Details of Ducati’s GP V4 four-stroke are emerging and there is now confirmation that a road bike based on it " is in the plans " .
First pictures of the race bike are expected to emerge in three to four weeks. They will show a Ducati unlike any other. The bike is currently being wind-tunnel tested to ensure optimum efficiency. It will have a long nose, a minimalist five-tube trellis frame and be about the size of a GP250.
Insiders say it does not stick rigidly to typical Ducati design principles in that looking good is given a lower profile than functioning efficiently.
The fact that it is so small means some riders don’t fit behind its current screen as well as others. Troy Bayliss is reported to fit snugly behind without disrupting the airflow while free-climbing Ben Bostrom’s broad shoulders play havoc with it. That’s not a problem Ducati won’t be able to overcome.
Details have been emerging at Ducati’s financial and business presentation in Bologna over the last couple of days.
Senior insiders there are confirming a road-going V4 is " in the plans " and that they hope it will come to market with a twin-pulse firing order. The final engine arrangement of the race bike will be decided by further testing.
Monday, February 18, 5pm Ducati’s top brass have issued their heaviest hint yet that a V4 road bike is the inevitable result of the firm’s plans to go GP racing with an engine of that configuration.
Ducati Corse’s CEO Claudio Domenicali said he was sure technology used in the project would find its way into road bikes and added: " This was a very important factory for the board of directors when they decided to go with this project. "
Domenicali was speaking at the firm’s Bologna HQ on Monday, as the firm announced its latest business statistics.
The company sold 39,087 bikes in 2000 and 40,016 in 2001, up 2.4 per cent. Profits rose from 10.5 million Euros in 2000 to 10.6 million in 2001.