Open class project vital for Ducati future

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Ducati’s revamped Desmosedici machine that will be raced in the new Open category in MotoGP next season is an essential project geared at preparing the Bologna factory for a potential major rule change in the future.

South American Yonny Hernandez will race the new bike as part of the Pramac squad in 2013.

The project will essentially be this year’s GP13 model but featuring 24 litres and the standard Dorna-supplied ECU hardware and software.

Hernandez can also have access to 12 engines.

Ducati’s factory prototype 1000cc Desmosedici that Andrea Dovizioso, Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Iannone will race must be restricted to 20 litres, five engines and the controlled ECU hardware but software strategies will remain open for the factory bikes.

Honda has rolled out its production RCV1000R and Yamaha has the FTR-Yamaha in the Open class, with many believing all major brands are keeping one eye on the future.

It has long been rumoured that Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta wants to introduce controlled hardware and software for electronics from 2017 onwards.

And Ducati boss Gigi Dall’Igna said it is imperative that the Bologna factory is the best prepared as possible for any future regulation tweaks.

He said: “The Open class will be the future of MotoGP and for me this is really important to be in advance with this project to be ready when the rules will be the only rule. Honda and Yamaha have also started with the Open class.”

Asked whether he was happy with the possibility of standard software being introduced in the future, Dall’Igna added: “This could be the future rules of MotoGP. We would like to develop as much as possible our knowledge from racing bikes. The electronics is one of the most important parts of the evolution in the past and it is important to develop in that area. Not only for racing but also with the production bike. It is not the best solution but we have to play with the rules that will be there.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt