Aluminium chassis for Rossi's Ducati

Valentino Rossi to race with aluminium chassis at Aragon this weekend

VALENTINO ROSSI will use a new aluminium chassis at Aragon this weekend, after finding an improved front end feeling in the 1000cc tests at Mugello last week.

The test on the evolving machine gave Rossi some positive hope for the rest of his difficult 2011 campaign and towards the next generation of 1000cc bikes next season. “We tried something different in the bike to improve the front feeling and turning, I was a bit faster than the last time but especially the feeling is quite good,” said Rossi. “So we are looking forward.”

Breaking the speculation of the aluminium frame, Rossi clarified: “It’s not a frame. The philosophy of Ducati remains the same. The front part of the bike is a bit different and is aluminium and not carbon fibre like it was before, it’s a question of time with regards to the material. We have to work, to try to understand, and with aluminium we need a lot less time than the carbon. It’s just the first step, we’ll keep working and we’ll try to come back and fight for the front positions.”

The new chassis is a continuation of the previous monocoque design in using the engine as stress member, but dropping the carbon fibre that has hampered front end feel and replacing this with aluminium in a bid to gain more flex.

This isn't the first iteration of an aluminium monocoque Desmosedici as Ducati tested alloy versions along with carbon fibre ones - the latter was chosen by Casey Stoner, Whether the frame has been built by FTR is up for speculation, as the latest version is more likely to be a chassis from the earlier development stages, the British Moto2 manufacturer will likely to have made a full aluminium beam frame for Ducati and may only appear if the latest changes to the monocoque fails to find any success.

Photo via Toby Moody