With the 2011 MotoGP season not going as successfully as hoped, Ducati is introducing a number of significant updates to its Desmosedici racebike including features originally intended for the 2012 version.
Valentino Rossi, whose much heralded union with Ducati has produced just a single podium finish in six races, will be the first to race on the updated Desmosedici, dubbed the GP11.1. Rossi will ride the GP11.1 at the upcoming Assen. His teammate Nicky Hayden however won’t switch to the GP11.1 until the Laguna Seca round, July 22-24 as he has already gone through four engines this season and the GP11.1 would be his fifth of his allotted six engines with more than half the season to go.
The GP11.1 uses the chassis being developed for the 2012 season while the new gearbox, the “Ducati Seamless Transmission”, is Ducati’s response to Honda‘s transmission system that Casey Stoner, Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa have been using to great effect. As the name implies, the DST promises “seamless” shifting. Honda has been using a new transmission system all season that allows for significantly faster gear changes.
“We decided to make the GP11.1, which is an 800cc engine in a GP12 chassis, in order to accelerate development on next year’s bike, and also to provide our riders with a potentially better base for the current championship,” says Filippo Preziosi, Ducati technical director. “Considering that Valentino still hasn’t ever ridden the GP11.1, this decision could require some races for the team to completely take advantage of its potential, but we decided to move forward with it because we believe it’s an important step for our development process. The next-generation gearbox, on the other hand, is a solution that we think will be an immediate improvement. The Ducati Corse Department will continue studying further innovations, both for this year and for 2012. At the same time, we have developed an additional step for the frame for Nicky, and he’ll receive the GP11.1 at Laguna Seca.”
Honda Denies DCT Rumors on MotoGP Bikes
Press release after the jump.
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