At today's official launch of their 2003 GP machine, Ducati admitted that they investigated the possibility of creating a 'Super-twin' engine, that would have taken advantage of technical regulations offering two cylinder bikes a weight advantage over four, five and six-cylinder machines.

Such a design would also have been in line with the companies past history - including its title winning WSBK machines, but detailed studies, including numerous computer simulations, suggested that a twin would struggle to produce the immense amount of horsepower - around 220bhp - required, without excessive revs.

Engineers predicted that a two cylinder would need to rev at over 16,000rpm, requiring an ultra-short stroke and a super-wide bore that might cause combustion problems.

Because of this, Ducati decided upon an all-new V4 engine, mimicking their traditional L-configuration V-twin layout, and incorporating Ducati's acclaimed desmodromic valve operation.



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