These are the first official images of the Ducati GP11, the bike that Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden will ride in MotoGP this year. As you can see, there’s not a big departure here from the GP10, at least visually. The large wings on the fairing, first developed last year, are thought to create a vortex that aids in cooling by aggressively sucking air out of the fairing vents. It appears that the Desmosedici GP11 retains the semi-frameless, carbon monocoque design you can see in the picture below. One surprise, to us at least, is how small a presence AMG has after all the fanfare surrounding the announcement of their sponsorship.
Update: two videos, including interview with Hayden and Rossi.
Update 2: technical details from Filippo Preziosi.
As you can see in this picture of the Desmosedici GP9, the semi-frameless design incorporates the V4 engine, with carbon monocoque sections in place to connect suspension components, bodywork, the airbox and seat. The swingarm bolts directly to the engine.
Another change from last year is the inclusion of asymmetric fairing vents. As you can see in the above photos, the bike’s left fairing incorporates three near-vertical vents, while the right has only two in the same location, which also appear to be swoopier, like the gills of a shark, a Ferrari F1 car or that other fast bike with asymmetric, shark-like vents, the BMW S1000RR. These have likely been spec’d to optimize airflow through slightly different components on each side, boosting aerodynamic efficiency, cooling or fuel consumption.
“The bike we see here at Madonna di Campiglio is the GP11 ‘step 0,’ as it represents the initial level from which we plan to evolve,” describes Filippo Preziosi, General Director of Ducati Corse. “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’re working on for the Malaysia tests in February are the new frame, which has already undergone various tests of rigidity and flex—for torsion and under braking—a 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’re working on wheelie control and traction control. These are all solutions that we’ll try out next week at Jerez with three days of testing and two development teams—one for Franco Battaini and one for Vittoriano Guareschi—and that Valentino and Nicky will then try in Malaysia. We know that Valentino isn’t at 100%, and Sepang is a very ‘physical’ track, so we’ll try to optimize his sessions and to use his time on the track in a ‘surgical’ way in order to have his feedback. Many tests will also be entrusted to Nicky Hayden, who will be able to ride normally. We’re working hard, but the atmosphere at Ducati is really nice, very electric and positive, and we can’t wait to get back on the track.”
More information as we get it.