While most attention has been on the factory Ducati launch in Italy this week, MotoGP's newest team has unveiled its own colours for the forthcoming racing season.
Cardion AB, which is graduating from the Moto2 class with Karel Abraham, took the wraps off its Desmosedici GP11 during a special ceremony in Prague (pictured).
Abraham, who will be the first Czech rider in the premier-class, took his first grand prix win in the final round of the Moto2 season at Valencia. Abraham finished tenth overall in the 2010 standings.
"Karel proved that he is a very fast rider. He has a huge potential to do well right from the start of the season,” said crew chief Marco Grana. “[This year] there will be a lot of fast riders in the premier-class so it is clear that the competition will be huge. But in Valencia we showed what we are able to do.”
Just days after that Valencia victory, 21-year-old Abraham was back on track for his MotoGP debut.
Abraham may have finished the two-day test 16th out of the 17 riders, but he was ahead of Moto2 champion and MotoGP winner Toni Elias and only 1.727sec slower than fastest rider and new world champion Jorge Lorenzo.
“Compared to the [previous] year [when] rookies Bautista and Barbera were three seconds slower than the fastest riders, Karel lost only 1.7 seconds, although Lorenzo was as fast as he was during the race weekend,” said father and team manager Karel Abraham Sr.
Crew chief Grana, like four other members of the Moto2 team, have moved with Abraham to MotoGP.
They will be joined by three Ducati employees - track engineer Cristhian Pupulin, telemetry analyst Dario Massarin and spare parts technician Michele Bubbolini.
"We are very satisfied with the cooperation with Ducati," said Abraham Sr. "All [the team members] are professionals. They are working very well and together they create a great team.”
Abraham Jr, who will battle Cal Crutchlow (Tech 3 Yamaha) for Rookie of the Year honours, believes his 2011 potential will become clearer after the second of the forthcoming Sepang tests.
"The [MotoGP] bike is much more difficult to control and requires perfect physical fitness," he said. "After the second test we could have the first indications of how much we will be successful this year.”