Ducati officially presented its 2016 MotoGP team including riders Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone, and an updated Desmosedici featuring some rather pronounced winglets. Ducati had previously experimented with winglets in the past but they now look more prominent, painted white with red highlights. Some people may think they resemble the X-Wing fighters from Star Wars while others of a different vintage may see a bit of Sally Field’s Flying Nun.
The winglets are designed to increase downforce on the front wheel, reducing the tendency to wheelie. The upper winglets appear to be simply bolted onto the fairing, with Ducati likely being able to swap in different designs (or even completely remove them) to suit its needs. The lower wings appear to be more integrated into the bodywork however and may involve swapping the entire side panels to replace. We’ll have to see if Ducati changes the wing design from race to race.
Going back to the side panels, the 2016 design sports two pairs of slits on each side, almost like gills, whereas the 2015 Desmosedici had two larger openings on each side.
Moving further back, the Akropovic exhaust has been updated with a single pipe rising up to the undertail silencer (last year’s exhaust system had two pipes rising up before merging beneath the seat). The carbon fiber heat shielding below the seat appears larger and now sports gills.
The new livery looks fairly close to last year’s, but with simpler shapes and a bit more red. Telecom company TIM again holds the most prominent sponsorship spots, but its blue logos sport a flatter look. The 2016 has a few more new sponsor decals, while the Michelin Man representing the new spec tire provider replaces the outgoing Bridgestone B logo.
In addition to the new 17-inch Michelin tires, the 2016 Desmosedici is equipped with MotoGP’s standard Magneti Marelli ECU and software. Ducati claims a power output of more than 245 hp from the 1000cc V-Four engine, up five ponies from last year though the claimed top speed is still listed as “over 211 mph.”