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Preziosi provides few Ducati GP12 clues

Ducati Corse general manager Filippo Preziosi talks Desmosedici GP12 MotoGP machine - but gives little away...

In the absence of an actual bike to unveil at this week's Wrooom press event, Ducati Corse general manager Filippo Preziosi painted a deliberately vague picture of the Desmosedici GP12 MotoGP machine.

The most obvious change for the factory's first bike of the new 1000cc era is already known.

In an attempt to get MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi back to winning ways, after a disappointing debut year that yielded just one podium and seventh in the championship, Ducati will join its two remaining Japanese rivals in using a 'conventional' twin-spar aluminium chassis rather than carbon fibre.

But speaking in his press conference on Wednesday, Preziosi gave away precious few technical details about the GP12 - despite stating that 90% of the parts are new.

What he did disclose was that Rossi and team-mate Nicky Hayden will test two different bikes when they take to the track for the first test of the year at Sepang on January 31st.

The factory riders will run the 'all-new' GP12 - presently being assembled in Bologna - alongside the previous version used by Rossi during November's post-race test at Valencia, which the Italian finished in sixth place, 1.5sec behind Honda's Dani Pedrosa.

Ducati will continue to use a carbon fibre swingarm.

"Over the recent months, we followed an intensive, consistent test program, which culminated with the two-day post-race test in Valencia," explained Preziosi. "By analyzing the data-acquisition information, the riders' comments and the setup sheets, we defined the target values for the new frame geometry.

"Now, with [crew chiefs] Jeremy [Burgess], Juan [Martinez] and our riders, we'll work at the track to define the bike's base set-up so that we can then proceed with the customary development work that's typically done during winter testing, with the goal of starting a trend of improvement in terms of competitiveness.

"Normally, it takes two years to complete the process from the calculation stage, to design, to component construction, to test-bench 'shakedown,' to track testing, to racing. By compressing this process down to a span of just months, we've accepted a challenge that we know will be very difficult, but we believe it's possible.

"All this is thanks to the extraordinary group that includes Valentino and Nicky, who last year agreed to a number of tests that often affected their performance, as well as our team, our designers and our sponsors.

"Ducati is a company that has already faced significant challenges in the past, and I'm proud to be a part of it."

The absence of at least a presentable version of the GP12 is slightly puzzling - few ever believed that the bike unveiled in the mountains each year was a full and final version of the actual race machine, especially with pre-season testing yet to begin at that stage.

Instead Wrooom was seen as a chance to show off the Ducati team's latest racing colours... adding weight to speculation that the delay in unveiling the GP12 is simply because the final livery is yet to be agreed.

Thursday at Wrooom will be dedicated to the Ferrari F1 drivers, leaving Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden to enjoy the Madonna di Campiglio ski resort before Friday's final day, featuring the kart and auto exhibition with the riders and drivers on the town's frozen lake.

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