It doesn’t seem to matter where you look these days, all the news seems to be about Ducati. And it’s not just about their racing, either. So, let’s look at Ducati News Today, this is your reporter Maximmo Desmosedici reporting all the news out of Bologna. 🙂
1. Ducati are reported to be moving more rapidly than expected on a twin-spar aluminium frame with reports that either Suter and/or FTR have been contracted by the factory to produce one for the GP11, like, post haste. You will recall that one of the main reasons given by Filippo Preziosi for NOT going twin-spar (apart from the loss of face that abandoning the C/F mini-chassis would bring) was that Ducati had no experience in this field. The Ducati boss felt that they could possibly be at even more of a disadvantage going twin-spar against the Japanese manufacturers who already have 20+ years experience building and tweaking this type of chassis. Having to start from square one in the middle of a season and trying to make it work could actually lead to a worse scenario than that which the factory is presently facing. Well, sub-contracting the job out to a firm/s who already have a lot of experience in the area would be one way of lessening one of the variables anyway.
2. Loris Capirossi, who is expected to annunce his retirement from MotoGp any time soon, has been linked to a ride in WSBK, with Ducati! Despite being 38 years old, Capirex still feels he has something to offer and, if Ducati return in 2012 with a “works” team (as distinct from the “works” team that Althea is running at the moment, Capirex could be a good fit. Unfortunately, it would only continue the stereotype of WSBK being the last resting place of older riders on their way out. Incidentally, it’s not Ducati, but it is reported that Colin Edwards (37 years old) is also considering a WSBK berth for 2012 as it’s expected that his contract with Tech III will not be renewed at the end of 2011.
3. “Spy” shots (carefully leaked and controlled by the factory) of the Ducati 1199, nicknamed Superquadrata to indicate its very oversquare engine parameters are now emerging and show a bike that resembles the MotoGp bike even more than current models do. It is also being reported this morning that Ducati will be adopting gear-driven overhead cam drive instead of the traditional toothed belt. There is an added weight penalty, but, with a reported horsepower of over 200 as standard and a huge weight saving by using the C/F mini chassis from the MotoGp bike, the thinking is that it will be balanced out. As a matter of interest, I wonder if riders will be able to claim lack of front-end feel under warranty? 🙂
In any event, it doesn’t seem possible that Ducati will resist the temptation to produce a Rossi Replica at some stage.
Away from Ducati, more details are emerging about the 2012 Honda Fireblade with an example surfacing in a dealership in Hong Kong (yes, I don’t know how come either). A new dashboard layout, revised electronics as well as big piston front forks seem to also be on the menu, but, apart from that, graphics changes only.
And pictures are emerging of a new, water-cooled BMW GS model, so watch out for more details of that soon.
That’s it for today, stay tuned for more Ducati news tomorrow.