Ducati Motor general manager...
Ducati Motor general manager Claudio Domenicali says the big changes to the GP10 Desmosedici are intended to "increase the ability of the bike to adapt to different tracks and have a more repeatable setup."
"The new engine is changed completely the character of the bike. For example, in Valencia for the race, Casey used the swingarm in aluminum with the screaming engine, the GP09. When he tried the GP10, starting with the aluminum, and after a half day changed and put in the carbon swingarm, because the swingarm is more stiff, but with the new engine stiffer is more grip. With the GP09, when put the carbon fiber swingarm is necessary have a perfect flat track, perfect conditions for grip and improve the performance compared to aluminum. But when the track is not perfect and the grip is not perfect it's not possible to use, because the bike loses grip very, very quickly. But with the new engine, wants the carbon, because is very easy to understand when lose the grip."
Hayden doesn't entirely agree with Guareschi. He said the GP10 engine wasn't that big a difference, that it was "mainly the torque on the bottom. I like the predictability and the feeling." The major difference to Hayden is that the engine has more traction, especially in mixed conditions, on cold tracks. "I mean, that's the thing, so many of our races are at tracks where it's rained all night Saturday, maybe the track is dry for Sunday," Hayden said. "But we get a lot of races where it's...I mean, how many times, how many places where it's raining off and on? Wet, dry. We hope this will definitely make it better in these conditions." There was one drawback, however. "It did hurt top speed a little bit more than I'd like; I want more top speed. And we really don't know what other guys got for the new rules too," he added in reference to the new engine rules mandating only six for the entire season, "because that's a big deal. Man, that's not a lot for 18 races." On that point he'll get no argument from Ducati general manager Claudio Domenicali.
Filippo Preziosi (right),...
Filippo Preziosi (right), the genius behind the Desmosedici, and new team manager Vito Guareschi (left), former Ducati MotoGP test rider, both carefully studied the riding styles of Stoner and Hayden when trying to determine the GP09's faults and instill solutions into the GP10.
The Ducati boss said that to increase engine life to 1600 kilometers (1000 miles) on a motor that revs to 19,000 rpm "isn't a simple assignment. Filippo (Preziosi, the genius behind the Desmosedici) and his boys had big challenges in this area, and I'd say that with time, we'll start the races with something that's radically changed from before." To Domenicali the second biggest difference was Ducati's attempt to "make the bike more rideable. This has to do with the firing order. We have a motor that, since the switch to 800s, utilized a screamer set-up. This has permitted us to have maximum power, which was very important and was probably fundamental with the results that we've had in 2007, 2008 and 2009, but at a certain point, we began to wonder whether it could be worthwhile to re-test a way that we'd already followed in the past.
"The last 990cc motors that we made in 2005 and 2006 used a big bang firing order, and this gave us important rideability. We re-tested that way, first trying it on the dyno, then with Vittoriano Guareschi in his previous role as test rider and then with Nicky and Casey. We think we have a bike for 2010 with better traction, and that therefore makes it easier for us to find a good set-up. Perhaps it's best to ask Nicky and Casey what 'easier' means in this case, but it's part of the work to in some way to increase the ability of the bike to adapt to different tracks and have a more repeatable setup."
Nicky Hayden liked the GP10's...
Nicky Hayden liked the GP10's more versatile engine characteristics from its big bang firing order, and hopes that it will improve his chances in less-than-optimum weather conditions.
As different as the engine is, the bigger change is to the chassis. Domenicali said that to make it easier to ride, they've worked to "eliminate the bike's squatting, which is why the entire rear portion of the bike was redesigned. This bike has a rear structure that carries the rider-which we call the seat support-and that also supports the swingarm. That part was redesigned to have six mounting points instead of four, and this makes the bike more rigid in some way, and guarantees a better rideability and improved rigidity."
The bike looks different; a new fairing that debuted late in the year at Estoril is less sensitive to lateral winds. "This package, in addition to a series of minor modifications to the electronics, etc., represents the improvement. We have a group of over 100 people who work continuously on the improvement of the bike, so the principal modifications are the indicators, but in reality, following the riders' input, we try to continuously adapt and improve the bike."
The GP10's revamped fairing...
The GP10's revamped fairing design is aimed at reducing sensitivity to crosswinds at speed. Hayden will be doing further wind tunnel work to help increase his top speed potential.
Nothing but the latest racing...
Nothing but the latest racing technology up front for the Desmosedici GP10, including Öhlins' latest TTX fork and Brembo carbon/carbon brakes. Bridgestone's superb racing rubber has come a long way in the span of six years.
Domenicali didn't mention the electronics, but everyone else on the team did. The mythology surrounding Stoner was that he was a master of traction control, that he could get the Desmo to the middle of the corner and whack the throttle open. He's consistently denied it and the others on the team agreed.
"Every time I go out on the bike in a session I'm always asking them to turn it down," said Stoner. "I don't like the feeling of the engine cuts because I don't get as much sensitivity out of the rear tire as when they are on. [Traction control is] better for me when the grip is terrible like in Qatar; at the very first race we had there when the track was really dirty. It gives a little bit more safety. But I find when you have too many cuts that when you pick the bike up and you want the power it is not there. It is still allowing you to slowly and progressively get on the gas and I just don't like that feeling.