Irony is not rain on your wedding day. Nor is it anything else Alanis Morissette sang. No, irony is this:

TODAY, press day at EICMA in Milan is full swing with all eyes focussed on Ducati's 1199 Panigale, a bike defined by its use of a monocoque frame that's so far failed to work on the firm's Desmosedici MotoGP bike.

Ducati really hoped that, right now, it would be basking in the glory of a successful MotoGP season. It spent a fortune employing one Mr Valentino Rossi to steer its monocoque-framed racer to podiums and wins, sowing the vital PR seeds that would ensure the Panigale was an instant hit.

Instead he struggled, with all fingers pointing straight at the Ducati's chassis as the culprit for the worst season in Rossi's career.

Ducati would prefer it wasn't so, but the timing of events meant that on the very same day it was showing the monocoque Panigale, just as it was singing the praises of the new monocoque chassis, across the sea in Spain a certain Mr Rossi rolled onto the tarmac at Valencia on a new Desmosedici. One with a good old fashioned aluminium beam frame and the 2012 1000cc engine.

And despite the fact the chassis has never been tried before and is testing alongside 1000cc 2012-spec machines from Honda and Yamaha that have run in the past and are developed from existing, well proven designs, he's instantly gone fourth fastest, behind only the two works Hondas and Ben Spies' Yamaha.

That, Alanis, is irony.

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