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Motegi MotoGP Insider: Ducati

Monday, October 3, 2011
Nicky Hayden: We were all racing  and it was normal for the first lap. I got into a pretty good rhythm  and when Casey came past me  I wanted to try to follow him past Bautista  but I came in way too hot and went off the track. Its a shame  because with everybody making mistakes  I had a chance to get us a good result.
According to Nicky Hayden the Ducati GP11.1 has already reached the ceiling of its potential and is coming up short.
Nicky Hayden says Ducati’s factory GP11.1 has already reached the ceiling of its potential, even though he’s only raced the updated Desmosedici three times. Ducati first rolled out the GP11.1 back in late June at the Assen round for Valentino Rossi, who was struggling to make any significant progress on the GP11 model.

The GP11.1 features a new seamless shift gearbox, new rear suspension system, swingarm and 1000cc motor modified to comply with current 800cc regulations.

Hayden rode the new bike in practice for his home round at Laguna Seca in late July before deciding to delay his race debut on the bike until he’d got more time to test the bike. He started to use the GP11.1 from the Indianapolis race onwards but in three races he’s only scored 11-points. And Hayden said that the GP11.1 had already peaked at its maximum level of performance.

“Yes, it seems this bike is at the top of its potential already. They are certainly testing some stuff and we know we got to make a big change because we’re a long way off.”

Rossi raced a new aluminum concept to 10th at the Motorland Aragon but it wasn’t a full conventional twin spar frame like the one used by Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki. It appears that Rossi has completely lost faith in the carbon fiber project but Hayden said he didn’t think it was the material involved that was the crucial factor.

Valentino Rossi: Its really a shame to be out of the race after two corners  especially after the progress that we made this weekend  and with the knowledge that wed worked on the bike well.
Valentino Rossi believes riding positon is to blame for some of the front-end troubles he's been having on the GP12.
He added: “They’ve tested aluminum and I don’t think it is a matter of material I think it is more stiffness and flex. You can make carbon softer or stiffer so I don’t think that's the situation. I tested a lot of aluminum swingarms and carbon fiber swingarms and you can get either one to do what you want it to do.”

Rossi Thinks Riding Position Critical to Solving GP12 

Valentino Rossi believes his riding position on Ducati’s 2012 Desmosedici could be pivotal to solving some of the vague front-end problems he’s experienced in a nightmare debut season for the Bologna factory – which most recently includes a DNF result at the Twin Ring Motegi courtesy of an opening lap crash. Rossi and Ducati tested the GP12 again in Jerez last week but both denied the latest session had seen the nine-times world champion debut a full deltabox aluminium frame manufactured by British experts FTR.

Rossi said the chassis he tested for one-day in Jerez a week ago was just a further evolution of the aluminum frame he raced to a disappointing 10th place at the Motorland Aragon track earlier back in September.

Valentino Rossi: We tried to work on the weight distribution and especially move my position on the bike [at Jerez].
Valentino Rossi: "“We tried to work on the weight distribution and especially move my position on the bike [at Jerez].
Rossi ditched the carbon fibre concept for the Aragon race having struggled to score just one podium in the opening 13 races. Rossi said at the Twin Ring Motegi that test was primarily to experiment with different weight distribution settings, particularly moving his body around on the GP12 to put more weight on the front tire.

Said Rossi: “We tried to work on the weight distribution and especially move my position on the bike. This was the biggest work we did in Jerez because we think that this is the main problem of this bike. I want to be more forward. I don't like my position on the bike and it is for a long time since I say this to Filippo (Preziosi). We need time to build a new part and I hope that it arrive as soon as possible and we have to understand if it makes the difference. With carbon or aluminum, I don't know if it would make such a big difference. For me it is more important the weight distribution and the position of all the things on our bike. I think we have to work on these things. We started on this in Jerez but the work is long and we have to build some other parts to move all the things."


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Valentino Rossi
Who is the most popular MotoGP racer in the world? Valentino Rossi. Learn more about Valentino Rossi in Motorcycle USA's Valentino Rossi page for career highlights, pictures, and news.

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Comments
ckandarian   October 3, 2011 09:55 PM
A sad state of affairs when the 2 top riders say that the bike has peaked already and 2011 is over for Ducati, actually was over in january. Nicky needs to ride for Honda and Rossi for anyone else. Sad.....