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Rossi to ride Ducati GP11.1 at Assen

Ducati bringing almost new machine to Assen in an attempt to quash Rossi's problems

DUCATI in an aid to bring the struggling Valentino Rossi closer to the front-runners will be running an almost new bike at Assen by experimenting with next year's chassis and 800 engine currently used, creating a Desmosedici GP11.1.

The problem for Rossi lies in the carbon chassis used on the Desmosedici, in what he feels gives a lack of feel from the rear of the bike.

To challenge this and answer the issues of their new superstar, Ducati's Technical Director Fillipo Preziosi has combined the chassis of the 'step-2' frame that the engineers have been working on for 2012 and this year's engine with the addition of a new gearbox titled; 'DST - or Ducati Seamless Transmission'. The Bologna factory's answer to Honda's advances in clutch technology and a project they say began in 2010.

Preziosi started: "We decided to make the GP11.1, which is an 800cc engine in a GP12 chassis, in order to accelerate development on next year's bike, and also to provide our riders with a potentially better base for the current championship.

"Considering that Valentino still hasn't ever ridden the GP11.1, this decision could require some races for the team to completely take advantage of its potential, but we decided to move forward with it because we believe it's an important step for our development process. The next-generation gearbox, on the other hand, is a solution that we think will be an immediate improvement."

Riding at Assen holds significance to Rossi, in what he calls one of 'his tracks': "Assen is one of my tracks," began Rossi, "One of those that I like most and where I've had some nice races in all the classes. We'll try to take advantage of that good feeling and of our experience at this circuit because Thursday morning we'll debut some updates to my bike that are very promising but also very fresh.

"Filippo [Preziosi], the guys at Ducati and the Test Team have worked really hard, and that has enabled us to make this new step with the development of our bike. We haven't had the chance to test the 800 since Estoril, so we'll do it during the race weekends, being aware that despite having very limited time, we'll have to focus on two jobs: making basic adjustments to the new technical parts, and finding a general setup for the race on Saturday.

"We'll have to do a good job on the track in order to get the most out of the work done at the factory. It will be hard, and we know it might take some time before we can completely reach the potential of the whole package, but we're happy and motivated by the work we're doing." the seven-time champ concluded.

Nicky Hayden won't receive the 'new' bike until Laguna Seca and has been tied up with testing the next generation GP12 since his fourth at Silverstone, the American added: "Now it’s time for Assen, which is an awesome race. I have some good memories there, including a win, and it’s a place I really like, with a lot of history and tradition. The track has changed over the years, but I like the new section.

"We’ve had a big gap to the front lately, but now we have another new step with the chassis. The first step helped with the feeling, and hopefully this one will also help with the lap time. It’s clear that Ducati is working hard, and that’s motivating for me, for the team, and for all of our Ducati supporters. I look forward to getting my hands on a GP11.1 as soon as possible as well.”