Ducati Introduces Team and New Desmosedici GP16 MotoGP Bike

Manufacturer says its target is to finish in the top positions in all 18 rounds.

2016 Ducati MotoGP Team

The Ducati team has set high targets for 2016, but suggests that the recently introduced GP16 is up to the challenge. General Director of Ducati Corse Gigi Dall’Igna (top right), says, “We will fall in love of this bike.”

After a very positive 2015 season with production bike sales exceeding the record number of 50,000 units and nine podium finishes in MotoGP, Ducati is looking to confirm its position in 2016, and it plans to do that with the Desmosedici GP16 that was officially unveiled today in Bologna, Italy. "We will fall in love of this bike", says Gigi Dall'Igna, General Director of Ducati Corse. "Our target is to finish in the top positions in all the 18 rounds," he adds.

Ducati Desmosedici GP16 racebike at the introduction

The star of Ducati’s 2016 team presentation, the Desmosedici GP16.

Updated from the inside out, the GP16 features a new livery reminiscent of the new Ferrari F1 car, with the double wings colored in white and red making this bike different from all the competitors on the grid, if not most GP bikes that came before it. When asked about them and the GP16, Dall’Igna says that, “Maybe the configuration of the wings can change during the season according to the characteristics of the track, but we are proud of the uniqueness of our bike.”

Ducati Desmosedici GP16 racebike winglets

Ducati has made the winglets on the GP16 look more like permanent fixtures, with each of the four wings painted to match the bike’s graphics. Still, according to Dall’Igna, the configuration could change depending on the track.

Dall’Igna continues, adding that, “The Desmo GP16 is an evolution of the GP15. The exercise of the engineers this year was to adapt the bike to the new regulations. Regarding the single ECU, we are ready for the start of the season, because in the past two years we have studied the Open software of the Ducati satellite teams, which was the base of the current software of Magneti Marelli. The Michelin tires have changed throughout the season, so we still need to adjust the setup. I think that the first part of 2016 will be a progressive adjustment to the new tires. The riders will need to adapt their riding style as well.”

The engine is still believed to be the strongest point of Ducati, with Dall’Igna going on to say that, “We are superior compared to our competitors. Not only in regard to the power, but also the drivability.” That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement, of course, with the Ducati Corse boss adding that, “On the contrary, we need to work on the corner exit to have more acceleration. The Desmo GP16 starts with some advantages in terms of engine and chassis, but it has the potential of growth that we will use throughout the season.”

Another big change for the GP16 is that its seamless gearbox is on all the gears and not only up to fifth gear, as it was on the previous version. And, “The new bike allows to make different setups that fit better the Michelin tires,” Dall’Igna says.

Ducati MotoGP Team Andrea Dovizioso studio

Andrea Dovizioso says that he lost some confidence last year when the team started to reach the limits of the GP15, but is already feeling comfortable on the GP16 and Michelin tires. “The feeling is good—it’s lighter,” he says.

The riders’ feedback confirms the optimism of the engineers. “We are here to win,” stated Andrea Dovizioso, who is entering his fourth season with Ducati. “Last year we started with a complete new bike, but after a strong start, we had some difficulties. It was normal, considering the youth of the project. We discovered the limits of the GP15 and with the problems I also lost some confidence. This year we are working on the details to fight at the top and we are very motivated. In Australia I found a good feeling with the Michelin tires. In Qatar we will confirm the good job done, but the new changes are positive and the front responds well. The feeling is good—it’s lighter.”

"The new bike is competitive," added Andrea Iannone, who would go on to say that, "This season we need to meet the expectations. Time goes by and we cannot postpone the results. Last year we improved progressively, and I feel strong, but I'm humble and I always try to learn from the other riders. From Andrea , for example, I learned the consistency. What can I learn from Casey Stoner? He is a great champion. Our riding style is similar, in the way that we are instinctive. I'm happy that he is the Ducati test rider and I would be happy if he decides to return racing."

Ducati MotoGP Team Andrea Iannone studio

Andrea Iannone says that the new bike feels competitive, and knows that it’s time to start making the results match the Ducati’s capabilities. “Time goes by and we cannot postpone the results,” he says.

Speaking of Casey Stoner, he may have been absent from the team presentation, but he was still mentioned as many times as the bike itself. Described as a “super test rider,” it’s been suggested that he could potentially be entered in the opening round of the 2016 season in Qatar as a wild card, but Ducati top management denied the possibility.

“Our priority is to develop the Desmo 16 and Casey knows it,” says Dall’Igna, “He will test in Qatar after the official test. He is not physically fit to face a race weekend but above all we are focused on the development, and a race could distract from our main purpose. Casey’s feedback is very important and he can be of great help to our factory riders as he was in Phillip Island. From the service road along the track he observed our bike and the competitors, the lines, and the riding styles.”

Winning is the number one priority at Ducati and all the efforts go in this direction. The return of Casey Stoner is crucial for the development and—at the same time—it is also important to avoid more pressure on the factory riders, since there’s already enough of that to go around. Speaking of, with the contracts for the top riders expiring at the end of the season, the riders market is already hot and there is no doubt that this is a destabilizing element. Ducati admitted that it has spoken with Lorenzo and other riders, but denies having made Lorenzo an official offer.

In the end, a lot will be riding on the GP16 and all eyes will be on its performance in the opening rounds. Will it work as well as it looks? We’re excited to find out.

Photo #1

The Ducati team has set high targets for 2016, but suggests that the recently introduced GP16 is up to the challenge. General Director of Ducati Corse Gigi Dall?Igna (top right), says, ?We will fall in love of this bike.?Courtesy of Ducati

Photo #2

he star of Ducati?s 2016 team presentation, the Desmosedici GP16.Courtesy of Ducati

Photo #3

Andrea Dovizioso says that he lost some confidence last year when the team started to reach the limits of the GP15, but is already feeling comfortable on the GP16 and Michelin tires. ?The feeling is good?it?s lighter,? he says.Courtesy of Ducati

Photo #4

Andrea Iannone says that the new bike feels competitive, and knows that it?s time to start making the results match the Ducati?s capabilities. ?Time goes by and we cannot postpone the results,? he says.Courtesy of Ducati

Photo #5

Ducati has made the winglets on the GP16 look more like permanent fixtures, with each of the four wings painted to match the bike?s graphics. Still, according to Dall?Igna, the configuration could change depending on the track.Courtesy of Ducati

Photo #6

Close-up of winglets on Dovizioso's racebike.Courtesy of Ducati

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Andrea Iannone's #29 GP16 features a new livery.Courtesy of Ducati

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Andrea Iannone's #29 GP16 features a new livery.Courtesy of Ducati

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Andrea Iannone's #29 GP16 features a new livery.Courtesy of Ducati

Photo #10

Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso with the new GP16.Courtesy of Ducati