This is the first look at the factory Ducati GP11 Valentino Rossi hopes will help him capture a tenth Grand Prix world title this year.
Unveiled at the spectacular Madonna di Campiglio ski resort in Italy, it is the first time the world has seen Rossi’s GP11 in full livery.
When he made his Ducati debut at Valencia back in early November, Rossi had to ride a plain black bike because of his contract with Yamaha.
The new bike features a new engine and designer Filippo Preziosi said: “The major changes are in the engine. We have an evolution inside and outside the engine and the goal is to have a flatter and more favourable torque curve. So there is an extension of the interval between maximum torque and power, which will be broader than in the past.”
A new chassis has also been introduced to try and help cure some of the chronic front-end issues that dogged Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden in 2010.
One of the most obvious visible differences is the new bodywork featuring winglets that Rossi tried on his Valencia debut last year.
Preziosi added: “The goal now instead of decreasing drag is to improve the maximum speed and cut down on fuel consumption. And to reduce as much as possible the front lift of the bike so as to be able to give power without having the bike lift.”
Electronics have also been upgraded with improvements in the anti-wheelie system and traction control.
The GP11 will be back in action in Jerez next week with development duo Vittoriano Guareschi and Franco Battaini undertaking further evaluation of new parts before Rossi and Hayden return to the track at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia on February 1.
See next week’s MCN for full coverage of the Ducati team launch.