Ducati: No plans to radically update Casey Stoner's 800

Published: 08 July 2007

Ducati won’t make be making any significant changes to Casey Stoner’s impressive GP7 800 machine as the Australian heads into the second half of the MotoGP world championship campaign in Germany on July 15, 2007.

Casey Stoner has won five out of nine races in 2007 and starts the German MotoGP at the Sachsenring holding a 21-point lead over main title rival Valentino Rossi.

Not surprising given his form and results so far, Casey Stoner has been insistent that he doesn’t want any radical changes made to his V4 machine for the remainder of the season.

Ducati have been simply refining Casey Stoner’s machine in the opening nine races, while rivals like Yamaha and Honda have been forced into considering radical changes to counter the Bologna factory’s successful package.

Yamaha is currently working on a new engine featuring pneumatic valves that Rossi is expected to test after the Czech Republic MotoGP in Brno.

Stoner’s Marlboro Ducati team boss Livio Suppo said: “At the moment Casey is pretty happy with what he has. The engine made specifically for Loris (Capirossi) was available to him but he didn’t want to test it.

“This is smart because the more a rider gets used to what they have then the more they can go faster. The more you change it’s easier to get confused.”

Recent engine upgrades have seen Valentino Rossi’s factory Yamaha YZR-M1 close the gap on Ducati’s blistering top speed, but Suppo said every manufacturer was still playing catch-up to Ducati in terms of engine performance.

“They are catching but they are still behind. Yamaha is growing but they are still not as fast as us,” said Livio Suppo, who shares Casey Stoner’s frustration that the fundamental reason for Stoner’s success in 2007 is down to the sheer top speed and acceleration of the GP7.

“Top speed is a big help to overtake but not for a fast lap time. To do a fast lap time you have to ride the bike perfectly and that’s what Casey has done,” added Livio Suppo.

One of Casey Stoner’s requests to Ducati has been for a smaller fairing to stop him being buffeted around so much in blustery condition.

It was a problem he encountered in finishing second behind Valentino Rossi in last month’s Dutch MotoGP in Assen and he confirmed to MCN after the race that Ducati has been working on a new aerodynamic package since the start of the season.

An insider revealed Ducati has already got a fully sorted fairing design that is specifically designed for tracks where the need for high speed pace is less important.

The reason the firm hasn't brought the fairing to the track yet is because Ducati does not have enough data to prove it works well enough to be worth the effort.

The insider said: "This is technology that just need to be proven by doing testing. It's already developed and ready to go, but unless the gains can be proven to work they will just have to wait."