Ducati today unveiled the design of the four stroke engine they will use to power their bid for MotoGP honours in 2003. The four-cylinder 989cc 'L-shaped' engine was designed by a team headed by Ducati Corse Technical Director Filippo Preziosi and has been baptised 'Desmosedici Twinpulse'. Testing will begin on the dyno within the next three months, with track tests scheduled for July.

"After analysing all the possibilities offered by the regulations and on the basis of computer simulations, we are convinced that a massive power output is required to be competitive in MotoGP," explained Ducati Corse Managing Director Claudio Domenicali. "It would have been difficult to obtain this power with conventional twin-cylinder engines, which amongst other things are only given a 10kg weight advantage over 4 and 5 cylinder engines in the regulations."

Domenicali continued: "In the preliminary study phase, we considered a twin-cylinder oval piston engine to be an excellent layout for the new regulations, but further analysis led us to decide that the best solution was a 'double twin' and therefore we designed an engine with four round pistons which, thanks to a simultaneous two-by-two firing order, reproduce the working cycle of a twin. This will generate the 'big bang' effect, making the rear tyre work in a way that extends its duration and improves rider feeling when exiting curves."

Ducati plan to take part in the MotoGP World Championship from the first round of the 2003 season with a factory team made up of two riders.

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