The second day of the Wrooom Press Ski Meeting at Madonna di Campiglio saw Filippo Preziosi (Ducati Corse General Manager) inform the international press regarding the technical aspects of the Desmosedici GP12 that Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden will ride in the upcoming test at Sepang (31 January – 2 February).
“As is the case every year, it’s a pleasure to kick off our season in such a nice setting as Madonna di Campiglio,” Preziosi began before providing a brief summary of the work schedule that led to the assembly of the GP12, currently taking place in Borgo Panigale. “Over the recent months, we followed an intensive, consistent test program, which culminated with the two-day post-race test in Valencia. By analyzing the data-acquisition information, the riders’ comments and the setup sheets, we defined the target values for the new frame geometry. Now, with Jeremy (Burgess), Juan (Martinez) and our riders, we’ll work at the track to define the bike’s base setup so that we can then proceed with the customary development work that’s typically done during winter testing, with the goal of starting a trend of improvement in terms of competitiveness.
Normally, it takes two years to complete the process from the calculation stage, to design, to component construction, to test-bench ‘shakedown,’ to track testing, to racing. By compressing this process down to a span of just months, we’ve accepted a challenge that we know will be very difficult, but we believe it’s possible. All this is thanks to the extraordinary group that includes Valentino and Nicky, who last year agreed to a number of tests that often affected their performance, as well as our team, our designers and our sponsors-in particular the Title Sponsor, a partner that has always been steadfastly at our side. Ducati is a company that has already faced significant challenges in the past, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Tomorrow, Wrooom will be dedicated to the Ferrari drivers, so Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden will have the chance to enjoy Madonna di Campiglio before the final day, featuring the kart and auto exhibition with the riders and drivers on the town’s frozen lake.
The Ducati Team riders were the stars of the first day of Wrooom 2012 at Madonna di Campiglio, with Nicky Hayden first to “take to the track” and answer questions from the international press in attendance. The American, who is recovering well enough from his injured left scapula that he has already removed his sling, then passed the baton to a pleased Valentino Rossi, who is motivated to get back in the saddle and start winter testing in just over two weeks.
“I’m much better,” confirmed Nicky Hayden, “so I’ve been able to remove the sling right on schedule. Here at Madonna di Campiglio, I’m starting to do a little training on a stationary bicycle under the supervision of the team physiotherapist, with the goal of being ready for the Sepang test (31 January – 2 February) as strong as possible. I can’t wait to ride the GP12, because it will be my first time ever. I wasn’t able to try it in the post-race test at Valencia, and I definitely won’t miss the next chance. I never made any secret that I prefer the new displacement to the 800s, although I think things will be much different than in 2006, beginning with the tyres, and the electronics have also come a long way. We’ll have more power, and we’ll have to find the right balance between controlling it while still taking as much advantage of it as we can. I’ve stayed in contact with Filippo (Preziosi) and the guys in the Ducati Corse department over the winter, and I know they’ve worked really hard. We’ll have a lot of things to try at Sepang. I know it won’t be easy, but I’m also confident that we can start to reduce the gap between now and the first race at Qatar. I believe in Ducati, this project and Filippo, and I want to get back on my Ducati as soon as possible.”
“We’re starting with a different spirit,” Valentino Rossi began with a smile. “When I came to Wrooom, I was still healing from my shoulder operation, and after that, the season didn’t go at all like we’d hoped. For this year, Filippo (Preziosi) designed a different bike, and they’ve made a big effort at Ducati to have it in time for the start of the winter tests. I visited the factory and saw it on a computer, and it’s beautiful. We’re not expecting it to be immediately perfect at Sepang, but rather to understand if we’ve worked in the proper direction. We’re very realistic, and our goal is to reduce the gap to our competition, step by step, working in a logical way, and from there to be able to refine the details in order to be competitive and to try and win. One of the most important things for going fast is to make the tyres work as they’re able to, so together with Filippo, we’ve tried to come up with a bike that will let them perform as well as possible. We’ll see if we’ve managed it. I like working with Ducati. I feel good here because there’s a nice atmosphere and we all have faith.”
Wrooom continues tomorrow with the press conference for Filippo Preziosi, Ducati Corse General Manager, who will go into detail on the bike’s development and the technical program.
Just as was the case yesterday, the second and final day of Valencia’s post-race MotoGP test was blessed with ideal weather conditions.
Valentino Rossi was among the first riders to get on his bike after the track was opened, and he worked tirelessly with his team and Filippo Preziosi to carry out the tests requested by the engineers, who will continue working on the 2012 project tomorrow in Bologna.
Once again, official test rider Franco Battaini substituted for Nicky Hayden, who has an injured scaphoid in his right wrist, though the American stayed at the track and followed the test from the Ducati Team garage. Hayden will likely undergo a small operation in the coming days to speed up his recovery.
MotoGP concludes its 2011 season of racing and testing, and will return to action with the first winter test, planned in Sepang, Malaysia, from January 21 to February 2.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 6th, 1:33.332 (62 laps)
“These were two important days of testing because we needed to collect a lot of data for the next few months of work, which will be crucial. The positives of this bike are certainly the engine, which I like, and the fact that it handles a bit better than the previous one. It’s definitely more fun, in part because you can get sideways more. The frame isn’t bad, but it needs work. We have to improve the braking, because I need to brake harder and later, and we need to improve traction under acceleration. Filippo has many ideas, and now we have a little time to apply them before next year’s tests.”
Filippo Preziosi (Technical Director)
“We were lucky to have sun and generally much better conditions than what we had over the race weekend, and this allowed us to take full advantage of both test days. Unfortunately, Nicky wasn’t able to ride, but at least he’ll have plenty of time to recover before the first test at Sepang next year. We asked Valentino, Franco (Battaini) and the other Ducati riders to carry out a series of comparisons between different solutions, as there are still chassis parameters that we have to define for the project we’re working on. It has been really hard work, but we’ve collected a lot of information that we’ll now use for the design that we’ll be doing in the coming weeks.”