Ten months after its public debut at the Sepang MotoGP test, the contents of the mysterious Ducati 'salad box' have been briefly exposed.

It was inevitable that accident damage would one day cause the carbon-fibre box to break apart, as occurred when Danilo Petrucci fell on the final day of the recent Jerez test.

But all it revealed was a further metal box, connected with some electronics, inside which the real secrets remain safely hidden.

Additional Dorna TV footage of the damaged box on Petrucci's bike, broadcast on the official MotoGP website, can be seen here (subscription needed). However, like the Crash.net image above and video below, the footage is not clear enough to give a definitive answer of what the box is for.

As one paddock technical expert confirmed: "Honestly, based on the pictures I don’t think anybody can tell exactly what it is."

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Past theories for the purpose of the 'salad box' have ranged from the mundane (a storage place for the electronics) to the exotic (a mass damper or gyroscope).

One feasible suggestion following the new images is that the metal box could be powering an exhaust valve, but the box is far larger than would be needed for that task alone.

Instead, others remain more convinced than ever that the box contains some sort of mass damper, either conventional or gyroscopic.

While a normal mass damper would probably be used to help absorb knocks, vibrations and/or chatter, the rotation of a spinning mass damper could also resist the normal gyroscopic forces present on a motorcycle and - for example - help when trying to lift the bike on the exit of corners.

Most trackside observers agree that the handling of the Ducati has improved this season.

The advantage of a spinning disc to counter such forces is that less mass would be needed compared to a conventional system moving a weight back and forth.

The below video shows how a small spinning gyroscope, of roughly the size that would fit into the Ducati box, can help soften vibrations.

But for now such theories remain speculation and, given the sturdy metal casing of the newly revealed inner box, its secrets are unlikely to be conclusively known until Ducati chooses to announce them.

Unsurprisingly, Ducati told Crash.net they have nothing further to add about the contents of the box at this stage... 'sorry'.

But at least we know it's not just for salad - the joke made by test rider Michele Pirro to deflect questions at January's Sepang test.

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