Cut to this week. The Ducati Test Team headed to Jerez to “shake-down” the new GP12 with regular test rider Franco Battaini joined by reigning World Superbike champ Carlos Checa. Posts on Checa’s Twitter feed (@CarlosCheca7) gave the impression that Ducati muzzled its test crew during the private test. The official Ducati PR machine was tight-lipped as well, with just a terse press release issued on Thursday and no photos offered to the media.
The Cardion AB squad must missed the memo on secrecy because the Ducati satellite spilled some of the technical beans with a press release issued on Friday. The Cardion AB PR confirms the move from the carbon fiber chassis to the more conventional “deltabox aluminum frame.” No surprise there, but the engine specs are more revelatory.
The Cardion AB team, which supports Czech rider Karel Abraham, claims 250 horsepower for the GP12, a 15 pony increase over the GP11. Max speed claims are listed too, with 360 km/h (223.7 mph) for the GP12 and 340 km/h (211.3 mph) for the GP11. The press release also sites a 999cc displacement for the Ducati V-Four, with the cylinders “formed in an angle of 90 degrees.”
Still no GP12 photos, but expect a full barrage in two week’s time. Factory teammates Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden will get their first taste of their new bike with the first winter test beginning January 31 at Sepang.