Rossi tests 1,000cc Ducati GP12

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“I like the GP12,” said Valentino Rossi after completing 50 laps aboard next year’s MotoGP Ducati at Jerez today. “In my opinion, it’s more enjoyable, more fun to ride. It was the first time we had it on the track, so we had some work to do, but the engine is nicer. It’s a lot of fun, and you can do some nice slides. It’s the bike we’ll ride next year, so it was very important—and also very nice—to be among the first to take it on the track.”

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It might sound fluffy, but this was an historic moment. There’s Rossi, of course, but the switch to a 1,000cc maximum capacity creates the largest change to the MotoGP formula since the series went 800cc in 2007. With the exception of the secret Honda gearbox, it’s easy to get the feeling that most teams are simply treating 2011 as a technical “pass” year, with the big news being Rossi trying to build some feel into his Desmosedici’s front end. Next year we get bigger motors and more power of course, but also hopefully a more level playing field. The 81mm bore should effectively reduce maximum revs, bringing potential engine development costs down with them.

The capacity increase could also be a boon to fans, maintaining apex momentum has made 800s somewhat boring to watch. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing Nicky Hayden slide a bike again. He’ll test the Ducati Desmosedici GP12 this weekend.

“The positive thing is that the technical choices made for the GP12 in the initial planning phase, in 2010—and I’m referring primarily to the engine, which is still a big-bang, and to the rear end—were endorsed by Valentino,” explained Filippo Preziosi. “This gives us great satisfaction, and we’re optimistic about the work that still remains to be done.”

  • Taco

    My favorite part of the video is when Rossi picks out the wedgie.

    • travis


    • JTourismo

      he just has so much… style.

  • ontheroad

    I’m so excited to see the 1000s return next year… and equally so to see Ducati out testing so early! I think that, regardless of what takes place this season, the real measure of the VR/Duc team’s success will be made in 2012.

    And hell yes, can’t wait to see Hayden sliding that thing around… maybe he’ll have a chance to brush up his skills on that RSD monstrosity at the Mile this year.

  • the_doctor

    Boss. I am glad 1000′s are back. I look forward most to the outrageous noise levels.

  • andy727

    What a gorgeous bike. I am excited for the 1000′s.

  • gregorbean

    Fuck yeah.

  • BMW11GS

    Hey after last weeks “putting a knee down” piece I was wondering if hanging off as much as Rossi does at the :48 second mark is reserved for track/Rossi levels of riding only? I seem to remember you should only shift half your butt off.

    • Wes Siler

      Far as I can tell, Rossi’s demonstrating the exact form described in that article.

      • gregorbean

        Yep, if you freeze frame around :46-:47 you can see his crack is at the seat edge, about exactly halfway off. These racers are good at leaning their upper bodies off more than most mere mortals, which creates the illusion of their whole body being off the seat more than it is.

        • BMW11GS

          Okay I think thats what I was noticing. I remember reading a few years back about the different racers’ body positioning and valentino’s was cited as the gold standard where some of the riders who started in dirt would sometime have vestiges of that riding style that would negatively influence their riding.

    • Miticale

      Relax those arms and drop that head- those were two of the biggest switches I’ve made to my riding style that have made the biggest difference.

      • Scott-jay

        “Align backbone with desired path”, or something like that, gave me confidence & smoothed out my ride.

  • Gene

    I hope Honda brings back an updated RC211V for the 1000cc class. That V-5 thing ripped.

  • Justin

    The bike looked good, but any GP bike bike looks good in steady state cornering, even if it’s a dog. Hopefully we’ll see a real ride behind soon with a little more action than this teaser.

    On a different note, am I the only one who prefers the ferocious corner speed of the 800s to the raw power of the 990cc/1000cc bikes? It’s interesting to see how the switch will shake things up though.

    • mugget

      Interesting question Re: corner speed Vs. raw power.

      I’d bet that we’ll see a similar kind of thing that happened when going down to 800cc – my prediction is that the manufacturers will maintain some of, if not the majority of corner speed ability – but also adding more outright power (obviously). I’m kinda thinking of a bike that can be ridden either way – either smooth into the corner for max apex speed or sliding in and sliding out. Now that could make for some good racing!

      • Scott-jay

        How does maximum power come into play with traction control systems?
        Are they restricted/banned now?