Ducati launches 2010 bike
14 January 2010 – Wednesday saw Ducati launch the bike with which it hopes to return to the top of the championship this year. With riders and senior team members present at the Italian ski resort of Madonna di Campiglio for the team's annual pre-season gathering, the squad has confidence in a bike which it believes is easier to ride than that of last season.
With Nicky Hayden having endured several lacklustre results last year, coupled with difficulties suffered by stand-in rider Mika Kallio, question marks were raised over the rideability of the Ducati.
"Faith is the key word that Ducati are using in looking ahead to 2010, in a variety of aspects," commented Claudio Domenicali, General Manager for the team. "We have a team that certainly makes us think we can approach the championship with great hope. Nicky and Casey are two riders who don't need any type of introduction.
"2009 was a year - even from a sporting perspective - that was difficult and complicated. Nicky found things harder than he or we expected but he gave us a great lesson because he never lost his good attitude, he always had a spirit of great optimism and positivity. We were able to put at his disposition a bike that permitted him to obtain results that were in-line with his talent. He gave us a podium at Indianapolis and he kept improving the whole season."
Recognising both the struggles for 2006 Champion Hayden on-track as well as those for 2007 Champion Stoner, who was forced to miss three races mid-season due to illness, Domenicali is positive that this year's bike will be generally easier to manage.
"We are attempting to make the bike more rideable," he continued. "This has to do with the firing order. We have an engine that, since the switch to 800s, utilised a screamer setup; this has permitted us to have maximum power, which was very important and was probably fundamental with the results that we've had in 2007, 2008 and 2009, but at a certain point we began to wonder whether it could be worthwhile to re-test a way which we'd already followed in the past.
"The last 1000cc engines that we made in 2005 and 2006 used a big-bang firing order and this gave us important rideability. We re-tested that way, first trying it on the dyno, then with Vittoriano Guareschi in his previous role as test rider and then with Nicky and Casey. We think we have a bike for 2010 with better traction and that therefore makes it easier for us to find a good setup."