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Rossi/Hayden Video Press Conference at Wrooom 2012: Entirely Redesigned Bike Brings Hope

Although Ducati wouldn’t describe it quite this way, the 2011 MotoGP series was a disaster for them. After assembling the war chest necessary to hire the great Valentino Rossi, Ducati went winless and typically found itself mid-pack rather than battling at the front with Honda and Yamaha.

Each year Ducati gathers with fellow Italian motorsports icon Ferrari and its F1 team at Madonna di Campiglio for the Wrooom media event. Typically, the race bike for the coming season is unveiled to the public, but this year is different. Valentino Rossi talks about having seen the new bike only on a computer screen as Ducati scrambles to build test machines in advance of the late January test in Sepang. Once again, Ducati starts behind the eight ball as Honda and Yamaha will refine machines they have already tested and performed well on.

Below is a video of the press conference held earlier today at Wrooom featuring Rossi and Hayden. Although Rossi speaks in Italian in the video, you can read some English-language quotes from him in the press release, which is also below.

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 that will allow the Desmosedici GP12 to confront the new MotoGP season as well as possible.

23 Comments

  1. First off guys, in regards to safety, brand h wanted 2 strokes gone because they said the 2 stroke 500’s were unsafe. Yet only 1 rider died on 500’s in 20 years and 3 have died on 4 strokes in 10 years and all of them on what brand?

    With computer mapping avalable, fuel injection and much better tires, a modern day 500 2 stroke would beat the best 4 stroke 990. Do the math guys, a 125cc 2 stroke MotoGP bike made almost 60 horse, 4 times that size and put into a V4 500, it would easily make 240 horse and still weigh 75 lbs less. A 600cc 2 stroke could easily make 285 horse.

    2 strokes are superior engines for racing, yet they do not have the top end parts that brand h wants to peddle to the unsuspecting.

  2. Kurt says:

    I watch almost exclusively Moto GP racing, because I want to see the best the factories have to offer or build. However, I have to agree, 2011 was the worst year for watching the Moto GP racing in my opinion. I want to see racers battling it out. When Rossi was battling Stoner or Rossi was battling Gibernau the racing was a lot more exciting.

    The restrictions should be less as opposed to more restrictions. Restrictions should be for safety sake.

    I really want to see at least the Hondas, Yamahas and Ducatis battling it out on the track (at the front). Maybe the BMW will suprise and come in mid-pack or better. Who knows, but bring on the racing in 2012.

    As for the 990cc two stroke…not sure any of the current riders would sign up for that “wild bronco ride”. With electronics and all kinds of traction control it would still be difficult to ride.

  3. Vrooom says:

    Lot’s of people complaining about the quality of racing last year, which was true some weeks with Stoner running away from the crowd. I’m hoping the last race of the year, with Spies catching and passing Stoner only to lose by 1/2 a wheel is more like what we’ll get this year. It would be nice to Vale go out with a blaze of glory.

  4. Dave says:

    The spec rule idea has been tested and it has been a success. Last year the Moto GP grid usually had 14-16 bikes on the grid, 3-4 of which had any chance of winning on a given day. The Moto 2 grids were 36-40 bikes and the winner was sometimes not known until the last lap or two. It was better quality racing an that 40 bikes were fielded is proof that sponsors are still interested in funding motorcycle racing, just not at the cost levels associated with Moto GP.

    Moto GP was becoming a wallet race again. I, like most I think, want to see motorcycles and riders race, not checkbooks. Almost without fail, the “limited” classes have produced better quality racing.

  5. Stratkat says:

    the rules frankly suck and dont provide racing. its become way more about technology and engineering than racing. when a bike is out front by 15 seconds and the next guy has no chance of making that 15 seconds up by riding to his and or the bikes limit that thats it for me. whats the point??? electronics limiting the bike regardless of the riders input to have enough fuel to finish rather than make up time??? WTF??? how is that being competitive? its more about how well the bike is engineered. i cant stand that kind of racing. i want to see a riders talent overcome a bikes weakness to have a chance of taking the checkers. same applies to engine allocation. what the hell???

    while im on a rant motorcycledaily.com, if you insist on making me enter a stupid phrase to submit my comment make it legible damnit. why is that even necessary????

  6. endoman38 says:

    C’mon, Ducati, give Vale a decent bike. I hate to see him spend his last couple years fighting a piece of crap. He might be better off showing up on Checa’s couple year old machine.

  7. Mike_Iowa says:

    I’d love to see them ban all electronics. It would be more exciting to watch and the better riders would move to the top.

  8. MGNorge says:

    I too hope it isn’t ruined. I maintain that MotoGP is an “open” class, where the manufacturers pit the best their engineers can come up with with the best riders they can find. Equalizing equipment to supposedly make for tighter racing is a snooze. I want technology and I want to see what each factory comes up with each year. If a larger, heavier rider is slowing a team down then too bad, get a different rider! If your bike is down on top end then send the engineers back to the drawing board. If the expenses are too high then perhaps controllables, such as salaries, have gotten out of hand. I’m not a fan of dumbing things down for the sake of everyone clumping together for tight racing with no one able to break away and show superiority of man or machine and it doesn’t matter what displacement they choose to run. It’s an open class!

  9. mickey says:

    I would think 2012 would be the last gasp for Nicky and Val. If they don’t do any good this year, they will turn into field fillers like Edwards, Elias, Aoyama, Abraham and De Pruniet. Since Simoncelli passed away, there are only 7 riders left with a chance of realistically finishing on the podium,counting Rossi and Hayden,(and truthfully I have never considered Nicky a top rider even though he won a Championship…in his entire career he’s won 3 Moto GP races)unless some of the big names get hurt or crash out. I love Moto GP and watch every race, however there is not much drama in it anymore. If Rossi and Hayden aren’t competitve this year it will be just 5 riders (maybe 6 if Bautista keeps improving) battling for 3 spots, and a bunch of also rans filling up the track 20-30 seconds back.

  10. NJ Steve says:

    I hope this becomes a very competitive year for Ducati & the handful of other MotoGP bike manufacturers. From what I read in ref to the “rules”, MotoGP will soon become the NASCAR of motorcycle racing & I am no fan of NASCAR. Prototype bikes will no longer be allowed. I’m not sure this idea…to reduce costs & allow many more bikes on the grid increasing the fan experience will work. More bikes on the grid exponentially increases the risk of 1st curve wrecks. Plus… while they implement the changes, bikes closer to stock will be integrated into MotoGP racing & allowed to race… how would you like to come upon a close to stock R1 or a bunch of them while you are traveling 200mph on a prototype?
    I know some say change is needed to increase profits & justify the huge expense of fielding a MotoGP bike/team but I hope they don’t destroy it in the process & in my opinion, as long as the racers & the manufacturers are not heading up the change process, the bean counters will ruin it!

    Go DUCATI!

    • Tim says:

      I have mixed feelinga about a NASCAR style moto GP. On one hand, I like the idea of letting the riders decide who is best, not the engineers. I also realize that motorcycling will be a loser in the process as innovations to bikes will slow significantly. I do like some aspects of NASCAR but there is one thing I hate…the tracks are too crowded. Too much of the races are ran under the caution flags. So much, in fact, that I’ve quit watching. I like the idea of a bunch of very competitive bikes, as long as the grids don’t become too full, and make the tracks too congested. I would love to see guys like Stoner, Lorenzo and Spies battle it out on bikes of similar power.

      • Scotty says:

        The bikes have similar power now. I dislike the idea of the class being anything but prototypes, this is THE premier class not just for riders but for designers and engineers. It should, as MG says, be open. And that includes 990cc two strokes as well.

        • Bud says:

          990 cc two strokes. THAT WOULD BE AMAZING

        • MotoChris says:

          a 990cc 2 stroke would eat a YZR-M1 for lunch and $### the remains out it’s stinger. Hell, the last 500’s were ferocious beasts, imagine doubling the engine size and adding 10 years worth of technology

          • Dave says:

            500cc 2-strokes were completely developed when the 990cc 4 strokes mixed in with them. They were off the back immediately because they were too hard to ride with the power they had. More cc’s would only amplify their disadvantages.

            As for power, the fastest trap speeds ever recorded in GP motorcycle racing were all posted on the 800’s, not the 990’s.

          • Bud says:

            @ Dave
            As I recall the rules were designed to make the 500s uncompetetive, they pretty much just allowed them to hang around to fill out the field.

        • Tim says:

          990 cc two strokes would be suicidal…but it is fun to think about.

          I appreciate the fact that the premier class plays a big role in development of future bikes that hit the street, and while I appreciate the role of the engineers and designers, I prefer seeing competitive racing. What we saw this year was boring. I don’t want to watch guys 3 wide, knees dragging on curves in the middle or back of the pack, I want to see 3 wide at the front of the pack. Maybe the move to bigger motors will help bring that back. I sure hope so.

          • Dave says:

            @Bud
            That may be so. I could see the new bikes coming in on a set of rules that assured their success. I did not look closely at the rules at the time.
            I do remember that there were many surprises that were unanticipated, like improved tire wear despite more weight and power, stuff like that.

  11. frostbite says:

    When the Green Flag Drops – The BULL$HIT STOPS … Bring it ON !!!