The frustrations of Ducati and Valentino Rossi continue. Bolting an aluminum front section on to the engine (acting as a stressed member) for the Aragon race last weekend did not provide the improvements hoped for. It turns out that Ducati has already developed another alternative, i.e., a twin-spar aluminum frame similar to those used by the Japanese race teams. This frame does not incorporate the engine as a stressed member.
The new frame will be tested for the first time at Jerez later this week. Presumably, Ducati has its eyes on 2012 and the 1000cc bike at this point with only four races remaining in the current series. Whether we will see the new frame design raced this year is a question as yet unanswered, but don’t be surprised if the 1000 cc bike is raced next year with a decidedly un-Ducati like twin-spar aluminum frame.