Ducati's GP Bike Breaks Cover

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
From Ducati press:
The development of the Ducati prototype bike for the new MotoGPchampionship is continuing on schedule and the bike will be presented to the world's press during the Italian GP atMugello on May 30.

Wind-tunnel testing has been taking place over the past few months and anaerodynamic configuration offering extremely high performance levels hasalready been obtained, despite the shape undergoing constant development..

The final version will only be defined after track tests and the intensewind-tunnel testing program have been completed.

"Thanks to the freedom our engineers were given in the design of a newbike and a new engine at the same time, we were able to apply the conceptof integration to the full," declared Claudio Domenicali, Ducati CorseManaging Director, who is in charge of the MotoGP project.

"Inparticular the engine has been designed in line with the demands of thebike, and everything in function of the position of the rider. The resultis a very compact bike, one that has been created around the rider givinghim maximum freedom of movement through corners as well as allowing himto take up an extremely aerodynamic straight-line position with minimumphysical effort."

"Extensive 3D CAD design has allowed us to analyse the layout andperfect the interaction between every component in a virtual mock-upmodelled around the shape of the rider, obtaining unprecedentedintegration between all components."

"No aspect has been neglected in such a demanding and important projectfor our company. We have therefore also given particular attention to thesearch for an extremely low aerodynamic drag, which we view as vitallyimportant because regulations based on fuel consumption reward the mostefficient designs. The excellent wind tunnel results have also beenobtained thanks to the compact nature of the Desmosedici engine, whichhas enabled a bike to be designed around it with the rider placed in anaerodynamically efficient position."

The tubular steel trestle frame and the exhausts pipes under the tailfairing, together with the desmodromic system and the L-shaped layout ofthe engine, maintain intact some of the characteristics typical ofDucati's sportsbike models.

"The tubular trestle frame was a natural choice," continued Domenicali."Our victories in the World Superbike Championship confirm that this isan excellent technical design. The MotoGP prototype however has beenbuilt around an innovative structure, which by exploiting the layout ofthe L-shaped Desmosedici engine to the full, uses it as a stress-bearingmember and reaches the required levels of stiffness with a substantialreduction in frame weight and dimensions."

"The decision to place the exhausts under the tail, which gives the bikea 'family feeling' in line with Ducati's road-going sportsbikes, wasmade above all because of its aerodynamic advantage."

"Thanks to the commitment of the team headed by Ducati Corse TechnicalDirector Filippo Preziosi, everything is continuing according to plan,and today we are in a position to announce the date when the definitiveversion of the bike will be presented to the world's press," concludedDomenicali.

"The bike launch will be Thursday 30 May, during the ItalianGP at Mugello. Ducati fans will also have an exclusive opportunity to seethe bike during WDW2000 (World Ducati Week, Misano Adriatico, June14-16), the event held every two years that brings thousands ofDucatisti from all over the world to Italy to celebrate with us theirpassion for our bikes.

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