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Ducati, and Carlos Checa, Dominate WSB Championship with Steel Trellis-Framed 1198

While its MotoGP team moves from a carbon fiber chassis to aluminum, Ducati supported Carlos Checa and Team Althea Racing capture the 2011 WSB championship in convincing fashion with the traditional, steel trellis-framed Ducati 1198. Checa clinched the crown early (with one round and three races remaining, including the second race at Magny-Cours). In building a 107 point advantage over second place, Checa has had 14 race wins and 20 podiums to far.

There is speculation why Ducati does not return to a steel-trellis frame for MotoGP, but the heavier, production-based WSB machines, at 1,000cc (which make similar peak horsepower and more torque than the 800cc MotoGP bikes), must place similar demands on their chassis despite the slightly slower lap times they run in comparison with the MotoGP bikes.  If you look at some of the common tracks, pole position this year in WSB would have started from the third or fourth row of the MotoGP grid, roughly two seconds off the MotoGP pole time.

Here is how Ducati describes their steel trellis frame on the World-beating 1198:

Developed in cooperation with Ducati Corse, the lightweight Trellis frame features 34mm main section tubes with a material thickness of 1.5mm. The result is an incredibly rigid construction that remains one of Ducati’s lightest frame solutions ever.

Through decades of racing and development, Ducati has proven that innovative chassis engineering and evolutionary frame advancements win races. The tubular Trellis frame, used on every Ducati motorcycle, is a signature design element.

This unique Ducati frame is light, rigid and beautiful thanks to its ingenious Trellis design and use of high quality ALS 450 tubing. Each tube is mitred and micro-fusion welded in a complex triangulated pattern and our incredibly strong L-Twin engine cases are functional ‘stressed members’ of the chassis.

22 Comments

  1. HendR1ck says:

    Some of these post are kinda strange. “If they had the same brakes, stiffer frame, same tires” etc….
    Then they would not be a production based series. Personally, I like the fact that WSB cannot have exotic/un obtainable parts. My R1 is not the same as Marco’s R1, but its alot closer than Ben’s M1, because Ben/Jorge have parts that we just cant get. I like the seperation, and think it should be more so.

  2. pete Rasmussen says:

    They also have a 200 to 400 cc disadvantage. Anyrate, I think motogp are pushing the boundaries of whats possible, unlikely the bigger capacity bikes will be a lot faster.

    • Mark says:

      Time will prove that wrong. Constant, incremental improvement coupled by breakthroughs that we can’t even conceive of means motogp bikes will continue to amaze us

  3. Rod says:

    Are we forgetting again, Stoner won a world championship on a Ducati with Bridgestone tyres and made the rest of the field sook like girls till they got them as well!!!

  4. Norm G. says:

    re: “Ducati, and Carlos Checa, Dominate WSB Championship with Steel Trellis-Framed 1198″

    re: “but the heavier, production-based WSB machines, at 1,000cc (which make similar peak horsepower and more torque than the 800cc MotoGP bikes), must place similar demands on their chassis despite the slightly slower lap times they run in comparison with the MotoGP bikes.”

    re: “the lightweight Trellis frame features 34mm main section tubes with a material thickness of 1.5mm. The result is an incredibly rigid construction that remains one of Ducati’s lightest frame solutions ever.

    it’s as if the headline and some of the subsequent comments were penned by yours truly…!?!? :)

  5. bp says:

    too bad ducati doesn’t get to cheat with TWENTY PERCENT MORE DISPLACEMENT in motoGP, then they could run a steel trellis frame without issue!!!

    • MikeD says:

      LMAO. AGAIN with the “is not FAIR, YOURS IS BIGGER THAN MINE”…LMFAO.

      If u only had a clue as to how each powerplant creates and gives the HP and Torque out maybe u wouldn’t be complaining like that.

      If memory serves me well i believe the Twins have to use restrictor plates. I-4s i don’t think they do.

      Norm G.! Would u care to back this up with the facts ? I bet u are more on top of “the game” than i do.

      • Norm G. says:

        yup, the V12′s are subject to 2 methods of handicapping, weight and air restriction. unless they changed something, last i heard weight can be adjusted in 3kg increments and the square area of the throttle bodies adjusted in 2mm increments. the hard and fast rule has always been nobody and their mama can weigh less than 165k (parity via power/weight ratio). ducati had to weigh more and sport restrictors (not sure what size) from the off and i think they did get an adjustment in weight…? not 100% sure on that and not even sure if it went up or down…? but i definitely haven’t heard ANY talk of an adjustment to restrictor size.

      • Gutterslob says:

        I’d rather see all the bikes have the same displacement.
        Twins could be allowed a 8-10 kg weight decrease or something.

        • Norm G. says:

          fair enough. i can get behind that. physics is physics and power to weight is power to weight. mass alone is the generally accepted equalizer in car world anyway. happened to audi, happened to cadillac. twins can be ultra-light or fours can be ballasted. or maybe it’s vice versa…!? :)

  6. Seti says:

    I’ve read one of the reasons they went away from the trellis was because it was almost impossible to make two frames the same. With that many tubes and that many welds, the difference in frames was a variable that made setting up two bikes problematic.

    • Norm G. says:

      carlos checa and 15 other champions going back 20 years have no idea what you’re talking about.

  7. JPJ says:

    I agree with “Agent 55″ . Give the WSBK the same weight, brakes, and same tires. Then I’d have to think lap times would be just as quick. Those 2 seconds or less at some tracks, not a problem.

  8. mxs says:

    If WSBK used the same tires as MotoGP does the article might have some point, until then ….

  9. Retarded Andre says:

    Tires. It all comes down to tires. Tires, tires, tires. Tires, tires, tires, tires, tires and tires. Yes, tires. The Pirellis work with the Ducati in WSBK. The Bridgestones do not work with the Ducati in MotoGP. It’s tires more than anything else. Secondly, good old Italian machismo and obstinance. Good luck Ducati, you’ve hit your high-water mark and are now beginning to implode. See, unrestrained growth ain’t always such a good thing. BMW will see…

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “The Bridgestones do not work with the Ducati in MotoGP.”

      the bridgestones do not work with the CARBON FIBER ducati in motogp.

      • Dave says:

        The tires are the tires. If the bike doesn’t work with the tire supplied then the bike doesn’t work. It will be interesting to see what Moto GP becomes in the next few years. With only 17 bikes on the grid right now (compared to up to 40 in Moto 2) I’d say the class is dangerously close to extinction. Almost every other class produces far better quality racing entertainment as well.

    • Ruefus says:

      I’d counter your ‘high-water’ argument, but the first word of your name sums it up nicely.

  10. pete Rasmussen says:

    Cheaper to build probably. Two seconds is one hell of a gap really. The trellis frames must be expensive to maufacture if they can get the carbon fibre automated it will probably cut costs. Plus more room for the airbox i believe.

    • Agent55 says:

      The lap-time gap you mention should take into consideration that SBK’s have substantially inferior tires, brakes (steel) and higher weight limits. It’d be interesting to a WSBK fitted with carbon brakes, Bridgestones and a few days of testing to set it all up. My only concern is the production-based chassis aren’t stiff enough to use the brakes and tires from MotoGP bikes. It’ll be a highlight of next season to watch how the best of the CRT teams perform in MotoGP, they’re essentially going to have one foot in SBK and one in MotoGP from and equipment point-of-view.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “SBK’s have substantially inferior tires”

        oh god, don’t let giorgio hear you say that. you’ll get torn a new one…