Filippo Preziosi, General Director of Ducati Corse, has a lot of expectation resting on his shoulders.

The Italian design genius is responsible for the motorcycle that national hero Valentino Rossi will race in the 2011 MotoGP World Championship and, after a 15th place in his first test, it was clear modifications were needed for the seven time MotoGP champion.

Throughout their time at Honda and Yamaha, Rossi and crew chief Jerry Burgess successfully steered development towards creating a user-friendly machine that gave the rider no rude surprises.

The task of building a bike that doesn't restrict Rossi's talent now falls to Preziosi, whose 800cc Desmosedici has been 'cracked' by only one person to date - 2007 world champion Casey Stoner - who left the team for Honda at the end of last year.

These are the changes Preziosi has made to the Desmosedici for 2011, or at least the changes so far.

Unsurprisingly, the modifications are aimed towards creating a more stable motorcycle with greater feedback.

"The bike we see here at Madonna di Campiglio is the GP11 'step 0,' as it represents the initial level from which we plan to evolve," began Preziosi, speaking at Ducati's Madonna di Campiglio team launch.

"The principal characteristics are the evolution of the motor and of the throttle body thought to obtain, fundamentally, a flatter and more useable power curve.

"As for the chassis, the aerodynamics are completely new, with the goal of improving top speed, reducing consumption, and also reducing front lift as much as possible.

"Other aspects we're working on for the Malaysia tests in February are the new frame, which has already undergone various tests of rigidity and flex - for torsion and under braking - a swingarm with different rigidity characteristics, and a fork that combines the 2011 hydraulics with the 42mm tubes, instead of 48.

"As for the electronics, we're working on wheelie control and traction control.

"These are all solutions that we'll try out next week at Jerez with three days of testing and two development teams - one for Franco Battaini and one for Vittoriano Guareschi - and that Valentino and Nicky will then try in Malaysia."

The Sepang test, Rossi's second ride on the Ducati, takes place at the start of February - and Rossi has already warned he won't be fully fit.

"We know that Valentino isn't at 100% [after shoulder surgery], and Sepang is a very 'physical' track, so we'll try to optimize his sessions and to use his time on the track in a 'surgical' way in order to have his feedback.

"Many tests will also be entrusted to Nicky Hayden, who will be able to ride normally.

"We're working hard, but the atmosphere at Ducati is really nice, very electric and positive, and we can't wait to get back on the track."

Despite the slow start, Preziosi finds Rossi's positively a delight and, as an engineer, greatly values the precise feedback he provides.

"The thing that struck me the most about Vale is his great ability to create a positive climate around himself, "he said.

"On the other hand, one thing that I'd heard about him but that I found to be even more true than I expected was his ability to analyze details in the bike's behavior and to describe them in an incredibly precise way.

"It's very valuable because the rider is gives us considerable information that we wouldn't otherwise have. The quality of this information will make a big difference."



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