domingo, 14 de agosto de 2016

DUCATI´S HISTORICAL VICTORY AT THE AUSTRIAN MOTOGP 2016 GRAND PRIX WITH ANDREA IANNONE AND ANDREA DOVIZIOSO GETTING THE FIRST AND SECOND POSITION

Ducati has attained an impressive victory at the Austrian MotoGP 2016 Grand Prix race held on the Spielberg´s Red Bull Ring (Austria) thanks to the great performance of its two official riders:
                                    © José Manuel Serrano Esparza



Andrea Iannone (who has notched up his first ever MotoGP World Championship victory) and

                                    © José Manuel Serrano Esparza


Andrea Dovizioso (who has achieved the second position) riding on their 1000 c.c liquid-cooled, 90º V4, four-stroke, evo desmodromic DOHC and 16 valves (four for each one of the four cylinders) engined Ducati Desmosedici GP16 bikes delivering a power of 245 bhp and a top speed of around 365 km/h. along with Ducati Seamless Transmission to the six gears, clearly beating Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi and Marc Márquez.

Having begun from pole position, Iannone lost the lead to his Italian teammate Andrea Dovizioso, but managed to overtake him with 7 laps to go, finally overcoming him through a margin of 0.938 seconds, while Jorge Lorenzo, third on the podium, crossed the finishing line 3.389 seconds behind, followed by Valentino Rossi half a second later.

A key factor for Iannone´s victory was his tactical gamble of combining a Michelin Power Slick Soft tire at the front with a Medium one at the rear, while vast majority of the other riders (including Andrea Dovizioso) chose a medium-hard mixture.

Andrea Iannone led the race from scratch, but was passed by Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) during the opening lap, though he soon recovered the first place, which he held until Lap 9 when Dovizioso overtook him.

From then on, as explained by the former great champions Mick Doohan, Angel Nieto and Casey Stoner (who were in the circuit watching the race on a monitor) both Ducati  Desmosedici GP16 bikes flew like aircraft on the tarmac of the Red Bull Ring at Spielberg (Austria), and toilsome attempts made by Jorge Lorenzo (who performed a masterful double overtake manoeuver early in the race while he fought for the lead) and Valentino Rossi to catch up with them were to no avail.

And finally, as aforementioned, Andrea Iannone took definitely the lead on the 21st of the race´s 28 laps, getting the best lap of the race with an outstanding time of 1m24.561 seconds with four laps to go, before crossing the finishing line.

Gigi Dall´Igna, General Manager of Ducati Corse and the mastermind creator of the Ducati Desmosedici GP16 with which the Borgo Panigale firm has managed to get this amazing double podium with an extraordinary performance in terms of top speed, awesome fast acceleration in straight stretches, reliability and cornering which has beaten such world class MotoGP bikes as the 1000 c.c Yamahas YZR-M1 (Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi) and the 1000 c.c Honda RC213V (Marc Márquez). 

This has been the 100th podium of Ducati throughout its history in MotoGP and the first victory following a win drought of six years after Casey Stoner nailed down the triumph at Phillip Island on October 17, 2010 riding a liquid-cooled four stroke desmodromic 90º V4 DOHC 800 cm3 Ducati Desmosedici GP10 delivering a power of 200bhp, a top speed of 310 km/h, featuring Termignoni exhausts and using a big-bang firing order for the first time since the Desmosedici changed from 990 c.c to 800 c.c capacity.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS VICTORY

The awesome dominance (Ducati also prevailed during practice and qualifying) exhibited by the two Ducati Desmosedici GP16 bikes throughout the race disputed on the Red Bull Ring circuit at Spielberg (Austria) and the final conquest of the first position by Andrea Iannone, with Andrea Dovizioso as runner-up, is important and probably far-reaching for a number of reasons:

a) It proves that Ducati is in a position to win races competing against the best Japanese MotoGP 1000 c.c bikes and their riders, including Marc Márquez, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, the three current foremost pilots of the Championship. And it speaks volumes about both Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso, who have strenuously worked until reaching this point.


b) The Borgo Panigale firm needed to offer this victory to the hundreds of thousands of loyal Ducati fans and Ducatisti all over the world.


                                      © José Manuel Serrano Esparza

                                     © José Manuel Serrano Esparza

                                     © José Manuel Serrano Esparza

                                      © José Manuel Serrano Esparza

 c) This is a triumph that has been sought after since the 2015 season in which Ducati had a good year, obtaining eight podiums, including three consecutive second posts made by Andrea Dovizioso at the Losail Circuit in Doha (Qatar), the Circuit of the Americas in Austin (United States) and at the Termas de Río Hondo Autodrome in Santiago del Estero (Argentina) and a runner-up by Andrea Iannone at Mugello Circuit (Italy), albeit victory remained elusive for both of them.

Paolo Ciabatti, Ducati Corse Sporting Director from January 2014 and MotoGP Project Director at Ducati Motor Holding from January 2013. He is being another of the key figures in the Ducati MotoGP renaissance since 2015. He has amassed an experience of almost 20 years with Ducati since he was hired as Export Manager of Ducati Motor Holding in April 1997, having also performed a fundamental role during his tenure as SBK Program Director of Ducati Corse between January 1999 and April 2009, years in which Ducati won six World Championships of SBK (Carl Fogarty in 1999, Troy Bayliss in 2001, Neil Hodgson in 2003, James Toseland in 2004, Troy Bayliss in 2006 and Troy Bayliss in 2008). He sets up with Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali the directive binomial who is striving to the utmost after making Ducati win as many races as possible and the MotoGP World Championship again in one or two years more.

d) Throughout this year 2016, Ducati has made constant big efforts to win races, getting some very good results

- Best time at the Losail circuit (Qatar) MotoGP FP3 made by Andrea Ianonne with 1´54.639, beating Jorge Lorenzo (1´54.776), and Marc Márquez (1´54.835).

- Runner-up of Andrea Dovizioso in the Losail circuit (Qatar) MotoGP race, behind Jorge Lorenzo. This was a highly praiseworthy position for Dovi (2.019 after Lorenzo), because he had to fight with Marc Márquez (2.287) and Valentino Rossi (2.387), managing to beat them, overtaking Marc Márquez with a tremendous acceleration power at the end of the straight stretch before the last turn, and subsequently withstanding Márquez´s onslaughts. 

This weekend in Qatar at the beginning of 2016 season proved apparently the remarkable improvements made by Gigi Dall´Igna and the Ducati Corse Team as to the Ducati Desmosedici GP16´s reliability, aerodynamics and particularly its behaviour on cornering, with the long standing understeer in mid turns to hold its line and the simultaneous drop in grip resulting in speed decrease during corners that had hampered the MotoGP Ducatis in previous years having been almost utterly eliminated by the genius from Carrú.

- Third position of Andrea Iannone at the MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas held in Austin (Texas), behind Mark Márquez and Jorge Lorenzo. 

- Pole position attained by Andrea Dovizioso for the Assen Circuit MotoGP Grand Prix in Netherlands.

- Third position obtained by Andrea Dovizioso at the Germany MotoGP race in Sachsenring.

And it must be remembered that Ducati had the second and third post in its hand at the Termas de Río Hondo (Argentina) Moto GP race, when in the second-to-last turn, Andrea Iannone hit Andrea Dovizioso on trying to overtake him in a very risky manoeuver through inside, which brought about both riders falling on the ground when the second and third positions were secure for them, which prevented Andrea Dovizioso from getting 20 points and becoming second in the general standing of Moto GP 2016 at only one point from the leader of the championship.

Besides, it was very important for Ducati at that moment to place two riders on the podium.

Davide Tardozzi, Ducati Team Coordinator of MotoGP from 2014. A man featuring huge experience both as a bike rider and as a racing team manager, together with a deep insight about how exactly riders think and their real needs. He took part in the first 1988 Superbike World Championship, winning five races on a Yamaha-powered Bimota motorcycle, winning the SBK national Italian championship that same year, a competition in which he would reign six more times, as well as becoming 750 c.c SBK European Champion in 1991. And after retiring from racing, he was highly successful as a team manager of the Ducati Factory racing squad throughout twenty years, winning eight Superbike World Championships working with the likes of Carl Fogarty, Troy Corser, James Toseland and Troy Bayliss, along with nine Superbike World Championships of constructors. Another of the key persons in the resurgence of Ducati in MotoGP. His hiring by Claudio Domenicali two years ago was a further smart decision taken by the Ducati CEO. 

e) Therefore, this landmark victory scored by the Borgo Panigale firm at the Austrian MotoGP Grand Prix 2016 will undoubtedly be a great boost of morale not only for both pilots, but also for the whole Ducati Corse Team, whose mechanics, test riders, track engineers, Öhlins suspension technicians, telemetry data analysts, software and strategies managers, electronics engineers, vehicle dynamics engineers, etc, have worked very hard, and of course for Gigi Dall´Igna, Ducati Corse Manager and the world class engineer who throughout the three years after having been hired by Claudio Domenicali in 2013, has been able to create an utterly redesigned Ducati Desmosedici bike for MotoGP, whose first model was the Ducati Desmosedici GP15 motorcycle with which a new desmodromic V4 era was born (as a matter of fact, it showed to be capable to challenge the more established Honda and Yamaha machinery during 2015).

And Gigi Dall´Igna has steadily improved it in every conceivable side until begetting the current Ducati Desmosedici GP16, a really state-of-the art 1000 c.c Moto GP bike making up the present Ducati technological pinnacle, with a wonderful 4 cylinder and 16 valves (four valves per cylinder) desmodromic engine which has preserved the classic Ducati DNA regarding awesome top speeds, flawless working at incredibly high rpm, and tremendous acceleration power in straight stretches, but adding to them a much improved cornering (a side in which Japanese bikes are usually superior).

f) It confirms the wise decision and strategy implemented by Claudio Domenicali (Ducati CEO and a highly experienced engineer (he was among other creations one of the architects of the gorgeous liquid-cooled four-stroke Ducati Supermono 550 c.c bike featuring double overhead camshaft with four valves desmodromic single cylinder head, a prodigy of engine craftsmanship manufacture, designed and made — along with the frame and other avantgarde technical solutions— by Massimo Bordi and Claudio Domenicali, in perfect symbiosis with an unutterable beauty of lines layout devised by Pierre Terblanche, Termignoni exhausts, Weber fuel injection, a power of 76 bhp at 10, 500 rpm and a top speed of 225 km/h, qualities which enabled it to win the Isle of Man TT Single Title in 1955) since he hired Gigi Dall´Igna in 2013, naming him General Manager of Ducati Corse.

Claudio Domenicali has fought tooth and nail to turn Ducati into a very competitive brand in MotoGP. 

A GREAT POTENTIAL OF FUTURE AND IMPROVEMENT

The intelligent decision of Claudio Domenicali offering Luigi Dall´Igna in 2013 a post befitting his experience and proficiency such as General Manager of Ducati Corse to significantly improve results in MotoGP World Championships and the support given to the topflight Italian engineer by Claudio Domenicali himself along with Paolo Ciabatti and Davide Tardozzi letting him do things with the necessary time to develop an increasingly strong relationship between factory and track and particularly a full hearted involvement of every member of the Ducati Corse team searching for victories, has finally paid off, winning a race after three years of very hard work in which Dall´Igna has created two real Italian MotoGP thoroughbreds: the Ducati Desmosedici GP15 and the Ducati Desmosedici GP16

Ducati Desmosedici GP16, the masterpiece MotoGP bike designed by Gigi Dall´Igna, the day of its presentation at the Borgo Panigale Auditorium on February 23, 2016. It is the most powerful and fastest MotoGP motorcycle ever made so far. © Ducati Corse

the latter being the current technological spearhead of the Borgo Panigale firm which has just exhibited in the Red Bull Ring at Spielberg (Austria) a hitherto unknown level of power, incredible performance and reliability at top revving, a reference-class maximum speed in straight stretches and very good behaviour on cornering (the classical main drawback of Moto GP Desmosedici Ducati bikes until 2015), to such an extent that Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi and Marc Márquez couldn´t barely keep the slipstream of Dovizioso and Iannone´s Ducatis, whose front wheels performed better on the ground with less wheelies.

But Ducati won´t count their chickens before they hatch or incur in any triumphalism, because in spite of this perfect weekend, they are fully aware that the profile of the Red Bull Ring circuit at Spielberg (Austria) is very adequate for the features and performance of the Ducati Desmosedici GP16 bikes, and the layouts of many other tracks of the MotoGP season are different, in the same way as the race circumstances, so obviously, a lot of work is still to be done and Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda, current leader of the MotoGP World Championship), Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Movistar) and Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Movistar) will probably keep on being the riders to beat in the competition, so chances are that Japanese bikes will go on prevailing in most of the remaining races of this 2016 year, though Ducati is in a position to clinch more victories in the rest of the present 2016 season.

                                     © José Manuel Serrano Esparza

As a matter of fact, the Ducati Desmosedici GP16 has already proved to be an exceedingly competitive bike in all kind of circuits and environments, even with changing atmospheric conditions within a same race, as happened in the Germany MotoGP Grand Prix at Sachsenring (with a first stage of rain and a subsequent one without it which brought about the appearance of dry stretches), where Dovizioso made a great race, particularly at the end of the contest, where he managed to spectacularly overtake Scott Redding in the slope of the 12th bend, finally attaining the third position on the podium.

It´s glaringly obvious that Gigi Dall´Igna has considerably reduced the distance with Honda and Yamaha regarding the possibilities of winning MotoGP races, and this deserves very big accolades for the Borgo Panigale firm, because Honda is with difference the most powerful bike producer firm in the world as to wherewithal of its own to invest on updated technology and R & D, aside from being by far the first motorcycle manufacturer on the globe with a production figure of 20 million bikes s0ld worlwide in 2015, while Yamaha, another giant of the Japanese industry, registered a sale figure of around 6,5 million motorcycles during the same year.

                                     © José Manuel Serrano Esparza   

On its turn, Ducati sold 54,800 bikes during 2015 (an increase of 22%, delivering 9,683 more bikes than in 2014, with a distinctly foreseeable trend of new sales record every year in future)  and is a relatively small firm manufacturing its bikes in a mostly handcrafted way, with very beautiful designs, the best available assortment of components and great power, rideability and speed, embodied by yardstick models like the Ducati Monster, Ducati Multistrada 1200, Ducati Panigale 1299, Ducati Scrambler and others featuring superb V-Twin engines with desmodromic distribution, unsurpassed performance at high rpm and excellent mid torque.

In spite of being a firm with far fewer means than the Japanese more powerful firms of the MotoGP sphere, Ducati has become a very important power to be reckoned with in the races of this thrilling championship after three years of strenuous work implemented by the Ducati Corse Team to achieve this goal.

Andrea Dovizioso has reached a remarkable maturity, experience as a rider and will to improve results, and has already been on the brink of winning some victories, having attained a lot of runners-up and podiums during 2015 and 2016, while Andrea Iannone (who will be in Suzuki next year) has shown a very strong eagerness for victory and after having achieved some podiums and pole positions, has been able to reach this historical MotoGP victory for Ducati at the Red Bull Ring circuit in Spielberg (Austria).

But this is only the beginning of a long-term plan of between four and six years drawn up by Ducati Corse in late 2013 and whose fundamental aim is to win as many races as possible and above all to get the MotoGP World Championship in 2017 or 2018.

And in this regard, the hiring of Jorge Lorenzo (three times winner of the MotoGP World Championship) can undoubtedly be an invaluable reinforcement to rack up a title, without forgetting the increasing chances of Andrea Dovizioso to also win race, something he has boldly struggled for, particularly throughout 2015 and the first half of 2016 season.

Inevitably, a question arises: How is it possible that a relatively small motorcycle brand possessing much less cash-flow, far fewer means of all kind and a significantly lower quantity of employees than the big Japanese firms of the bike sector like Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, etc, can be currently a real contender to win races in the MotoGP World Championship and probably get the title in one or two more years?

The answer is highly complex and easy at the same time.

                            
- First of all, Luigi Dall´Igna´s immense talent has evidently infused boundless enthusiasm to the Ducati Corse team, in which all and each one of the members of the squad know exactly what they have to do and strive upon fulfilling their work as best as possible with maximum level of effort.

And this is a highly praiseworthy fact, because when Dall´Igna arrived at Ducati in late 2013, his first job was to understand the people of Ducati Corse, to weld together the group as a whole, adapting himself to it and subsequently to optimize the efficiency of each person working inside Ducati Corse Team, with a common aim: to significantly improve results in MotoGP World Championship races and take Ducati back to the path of victories, yearned for since the heydays of Casey Stoner (World Champion of MotoGP in 2007 with the extraordinary four-stroke Ducati Desmosedici GP7 800 c.c bike designed by the genius Filippo Preziosi, and whose four-stroke 4-cylinder desmodromic L engine used a gear-driving timing system ), Loris Capirossi, the mythical Troy Bayliss triumph at Cheste MotoGP circuit in Valencia after being offered a one-off entry by Ducati replacing the injured Sete Gibernau, etc.

- The utterly new Ducati MotoGP Project starting from scratch and resulting in the superb Ducati Desmosedici GP15 and specially the masterpiece Ducati Desmosedici GP16, has been a technical feat made by Luigi Dall´Igna, who renounced to a glorious career of almost ten years in Aprilia to manage the Ducati Corse Team with a colossal and very difficult task to tackle: the return of Ducati to the highest positions in the MotoGP World Championship and to create a wholly new highly competitive bike able to do it.

- And Luigi Dall´Igna has been successful through tremendous knowledge and experience on bike engines design and development, very hard work, tenacity, passion, love for the trade and ingenuity, the key factors that have traditionally turned Ducati into a first-rate brand of the motorcycle field since the times of Fabio Taglioni, Franco Farné, Massimo Bordi, Gianluigi Mengoli and many others.

A NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART DESMODROMIC V4 16 VALVE ENGINE AS A TECHNOLOGICAL PLATFORM

                                                     © Ducati Corse
                                                     © Ducati Corse

The Ducati Desmosedici GP16 is the most powerful and fastest MotoGP bike ever made, but its optimized features for MotoGP competition go far beyond the sheer incredible acceleration power in straight stretches, the flawless working at amazingly high revving (probably near 22,000 r.p.m) and the maximum speed attained (around 365-370 km h).

The performance of the Ducati Desmosedici GP16 on the corners has been very improved, with problems of understeering and grip in the midst of turns reduced to negligible levels, thanks to a better new weight distribution and geometry, a shorter wheelbase, a shorter and narrower tank, a narrower top frame and an improved ergonomics, resulting in a much greater control of the bike irrrespective of the pilot riding style. a more slender bottom of the frame in its area under the engine, a more aggresively profiled tail section (shorter than before and further forward) and a much narrower seat on the zone where it couples to the tank.

And the core of the motorcycle is a state-of-the-art very small and light 16 valve liquid-cooled, 90° V4, four-stroke, evo desmodromic DOHC, with four valves per cylinder, which is the benchmark of the competition in terms of power, acceleration in straight areas of the circuits and reached top speed, in addition to generating excellent mid range torque and a stunning ability to accelerate very well when it is necessary to exit a corner with a low gear.

Therefore, Gigi Dall´Igna has accomplished one of the greatest technical and mechanical tour de forces in MotoGP History, solving a myriad of conundrums and managing to create a much rideable Ducati MotoGP bike than the previous models before his arrival to the Borgo Panigale firm, simultaneously increasing very much the performance of the bike as to strength, acceleration power, highest revving and top speed inherent to 16 valve V4 Ducati bikes with desmodromic distribution, whose flagship before Dall´Igna´s coming to Ducati had been the unforgettable Ducati Desmosedici GP7 with which Casey Stoner won the MotoGP World Championship in 2007. 
Casey Stoner, twice winner of the MotoGP World Championship in 2007 (Ducati) and 2011 (Honda) and probably the most spectacular rider ever along with Kevin Schwantz and Valentino Rossiis performing throughout 2016 a very important role as a test rider for Ducati Corse, and thanks to his experience he can provide a huge assistance from the standpoint of the development and improvements in the Ducati Desmosedici GP16 and subsequent models.

Notwithstanding, Stoner (whose instinctive riding style and immense talent to get raw speed, ability to fit to changing conditions and uncommon ability to immediately feel what was happening in the bike were peerless) was the only man able to adapt to that philosophy of wild beast bike featuring an also very sophisticated V4 16 valves exceedingly powerful engine pushing the pilot as a missile, but which was rather complex to ride because of understeering and grip problems in mid turnings, something that would worsen during 2011 and 2012 MotoGP seasons together with the risk of fallings  when Valentino Rossi rode the 800 c.c GP11 and 1000 c.c GP12, so it was evident that wasn´t the best way to noticeably improve results.



It is very important to bear in mind that Luigi Dall´Igna (who during his first professional years in Aprilia — he worked in it since 1992, being soon promoted to head of engine technology and development — was taught a comprehensive wealth of knowledge from Jan Wittevee, great guru of the two-stroke bike racing engines, Ivano Beggio, historical patron of Aprilia throughout 40 years until he sold the firm to Piaggio Group in 2004, and Giuseppe Bernicchia, Superbike Project Director of Aprilia Racing between February 1998 and February  2002) is currently one of the most skilfull and experienced engineers in the world regarding the scope of designing and building engines for racing bikes of different capacities.

And during  his almost ten years tenure as a Technical and Sporting Director of Aprilia, he was the mastermind of such top-notch factory Grand Prix bikes as the two-stroke RSA 125 c.c and the RSA 250 c.c (with the latter he won two 250 c.c World Championships in 2006 and 2007  with Jorge Lorenzo as a rider, with an exceptional performance of the bike in the fast and long corners of Phillip Island and without the usual wheelies off the edge of the track of the RSA 250 on its way up the hill to Lukey Heights, a very fast-flowing and highly technical segment of the circuit which needs meticulous riding and a perfectly balanced bike) and above all the 1,000 c.c Aprilia RSV4 bike featuring a 65º V4 six speed with wet clutch state-of-the art extremely compact engine delivering a power of 180 hp for the standard version and 201 hp for the Superbike version, innovative in every way and the first four cylinder powerplant made by Aprilia, gleaning all of the possible information and experience gained with the two-cylinder Aprilia RSV1000 with the narrow configuration in V and searching for the maximum power feasible to beat their competitors with a new V4-cylinder layout.

The Aprilia RSV4 1000 c.c, whose project began in early 2006 and which was launched into market in 2009, anticipated the future of racing bikes and hyper sports bikes to be used on the racetrack, and was a highly succesful motorcycle, winning three Riders Superbike World Championships (Max Biaggi in 2010 and 2012 and Sylvain Guintoli in 2014) and four Builders Superbike World Championships (2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014).


Dall´Igna managed to get an outstanding compactness of engine, reducing the width of the heads to 250 mm when the common width of the other brands 4 in-line cylinder bikes was 400 mm, thanks to the narrow V configuration in thorough synergy with a highly sophisticated timing system layout chosen and the very low weight of the powerplant attained through the use of a monolithic base that utterly integrates the cylinder sleeves, whose surfaces were previously hardened with a galvanic treatment of a nickel matrix and silicon carbides. and the widespread use of very light components manufactured with the best existing and expensive materials like titanium, as well as boasting some other interesting technological solutions like a removable cassette type gearbox, a very advanced electronics with a Magneti-Marelli ECU whose mission is to control the ignition, the injection and the variable-height intake manifolds, it all complemented by a breakthrough "Ride by Wire" system controlling the servo-operated throttle bodies and three possible mappings that can be selected from the handlebar by the rider.

When in 1984 Honda made its extraordinary NSR500 bike featuring a two-stroke, liquid-cooled, 90º V4 500 c.c engine delivering 160 hp, with a single crank in which the firing order was evenly spaced and an electronically controlled exhaust power valve operating on each of the four cylinders, it was tuned up year after year, in such a way that in 1987 it was the most powerful motorcycle in 500 c.c competition. 

But in 1988 Honda had drawn from the NSR500 powerplant even more horsepower and compressed it into a very small band at the top of the revving range, so the bike became almost unrideable.

Therefore, preserving the powerband and being able to control the motorcycle turned into an almost impossible to solve task.

But Honda managed to do it in 1989, and its major achievement was to significantly tame the then brutal power and character of the NSR500 beast, while at the same time making it even faster and enabling Eddie Lawson to win the 1989 500 c.c World Championship.
Nevertheless, 27 years after that great accomplishment by Honda, the taming of the four-stroke Ducati Desmosedici GP16 attained by Luigi Dall´Igna has been a much more difficult to attain exercise of balance, a technical feat in the boundary of the impossible, because he has been successful preserving the brutal power, acceleration ability in straight stretches, impressive behaviour at the highest rpm, stunning top speed achieved and simultaneously increasing very much the levels of rideability, mid-range torque and a very improved performance and reliability on cornering.

This means to practical effects the symbiosis between two philosophies: 

a) The great feeling of traction, safety on riding, top-notch aerodynamics through intensive wind tunnel work, big control on both the engine and the whole bike in general and the excellent steering geometry reducing the bias to lift the front wheel because of its bigger power inherent to the 1,000 c.c Aprilia RSV4.

b) The desmodromic distribution of the 90º V4 16 valve (four per cylinder) 1,000 c.c of the Desmosedici GP16, the most efficient system at the highest revving but technologically exceedingly complex and needing a very accurate and constant maintenance with highly precise positioning of the valves.

But the Desmosedici GP16 is an entirely Ducati machine, a very advanced evolution of the Ducati Desmosedici GP15, because its core and most important quality is its utterly new 1,000 c.c cutting-edge technology engine (different and far better than the already excellent one boasted by the GP15), delivering a power between 270-290 hp and a top speed of between 365-370 km/h. 

Moreover, a great work has been made on the Ducati Desmosedici GP16 regarding the thermodynamics and optimization of the combustion efficiency, along with an updated frame to optimize performance with Michelin´s new tyres and larger wheels of 17" (instead of the 16.5" ones of the GP15) to accomodate them, a revised direct electronic fuel injection boasting new butterfly throttle bodies and injectors, all of which is centrally controlled by the Ducati EVO 2 TCF (Ducati Throttle Control and Feddback system) and the DST EVO (Ducati´s Seamless Transmission) gearbox.


On the other hand, the GP16 also features specially made Akrapovic exhausts, aerodynamic winglets at the front to boost the motorcycle´s stability, a new twin spar aluminium frame, Brembo brakes, Ohlins suspension at the front and rear, etc, and a lot of work with the satellite teams has been done to better understand the common software ECU Magneti Marelli (sported now by all of the premier class bikes from the different brands) and its electronics, to be more and more competitive. 

Anyway, the Ducati Desmosedici GP16 hasn´t been the work of a single man, but of a whole team: the Ducati Corse, which is by far the most passionate bike racing squad in the world.

Marco Ventura, one of the most knowledgeable and experienced chief mechanics of the Ducati Corse Team. He has spent most of his life among bikes engines, because his father worked in Yamaha for almost three decades, so he has been in contact with motorcycle powerplants, garages and circuits since he was a child. He worked in Bimota for four years, then in Yamaha and subsequently in Ducati, where he began his activity in 2003, fulfilling a great work in the Ducati Xerox SBK Team, where within a few years he was Chief Mechanic of the rider Michel Fabrizio. Later on, he has been chief mechanic of Andrea Iannone inside the Ducati Corse MotoGP Team and technical manager of Team Ducati Corse Development. He´s also one of the teachers and instructors of the MTS (Motorsport Technical School) in collaboration with USAG (a top-notch Italian brand leader in the high performance professional hand tools sector since 1926 and which is currently the flagship of the Stanley & Black Decker Inc. multinational group as well as being technical partner and sponsor of Ducati Corse) for future motorcycle mechanics, providing them with highly professional tools and work on real racing bikes in a learning environment to give them the chance of reaching a high professional profile enabling them to integrate in motorsports teams.


Only the Ducati Corse mechanics, engineers and technicians have the very deep knowledge necessary to be able to take the desmodromic valve control system (using a second rocker arm to pòsitively lift the valve back to its closed position ensuring that there is always piston to valve clearance) to the scientific limits of the physically possible, solving a slew of huge difficulties which grow geometrically when engaging in its installation in a 90º V4 16 valve engine instead of a 8 valve V-Twin and make it much more rideable than before, thanks to a permanent contact among the different departments (engine department, electronics department, chassis department, telemetry department, etc), all of it under the global supervision of Gigi Dall´Igna.



And the Ducati Desmosedici GP16 is the basis for the future, with plenty of room for improvement, particularly as to braking stability, the management of races from start to the finishing lap, to keep the pace without losing grip in the tyres as laps go by, the progressive bike adaptation to the new Michelin tyres by mechanics and engineers ( because the balance from front to rear is utterly different) and likewise the riders, who will have to increasingly adapt their riding styles to them, and an integral grasp of the Magneti Marelli electronics.


© Text and Pictures: José Manuel Serrano Esparza