Sunday, January 15, 2012

Guareschi: starting over from scratch

So far we have heard from both factory Ducati riders, the CEO, the Director General and the Technical Director (Rossi, Hayden, Del Torchio, Domenicali, and Preziosi, respectively).  Today it was the turn of team manager Vittoriano Guareschi to hold a press conference at Wrooom.

"We clearly need to get results this year - Vitto began - Perhaps we won't be winning right away, but we must be challenging for the podium."

The key to all of this, of course, is the new bike. "We needed to start from scratch.  The GP12 is a pure prototype.  We did every test possible with the GP11.1, and we gathered a tremendous amount of data for the design of a completely new bike."

The drastic changes were also out of necessity. "We reached the setup limits of the old bike and we needed to go beyond them, leading us to some important changes.  This was only possible if we redesigned the entire bike, since simple modifications weren't sufficient. For example, the original frame was built to house the specific engine from that time.  If we wanted more freedom to change things, we needed to alter the engine cases.  It was a similar situation with the seat position.  Valentino was asking for a change all season long, but to improve the situation we needed to move some vital parts, and it was much more complicated than a simple modification." 

Before flying to Sepang, the new bike will debut next week in Spain. "I'll be in Jerez to supervise the test with Battaini and Checa.  The former will concentrate on reliability, and the latter on performance.  Franco will do long runs to ensure that the bikes are assembled properly and the temperatures are within normal parameters.  Carlos will try different setups with the chassis."

Once again, Valentino and 'his' team will be vital to the development process. "Up until last season, Valentino and his group were our competition.  It took a year to get to know them better, and although we went through many difficult periods together, we emerged stronger and more united.  We came through it well, despite the results on track."

Rossi has said he would like to stay at Ducati, but admitted that anything could happen with so many contracts expiring. "I'd be disappointed if we had to change our group.  Right now we might not look so great, but when the results come, nobody will want to change teams."

An eye must also be kept on the long term future. "We will need a generation change, and Moto2 has some good, young riders.  Aside from Marquez, I really like Scott Redding.  In Moto2 he is being penalized by his physical size, but I think he could be fast on a MotoGP bike.  I also hope the arrival of CRT's can help young riders move up to the premier class."

Something that seems easier in World Superbike, a series which seems to be heading in the opposite direction. "Perhaps we both need to take a step back.  Maybe Superbike should go closer to production machinery.  It would be cheaper for the manufacturers and the teams, allowing riders easier access to the racing and giving teams more choices."

And MotoGP would have to take some steps as well. "We are thinking about electronics, which many people would like to limit.  This can be done while still allowing for certain parameters to be personalized; things like injection and spark timing.  You could also limit the RPM's.  The future of our sport is a return to the past, we when had full grids and fairly even competition.  But we need to do this without taking away the possibility for research and development, because that's a fundamental reason for our participation. We need rules which level out the performance and allow for cost savings."

source: GP One

Related Post

Digg Google Bookmarks reddit Mixx StumbleUpon Technorati Yahoo! Buzz DesignFloat Delicious BlinkList Furl