There was a packed schedule again on the second day of Wrooom 2010 at Madonna di Campiglio today, with Claudio Domenicali coming under the spotlight in this morning's press conference. The General Manager of Ducati Motor later joined Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden on the spectacular Patascoss slope to unveil the new Ducati Desmosedici GP10, the Ducati Marlboro Team's latest weapon in the chase for the MotoGP title, against the dramatic backdrop of the Dolomites - recently added by Unesco to their World Natural Heritage list.
“Faith is the key word that Ducati are using in looking ahead to 2010, in a variety of aspects,” said Domenicali. "We have a team that certainly makes us think we can approach the championship with great hope. Nicky and Casey are two riders who don’t need any type of introduction. We have faith in the company, because it has a solid, stable base in the Bonomi family, and it’s a company that has managed 2009 well: the motorcycle market had a big decline in 2009 — the market declined by over 30 percent, a very heavy, difficult amount. But our company managed very well and we dropped 'only' 18 percent. In fact, in 2009, we had the largest share that the company has ever enjoyed historically. So also from the economic point of view, the company knew how to control very carefully its costs and manage 2009 well. For example, we didn’t cut or eliminate any development of future models, something that’s fundamental for the future health of the company. We have faith in the championship, because I see that Carmelo Ezpeleta (CEO, Dorna Sports) — here with us — has come through a truly difficult moment, with great character. He’s always been present in person, and he’s somebody with whom you can have a relationship and a dialogue, so it’s very important for our company to be present in a championship run in this manner and Carmelo is thanked personally for this. We have faith in our sponsors, because 2009, as I said, has been very difficult and yet we’ve managed to continue to work very well with them. We have a very important main sponsor in Marlboro and other important partners like Telecom, Generali, Enel, Riello ups, that have been with us and grown with us over a long period of time. We also have faith in the media, who are well represented in this sport.”
Domenicali continued by discussing the recent changes to Ducati Marlboro Team management.
"2009 was a year — even from a sporting perspective — that was difficult and complicated. Nicky found things harder than he or we expected but he gave us a great lesson because he never lost his good attitude, he always had a spirit of great optimism and positivity. We were able to put at his disposition a bike that permitted him to obtain results that were in line with his talent. He gave us a podium at Indianapolis and he kept improving the whole season. Casey was very fast from the start, as he always is, and had great potential. Of course what happened at mid-season affected the season, but I believe that everyone — from Casey to us — has described what happened and clarified it so it seems useless for me to continue to give details. The important thing, in my opinion, is that today we have Casey with us, probably in the best health we’ve ever seen him. We have reason for optimism for both riders. There have also been some changes to the management, with Alessandro Cicognani and Vittoriano Guareschi coming in, having shown themselves in the team to have competence and perhaps even bring things that were missing. It’s I believe that this important change leaves the company in a solid situation, also because it’s in some way personalized by an incredible talent as Filippo Preziosi, who is the true engine of all our racing activities, and he remains safe, solid, and dedicated. I believe it’s a change in the continuity, if we can define it that way.
And, of course, he detailed some of the main changes to the Ducati Desmosedici GP10.
"The main changes to the bike are based on the rule changes, so the major part of the work was done precisely to make it perform better using only six engines for the entire championship. It’s a very important difference, because we were used to using more-or-less one engine per race, so to switch from eighteen engines to six is a very important adjustment. To go 1,600 kilometers with an engine that goes over 19,000 rpm isn’t a simple assignment. All of the main parts were redesigned — pistons, rods, crankshaft, the basics. It’s an engine with which our main objective was to minimize the loss of power to increase durability. It was a change that will be very useful and interesting, also because normally in racing, durability isn’t the principal objective. Perhaps this new objective has enabled us to perform a series of experiments that will also be interesting for the new production engines that we’re developing because at this point they become almost comparable. For a production engine, 2,000 kilometers of track use is a severe challenge so we start to think that the race engine durability is comparable with production engines. The second big news isn’t related to the rules, but to our 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 setup. 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 1000cc 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 setup. Another part of the work was dedicated to the chassis. In the pursuit of ease of use, we’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; this makes the bike more rigid in a way and it guarantees better rideability and improved rigidity. With respect to the bike we introduced last year, this bike is also aesthetically different because of the redesigned fairing but we already saw that at Estoril."