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Exclusive Interview with Paolo Ciabatti Ducati Corse’s MotoGP Project Director 19 October, 2014

Posted by Taufik in Ducati, interview, motogp.
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Dear Brothers , It has been very Interesting year for Ducati In 2014 season of MotoGP. With the full Involvement of former Aprillia WSBK Chief Gigi Dall’Igna, Ducati little by little Try to solve their last years’s problem. With the advantage of taking Open Class option, Ducati have obviously more freedom to develope bike during the season and we can see Ducati GP14 transform to GP14.1 and Gp14.2. To knowing further about Ducati Corse update, I spoke to Ducati Corse’s MotoGP Project Director, Paolo Ciabatti in a nearly 15 minutes long Interview at Ducati Hospitality Motegi Circuit last week saturday . . . we start with  Ducati Desmosedici GP14.2 development’s background . . . lets check it out

TMC: It Appears that Ducati’s Problems is a little bit solved with the latest update  . . . The GP 14.2. Both Dovi an Iannone I think the guys close the gap with Honda and Yamaha. Can You tell me about the update, what is the main idea of the GP 14.2 ?

Paolo Ciabatti : First of all, you know we start this season with the GP14 and as you know the bike was almost totally design already by the end of last year when  Mr Dall’Igna joint the Ducati Corse. Gigi come on board at the end of November. At the time obviously it took some time for him sometimes to understand and a little bit about Ducati and the GP14, what kind of technology what available at the company but actually and luckily was very pleased with what he found at the Ducati Corse and he immediately  starting to intervene on the GP 14 with some Upgrade and the Changes on the Bike.

So we start the season obviously with some better result we got the podium with Dovi in Austin but and we kept bringing some new Improvement for the season, we brought  different fairing, we brought new exhaust system obviously we develop the software. But we came to a point when the bike have not any further possibility to try different setup because engine and frame combination did not allowed for any possibility to try to move in different way of the engine to try different central gravity etc etc.

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So it was decided to make further development of the GP14 which we call the GP14.2. Basicly we need design the part of the engine in order to make the bike narrower, so if you can look of the bike you see that narrow shape of the Tank and also narrow frame. The Frame is difference. Basically we work on the the rear end of the bike . . . we make  . .  i dont want to make too much on the the details but we modified in a way that it could be accommodate in the narrow frame. So Obviously this brought better ergonomics of the bike so the riders more comfortable when riding the GP14.2 he can move on the bike with more freedom than do at the GP14.

Also this frame – engine combination give us also more room to try different setup which we couldn’t try any more with the GP14. so its, I would say the main is a lot of small and not so small changes on the GP14 that we could carried over also to the GP14.2 and what you can see is lets say in general better ergonomics and for the riders can move more freely n the bike, he also able to ride in the different style and also it set additional possibility to try different setup . This is the last update of the GP14 because obviously  at the same time we are working on the GP15. The GP is going to be a brand new bike with the brand new engine

dovi-2

TMC: I hear from the guys, i mean Dovi . . . he said, even with the GP14.2 they still have the understeer problem with the bike

Paolo Ciabatti : Yes , You Know the problem is  a little bit improve. as You could see at the last three or four races even with the GP14 i think we were able to close the gap to the leaders and fighting close to the podium and also reduce the gap to less than tenth second from the winner. So i think the GP14 it self still retaining the problem of the under steering has been improve also and the other side, the rider have been adapting a little bit their riding style to the feature and characteristic of the bike and they came and know that you need to ride the GP14 is slightly different way from more conventional bike . But The bike proven tobe very fast in a single lap so we were basically qualifying in a second position for the last few races. still In the race is not an easy as could see in Misano Dovi was fighting with Pedrosa until finish line. even in the races before we are closing the gap. Still under-steering is there but is not as bad as it was at the begining of the season.

TMC : If i can get the conclusion fo ducati 14.2 is that Ducati is more focus to the rideability rather than performance of the engine, is it right?

PaoloCiabatti : Not really, Honestly we working 360 degrees . .  so we always looking for the better performances of the engine and obviously also we are working on improving significantly the software, at the same time obviously we know there is a problem which is very obviously under-steering which is preventing the riders from be able to ride the bike in an easier way so putting less physical effort in the riding  and we are working also on that

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so i don’t say that we are concentrating in one thing over the other thing because we have resources where cheerfully concentrating on the chassis and also resources who fully concentrating on engine and on the electronics. So I know  it look like maybe we try to do too many things together but in the end its you know Ducati Corse is about over 100 peoples is not as big maybe Japanese race departments but still we have people who can concentrate on their own task  and bring improvements in any areas together

TMC : Oke we now talk about next year is there any plan of Ducati to sold and or lend the bike for the Open Class

Paolo Ciabatti : Yes we actually . . . if you can see that the avintia Racing has already one bike For Hector Barbera from aragon. Its GP 14 with Open Software

TMC: without the Seamless gearbox?

Paolo Ciabatti : It Does have the seamless gearbox. Ya its a full GP14 wuth the seamless gearbox the only different is the software.  So we have a contrack with them for the next Year so  they will race with two riders . We have two riders entering the championship with GP14 Open. Also now and also for the next season (2015) and obviously we will continue with the Pramac racing

TMC : IS there any other team whis is interesting ( on the GP14 Open for next season )

Paolo Ciabatti : Well first of all we dont have any capacity to supply more. Because obviously it bringing alot of part, and the logistic, and engineering to building at the Factory so we would not have any capacity  to do more. I Think six ducati is a good number. i think also for the organizer is good because you only have only 22 entry , so if you have six is already enough

TMC : We know that Suzuki and aprillia will joining (motogp) next year what doyou think about this phenomena?

Paolo Ciabatti : O we are very pleased that more manufacturer involved in the championship obviously you know Suzuki we know since quite sometime because they announce the program i think last year and they already been testing. Aprillia is already in the series with the ART Team and now they will come with the direct involvement I think it can only beneficiation for the championship with more manufacturers direct involve. In the end motoGP is a showcase for manufacturer to show their technical capability . And for the spectators i think the more variety of brands and riders are on the grids hopefully in a very competitive level  Then I think the battle is the show and more value this championship has for all the stakeholders involved

TMC : what doyou think about the performance of Dovizioso and Iannone ?

Paolo Ciabatti : You mean here in Motegi or so far?

TMC : So far

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Paolo Ciabatti : Dovizioso is doing a great job I thing he’s probably in his best perform of his carrier. He is very fast, extremely fast , he’s very consistent , he makes a very few mistakes,  and he’s also a very good communication on the technical very precise with our engineers , he ‘s give a very precise feedback, he very precise him self as a person he is trying to explain the best possible way and get the feedback from engineers, so he is proven to be one of the fastest rider in MotoGP

According with our opinion, Iannone is a younger rider he’s only at the second season with motogp, his rookie season with ducati but the last year is difficult for ducati because we’re not competitive and also for andrea iannone his first season to lears also he has some Injuries. But this year he is prove tobe very fast very competitive , very hard fighter and we are very please to have both of andreas in factory team next year. i thing they are very good combination , very different characters, we have a competitive team in the series of 2015 and hopefully a competitive bike of GP15

TMC : What doyou think about Gigi so far?

Paolo Ciabatti : He’s My boss so i can only say . . . (laughting) hehe Im joking

gigi

I was really hopping last year that  Gigi would accept the offer from ducati because I know gigi since many years before joining ducati. back in 2013 i was  managing world superbike Championship for ducati in six years and Gigi was my Counterparts representing aprillia, so we have change to meet many time, I had possibility to really get to  know quite  well and he’s very strong technical Leader , He has a very great idea, he has big ambitions because obviously he has been winning 125 , 250 superbike, but never in motogp .

so for him its really a motivation  for his carrier to be able to get to  winning in MotoGP its also the same target for Ducati. Obviously we were winning in MotoGP until 2010  . . . wining race  , . . wining championship in 2007 as you well remember  . . . so we want to be back , audi want Ducati tobe back in the winning circle and they (Audi)  Said that Gigi is one of a few people in the world i would say that has such a wide knowledge experience of racing and such a strong technical back ground . And I think he’s just the right person to lead Ducati Corse as a general manager and as a technical director

 

Hopefully its usefull for you . .

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1. vyzex - 1 January, 2015

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