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Casey Stoner Confirms GP16 Engine is Awesome

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Score one for Ducati. With naysayers expecting Ducati to be down on power as it transitions to equal footing with Honda and Yamaha in MotoGP this year (i.e., no extra fuel or engines, and no in-season engine development), Ducati proved them wrong in Qatar with impressive top speed on the long straight. Indeed, Andrea Ianonne broke the MotoGP top speed record with radar catching him at 218.2 mph!

Since engine development is frozen for everyone except Aprilla and Suzuki, Ducati would appear to have a power advantage for the remainder of the year. But is that power usable, and offer good grunt out of corners? According to Casey Stoner, the answers are yes and yes.

Crash.net quotes Stoner following his post-Qatar private test as having this to say about the Desmosidici GP16 engine performance: “It’s very, very quick!” Stoner said during his private test at the same Losail circuit on Monday. “It’s something fantastic – we’ve got a very fast engine, very rideable with great torque. It’s a complete package.”

Stoner went on to say that development focus will be on other areas this year, but Andrea Dovizioso’s performance in the Qatar race (where he finished second) indicates Ducati’s handling, including corner speed, is already at a high level. Dovizioso and Ianonne (who crashed out at Qatar while running near the front) might have a bag full of podiums coming their way this year. We can’t help but wonder how Casey Stoner will do on the GP16 if he chooses to race as a wild card once, or more, this season.


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42 Comments

  1. tony says:

    still think it’s going to be Lorenzo and Yamaha this year. Qatar is an anamoly of a race track, not like anywhere else

  2. xLaYN says:

    Ducati has gone a very long way changing the chassis for both the GP and Street super bikes, one of this days we will have an aluminum chassis built Panigale.

    Those winglets are huge, how much time will pass before the wings become a de rigueur so far just the H2R has those standard from factory.

  3. Jdilpkle says:

    This could be the closest racing in motogp we’ve had for a long time. Yamahammers, duckets and suzzi’s all in a row with Marc flailing and bumping along in the mix.
    Has JL signed with Yamahammer yet? I’d like to see him riding on a ducs back in spite of his winning over the top antics.

  4. mkviz says:

    reliable and ducati shouldn’t be said in the same sentence line.

    • wjf says:

      Ha!
      Ducati has been making mechanics out of riders for what, 50 years now?

    • One Who Knows says:

      Ho hum… another uninformed comment from someone who probably couldn’t afford a Ducati anyhow. Why do you post stuff like this? Pure jealousy?

  5. bikerrandy says:

    The wings may look silly but apparently they serve their purpose.

  6. Vrooom says:

    Suzuki will be interesting to watch to. They were down in top speed last year by 15 KPH in the straights, but not so in Qatar.

    • wjf says:

      suzuki junk….i own three of them

      • mickey says:

        Interesting. I have had 3 Suzukis, a 750, an 850 and an 1100 and thought they were all great bikes. I think Suzuki sometimes fancies their bikes up with cheP doo dads, but the engines and running hear have all been first rate.

      • p1l0d3 says:

        Hum ! That’s strange : my ’86 RG500 was stone-axe reliable! (Granted: always road-ridden, never “raced”… nor did I ever let Pe-Wee Herman ride it!)

      • wjf says:

        I’m kidding, they are great bikes, but don’t get me started on KTM….good gravy

  7. Hot Dog says:

    This makes me wonder just how bad JLo would like to stick his thumb in Rossi’s eye. Does he keep riding for Yamaha and beat Rossi on the same bike or does he switch to Duc, where he’d kick his arse on a bike Rossi couldn’t sort out? As the saying goes, “revenge is best served cold”. All of this conjecture is based upon someone’s sniveling whining attitude and further more, JLo didn’t do a juvenile cartoon celebration at the end of the dance. Rossi’s mouth has written a check that his lily white arse is going to have to cash. Wouldn’t it be something to muse about, ole JLo riding herd on this beautiful Duc, leaving Mr. “Panties in a bunch” in the dust.

    • Vrooom says:

      He didn’t do a dance, but I recall him walking off the podium mid-celebration late in the year.

      • Hot Dog says:

        Yes, that was really bad. I hope his Mom grabbed him by his ear, cuffed him in the back of the head and told him to grow some ‘nads. But hey, at least there was no dumb arsed celebration after this last win. Maybe JLo is learning but Rossi, on the other hand… still trying the same old mind game crap.

        • pacer says:

          Could you post some links to the articles or videos of Rossi doing this? I haven’t seen them.

          • Hot Dog says:

            Didn’t you see Rossi get in JLo’s face during FP4 when they were practicing starts? Lot’s of hand gestures, head shaking and innuendos.

          • pacer says:

            Your right, even if he is being messed with he needs to just man up and keep digging.

    • VLJ says:

      You do realize that the Ducati Rossi rode bore little resemblance to the Ducati Lorenzo would ride, right?

  8. Will Parker says:

    Top speed wows, but Yamaha still has the best overall package. I kinda like the look of the Bike…less Honda copy, more own personality…

  9. Norm G. says:

    re: “With naysayers expecting Ducati to be down on power”

    pfft, laymen.

    re: “Andrea Ianonne broke the MotoGP top speed record with radar catching him at 218.2 mph!”

    3 words… Ninety – Degree – Desmo.

  10. wjf says:

    it seemed like the ducatis did have an advantage in the straights in the begining, but then couldn’t reel in the Yamaha shortly after a few laps….must have been a short lived turbo button

  11. todd says:

    It’s only as fast as the rider. If Stoner can’t pull it off its his fault, not the bike’s.

    I always wonder what racing would be like if the riders rode for teams based on a lottery.

    • Dave says:

      MotoGP proves the opposite. Riders who used to beat Marquez in Moto2 are now exactly as far from the front as their equipment dictates. No amount of talent can overcome an inferior bike.

      On another note, I wonder how much of Ducati’s speed comes from aggressive tuning? They now only have the same number of engines to burn as the rest of the factories.

      • Tyler says:

        I sure hope so, I really miss the crazy days of a good old fashioned unplanned engine detonation

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        “I wonder how much of Ducati’s speed comes from aggressive tuning? ”

        I wonder that too. I suppose we’ll know if we see that power advantage disappear mid-season, but I am guessing that they have a pretty good idea of what the engine can take based on their experience last season with the GP15 which also showed some impressive power on the straights.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “No amount of talent can overcome an inferior bike.”

        the catchphrase I coined is NATCORK (No Amount of Talent Can Overcome Recalcitrant Kit). please submit royalties via my PayPal account. thank you.

        re: “On another note, I wonder how much of Ducati’s speed comes from aggressive tuning?”

        repeat… Ninety – Degree – Desmo.

        • Dave says:

          Re: “repeat… Ninety – Degree – Desmo.”

          As another mentioned, maybe they’re planning to use “past-prime” engines at the tracks where horsepower matters less. I recall Yamaha doing that as they rubbed up against the end of their allotment.

          Remember when somebody forgot to tell Ducati that MotoGP was moving down to 800cc from 999cc (Stoner’s bike had 10+ mph on everybody @ Qatar)?

      • todd says:

        Dave, I’d have to disagree. Put the whole grid on this bike and there will be someone in first place and someone in last. There will always be a faster rider. No one is able to ride the bike at 100% of the bike’s capability everywhere. I’ve seen telemetry results on everything from throttle to brakes to suspension. Most of the time is spent in the middle of the performance envelope.

        • mickey says:

          Exactly, MotoGP riders are undoubtedly the best motorcycle pilots in the world, however even among the best there will be those that will be better, the best of the best, a result of skill, determination, and sheer refusal to lose.

          Like todd says put all the MotoGP riders on identical bikes, and someone will finish first someone will finish last and there will be gaps among the riders separated by a miriad of factors the least of which is the motorcycle.

        • Dave says:

          When they were on the same bike (moto2), the rider who would finish 1st came from a longer candidate list and was less predictable, but you’re right, somebody always finished first and somebody always finished last.

          Mickey, the notion that “the least of which is the motorcycle” is demonstrably wrong. Rossi on the Ducati vs. the Yamaha is a compelling example. In MotoGP, the motorcycle is more important than the rider as we’ve seen, no rider has ever been good enough (in the 4-stroke era) to win on an inferior motorcycle.

          • mickey says:

            Dave what I was saying was, with all riders on identical motorcycles, the motorcycle is not the factor that will cause one rider to win over another rider.

            As far as in the real world, yes the motorcycle makes a difference, however the best riders will always get the best motorcycles, because they have earned them, and they will nearly always beat lesser riders on lesser equipment. There is no way to level the playing field, because the players themselves are not level.

            Truth is all the riders on the MotoGP grid are very close in talent ( as compared to normal people) and there isn’t but a second or two separating 1st and 20th per lap. That is over a 2 mile course with 16 left and right turns. All these riders are special, some are just slightly more special than others.

  12. Steve says:

    Tank!? You mean the plastic covering the airbox. Fuel is under the seat I believe.

  13. rg500g says:

    Actually, apart from what looks like arm rests, the tank looks like it came off my gamma and got repainted. God, I hope they didn’t use the petcock as well. A right load of wank that was…

  14. mickey says:

    Dovi got second at Qatar last year too and he didn’t have the GP16 and didn’t have much luck the rest of the year, even though the Duc had a clear long straights advantage in speed. I think his team mate out rode him the rest of the year, but neither were in the top 4 at the end. So for me it’s just going to be wait and see how they do the rest of the year. If they make the podium with regularity then I will believe they are on superior equipment. I certainly hope they do well. Competition is good.

  15. Gary says:

    It may be quick, but those wings just look silly … and the gas tank looks like it came off of an early Honda VFR.