Ducati has unveiled its new GP11 MotoGP contender, the bike with which Valentino Rossi will make his debut for the Italian team. The team's technical chief Filippo Preziosi hinted that Ducati had significant development plans for the new bike, and said it should address the issues that prevented a title challenge in 2010.
"The GP11 Ducati will start in Sepang [testing] as 'step zero'," he said. "The engine has an evolution in that the goal has been to have a flatter torque curve. The aerodynamics are very similar those you saw in Valencia.
"We've worked on decreasing drag, increasing top speed and helping the fuel consumption. The bodywork has been based around Nicky Hayden [who is broader across the shoulders than Rossi] for his top speed. Also we've concentrated on having less lift on the front."
Ducati introduced winglets to the front of the GP10 at the Sachsenring last July after it was found that the front was only just in contact with the ground at the top end of the speed range after 180mph, and the GP11 features an evolution of that design.
The bike will have a smaller 42mm set of front forks compared to the stiffer 48mm forks that contributed to a series of high-speed falls for Hayden and Casey Stoner last season. The carbon fiber "airbox/chassis" will have more flex in it together with the triple clamps to aid the feel of the front when leaned over.
"We have many things to test in Sepang but first the team will go with two bikes to Jerez on Jan. 17-19 with Franco Battaini and Vito Guareschi, so we can get to Sepang with more of an understanding," Preziosi added.
Italian graphics and helmet design guru Aldo Drudi has followed Valentino Rossi over to Ducati, and has designed the team's new livery.