DUCATI may consider using an all-new 900cc engine when new MotoGP rules revert back to an allowed maximum 1000cc capacity from 2012.
The thinking behind the move is to create the optimum size of motor for best horsepower and fuel consumption, says the teams engineering expert Filippo Preziosi.
With MotoGP bikes restricted to a tank size of just 21 litres, Preziosi believes 1,000cc engines may not be the most efficient way of gaining the best from the Ducati's V4 engine. The exact capacity the company will use has yet to be determined; a 930cc engine is also to be in the mix, says Prezioso.
"We have started the conceptual design to define the best displacement for power delivery and fuel consumption, we are concentrating on this," Preziosi said. "It is not clear that 1,000cc is the best, there is a compromise. A 900cc is very possible, maybe even a 930. And perhaps the displacement will change year-by-year depending on development. Once we have made the final decision I expect a prototype of the new bike to be ready for testing in mid-2011."
Differing capacity machines lining up on the MotoGP grid in 2012? Now there's something to put a cat amongst the pigeons.