by 15 HP, max speed up to 360 km/h. Czech motorcycle rider Karel Abraham will ride with more powerful and faster bike in his second season in the MotoGP class. The new Ducati Desmosedici GP12 is powered by four-stroke 1000 cc engine with four cylinders and power of 250HP, which allows maximum speed of 360 km per hour.

Comparing to the last year’s model, the new bike has completely modified concept. For example, carbon chassis is replaced by deltabox aluminium frame. “At first glance it may appear that the bike is similar to the last year’s model, but under the fairing is a series of significant changes,” says crew chief of Cardion AB Motoracing Marco Grana, who spent two weeks in Bologna with his colleagues from the Czech team.

Also the external part of the bike is slightly modified, but the design is still based on a combination of blue and white colors. “In 2012 we decided to return to the blue colour a little bit, but I think that our bike will be still well recognizable,“ continues Karel Abraham. Atypical wings, which he used on the fairing of his bike in 2011 to increase the pressure on the front wheel, will disappear this year.

Valentino Rossi, 2011
Valentino Rossi, 2011

Photo by: Ducati Corse

Most of the components on the new bike are from the same manufacturer as last year. Suspension of Abraham’s bike is provided by Öhlins while the brakes are from Brembo. All teams from the premier class use Bridgestone tyres. “I tried the new bike during the post-season test in Valencia, but the first real test will be held at Sepang in Malaysia at the end of January. We need to be well prepared for the first test because we want to try a lot of things. We also must work on the set-up of the bike because the 2012 MotoGP season kicks off in Qatar on April 8th,“ added Karel Abraham.

According to the provisional entry list for the 2012 MotoGP World Championship, the Cardion AB Motoracing rider will compete against eleven bikes from Ducati, Honda and Yamaha. Other nine positions on the grid will be filled by CRT teams using bikes based on serial machines. Between many rookies are also Abraham’s old friends from the Moto2 class, for example reigning Moto2 world champion Stefan Bradl.

“Thanks to the increased number of riders, the MotoGP will be more attractive for spectators and for us. It’s great that I will ride against my old rivals and friends, but I’m concentrating on my goal – be on the front positions as much as possible, regardless the factory machines or a CRT bikes,“ he added.

Ducati Desmosedici GP12 of Cardion AB Motoracing

Bike made in Borgo Panigale factory in Bologna has a new 1000 cc engine with power around 250 HP, which corresponds to new rules in the MotoGP class for 2012 season.

The name is derived from atypical engine valve system, so-called desmodromic (valves are opened and closed by camshaft). Sedici is „sixteen“ in Italian and indicates the number of valves in the engine.

Comparison of Ducati Desmosedici GP12 and GP11

Ducati Desmosedici GP12
Weight: dry 155 kg
Max. speed: >360 km/h
From 0 to 100 km/h: 2,6 s
Power: 250 HP

Nicky Hayden, 2011
Nicky Hayden, 2011

Photo by: Ducati Corse

Ducati Desmosedici GP11
Weight: dry 150 kg
Max. Speed: >340 km/h
From 0 to 100 km/h: 2,7 s
Power: 235 HP

Technical data of Ducati Desmosedici GP12

Engine
Water-cooled four-stroke engine with four cylinders and four valves per cylinder, which are controlled by desmodromic valve system. The cylinders are formed in an angle of 90 degrees.

Capacity: 999 ccm
Electronics: Magneti Marelli

Gearbox
Six-speed, with the possibility to adjust the ratio of degrees.

Clutch: Dry, multi-plate
Chain: Regina

Chassis
Ducati aluminium frame
Fronf fork: Öhlins with a diameter of 48 mm
Rear suspension: Öhlins
Brakes: front four-piston Brembo calipers, 2x disc Brembo with a diameter of
320 mm, rear two-piston Brembo caliper, Brembo steel disc
Discs: 16,5“ magnesium Marchesini
Tyres: Bridgestone

Fuel tank: 21 litres
Fuel: Eni