The Ducati Marlboro Team was launched today at the FilaForum, Milan, in what is sure to become yet another important chapter in Ducati history.

The presentation of the new Desmosedici took place in front of 400 people, including journalists and media from all over the world, institutional figures and sponsors, in a spectacular audio-video light-show display.

A series of speeches preceded the spectacular entrance of the Desmosedici on the stage, ridden by the two riders, Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi.

In his introduction Federico Minoli, president of the Bologna-based company, opened the proceedings by relaying the enthusiasm and passion of Ducati.

"We couldn't have chosen a better date for the presentation of our team, our riders and our beautiful bikes: February 14th!" smiled Minoli. "At Ducati we are in love with any project that is capable of giving us excitement, pleasure and passion as a team."

Then it was the turn of Claudio Domenicali, Ducati Corse Managing Director, who illustrated the technical details of the bike.

"The Desmosedici has already carried out 12,000 kms of track tests and a further 5,000 will be completed before the first round of the season on April 6 at Suzuka," he explained. "Today we know a lot more about the bike, and we are reasonably sure of our potential.

"Troy and Loris are proving to be a perfect team. They are working together, sharing information and both of them are a real surprise," Domenicali declared. "The Desmosedici is the result of a lot of research and great passion, and is a bike that has a number of interesting technical features such as the exclusive stress-bearing frame, which has been adapted from Formula 1... this enables weight to be saved by using the engine as a stress-bearing member."

Preceded by the noise of the powerful four-cylinder Ducati engine, Bayliss and Capirossi then arrived directly on the stage on the bike in its new colour scheme.

"This is a great day for Ducati and I am really proud to be a part of the Ducati Marlboro Team for the MotoGP championship," grinned Bayliss. "The Desmosedici looks fantastic in its new colours, testing has gone really well and all of us in Ducati can't wait to line up on the grid at the first race of the season."

"Now we are finally a team!" commented Capirossi, "and we are ready to start the season. After the excellent results achieved in winter testing, I have finally seen the definitive version of the Desmosedici. We are all really enthusiastic and ready for the challenge that lies ahead."

Before the start of the championship on April 6th at Suzuka (Japan), the Ducati Marlboro Team will take part in three days of official IRTA tests from 21-23 at Jerez de la Frontiera (Spain), and then Estoril (Portugal) on 26/27 February, followed by Barcelona (Spain) on 15/16 March.

For all the pictures from today's launch, see the Latest Pictures section on the homepage...