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FROM DUCATI CORSE PRESS INFORMATION:
Mugello, 1 August 2002
DUCATI CORSE TESTS ‘LABORATORY' VERSION OF THE FUTURE DUCATI DESMOSEDICI MOTOGP AND SUPERBIKE VERSION OF THE NEW 999 AT MUGELLO
Ducati completed its first day of testing behind closed doors today at the Mugello Circuit in Tuscany, in the presence of Ducati Corse employees who came to witness the track debut of two important motorbikes for the Bologna manufacturer.
The first is a sort of ‘laboratory' bike which will be used in the next few months for the preparation of the definitive version of the Desmosedici, scheduled to make its debut in the 2003 MotoGP championship.
The second is the racing version of the brand-new Ducati 999, which is having its first shakedown test in preparation for next year's World Superbike Championship. The 999 is the bike that will defend Ducati's record in the production-based series after the series of victories obtained in the Constructors' championship with the legendary twin-cylinder 851, 888, 916, 996 and 998.
The Desmosedici project is continuing on schedule and this first track test is being used to shakedown some of the innovative solutions for the future MotoGP bike. Test-rider Vittoriano Guareschi completed a total of 32 laps and will continue tomorrow. At the moment the work is focussing on aerodynamics, a fundamental element on a motorbike which in its definitive version will have a power output of more than 220 HP.
"The prototype we are using is going well", declared Vittoriano. "Although the power we have available is currently similar to the twin-cylinder SBK version, the new bodywork is very aerodynamic and it allows us to reach a much higher top speed. We are carrying out several tests with bodywork vents to check the bike's different reactions to side winds and to see what turn-in in curves is like".
The 999 SBK F03 also had its shakedown test at the Mugello circuit.
"The new 999 is great!" declared Ducati DFX's Steve Martin, who is carrying out testing duties today for Ducati Corse. "Even though it is making its track debut, the bike already looks and feels very promising. It is more aerodynamic and handles better than the 998. Compared with the 998 RS ‘client' bike I race with, the latest version of the Testastretta engine has got a lot more torque as well as the same superb driveability".
"Our company is working extremely hard in this period" declared Ducati Corse Managing Director Claudio Domenicali. "To face up to these commitments, Ducati Corse has recently grown in size and we now have around 100 people all working with the same passionate aim. For this reason we thought that it would be a good idea to invite everyone to Mugello to see our ‘creations' in action before the summer holiday break".