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Ducati won't ditch Desmodromic system

16 January 2013

Ducati may have now joined the Japanese manufacturers in building a twin-spar aluminium frame for its MotoGP prototype, but the factory's trademark Desmodromic valve system will not be sacrificed.

That was the pledge of new Ducati Corse general manager Bernhard Gobmeier, speaking at the Ducati/Ferrari Wrooom Press Ski Meeting on Wednesday.

"There is no reason to change an engine that works and is part of Ducati's history," the official MotoGP website quotes Gobmeier as saying. "As long as the rules allow it, we'll remain with the same Desmodromic configuration.

"And the bike should be rideable for everyone. It should not just be a motorcycle that Casey Stoner can win on. We will not copy a Yamaha, and will stick with the Ducati philosophy."

Yamaha and Honda, which have divided all the MotoGP race victories for the past two seasons, both use pneumatic valve systems for their MotoGP engines.

All MotoGP engines have four-cylinders: Honda and Ducati use a V configuration and Yamaha an Inline layout.

Gobmeier, a former Superbike director at BMW, has been brought in by Ducati's new owner Audi to take over from Filippo Preziosi.

"Of course we will use [Preziosi's] experience," continued Gobmeier. "We are in contact and we both want Ducati to win. His new role will also provide a channel of communication between the Racing Department and Production.

"In addition to Filippo, I must say that there are other great engineers within Ducati that have great ideas as well."

Gobmeier added that Ducati plans to gather more information on last year's developments before introducing 'new solutions' later this year.

"I prefer to speak about evolution rather than revolution and with this in mind first we want to evaluate the material developed in the second half of last year," he said.

"I think that with this approach we can improve the performance of the bike in the short term, but we are also working on new solutions which down the road in 2013 will be implemented into the race bike."

Stoner, who switched to Honda in 2010 and recently retired, won 23 races and a world title for Ducati between 2007 and 2010.

The only other Desmosedici winner since the start of the 800cc era is Loris Capirossi, who took a single wet/dry victory in 2007.

The most high profile rider to struggle on the Desmosedici was seven time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi, now returning to Yamaha after just three podiums during two seasons.

Ducati entered MotoGP with an unstressed steel trellis chassis in 2003. The engine later became part of the frame (stressed) before the jump was made to a carbon fibre chassis for 2009.

The search for success with Rossi saw a partial aluminium frame debut during the 2011 season, then Ducati's first full twin-spar (unstressed) design for the start of last year.

Since its 2003 debut, Ducati has won races in every MotoGP season barring 2004, 2011 and 2012.

Andrea Dovizioso is taking Rossi's place alongside Hayden for 2013 and has warned it will take time to get Ducati back to the front of the field.

"I agree with the approach of Andrea in a medium to long term development," commented Gobmeier. "Races are in the DNA of Ducati, and this will be a year of development, but that doesn't mean we do not want results... Our aim this year is to once again fight for podiums."

The 53-year-old Bavarian engineer also confirmed that new factory test rider Michele Pirro will have wild-card rides in three races.

End.


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