July 11, 2007 World Ducati Week is a strange phenomena – thousands of Ducatisti, members of the Ducati tribe, travel from all over the world for a week of entertainment and experiences based around Ducati’s values, lifestyle and products. Ducati rewards its most faithful regularly at these events, with unique experiences and first-to-see opportunities that are generally reserved for ballrooms and press only occasions by its competitors. This week the 200 bhp Ducati Desmosedici RR, the world’s first MotoGP replica roadster made its first ever public appearance in action at the event held at Misano racetrack in Italy. Over 170 people from 19 countries who have already placed orders for the Desmosedici RR travelled to WDW2007 to witness the public track debut of the bike that was first announced at the same event back in 2004. Back then it was a promising machine struggling to assert itself against the far larger and established MotoGP teams of Honda and Yamaha. This time the bike it emulates is leading the world title – the company even went as far as showing the prototype 1200 superbike it will run next season - amazing scenes at WDW2007.
In front of thousands of Ducatisti, the pre-series version of the highly complex L-four cylinder MotoGP replica took to the circuit for a 15 minute session to demonstrate its incredible 200hp performance and to signify the progress of the project as it approaches production. The bike was ridden by official Ducati MotoGP Team test rider, Vittoriano Guareschi.
Ducati Motor Holding CEO, Gabriele Del Torchio, who took time to meet some of the expectant owners, announced: "The Desmosedici RR demonstrates Ducati's world-beating design and technological innovation and I am extremely proud to have witnessed its first public appearance in action. This is a dream motorcycle that is destined to become an icon, endorsed by the fact that so many of the world's top sportsmen and celebrities alike have placed orders to own one. The excitement behind this project is incredible and WDW2007 has been a great opportunity to celebrate its progress."
As the world's first true MotoGP replica, the Ducati Desmosedici RR has an impressive specification, at the heart of which beats the record-breaking 989cc L-four Desmodromic engine in twin-pulse configuration. Technical features taken directly from the racing GP6 include the sand-cast aluminium crankcases and magnesium engine covers which enclose a cassette type six-speed gearbox and hydraulically actuated dry multi-plate slipper clutch. Additional replications that contribute to the 200hp produced in standard trim are double overhead cams, actuating 4 titanium valves per cylinder, gear driven from a crankshaft which has titanium connecting rods. One feature of the Desmosedici RR which represents a unique ground-breaking design is the 'vertical exit' exhaust silencer, ingeniously hidden in the tail-piece.
"Today was another great milestone in Ducati's fantastic history," said Director of Product Development of Ducati Motor Holding and CEO of Ducati Corse, Claudio Domenicali, speaking at the WDW2007 event. "I clearly remember the press launch of the Desmosedici racing project at the 2002 Mugello GP, and we were already thinking about building a replica for the street as a tribute to our fans all around the world. This bike is for them and for their passion of Ducati. We are extremely pleased with the final result, the bike is fantastic both statically and dynamically. During my last test of the Desmosedici RR in Mugello last month, I felt that the main project goal had been fully achieved. The chassis is rigid and the engine crisp just like the racing Desmosedici and this is the very essence of the project: to leave the owner with a taste of our MotoGP bike."
Orders for the limited production machine flooded in via the official Ducati dealer network as soon as the machine was unveiled at the Mugello GP in 2006. The motorcycle is now undergoing final development tests before going into production this autumn as scheduled. The Ducati 1098 F08, Ducati's future World Superbike challenger, made its public debut at WDW2007 with a number of demonstration laps in front of over 50,000 spectators.
Two-times World Superbike champion Troy Bayliss was given the honour of demonstrating the 1098 F08 machine, which is still in its factory development stage, sporting black carbon-fibre bodywork and aluminium fuel-tank.
The 1098 F08 has been undergoing development work at Mugello in the hands of the Ducati Xerox Junior Team's young Superstock riders Niccolò Canepa and Domenico Colucci, but for the Misano spectators this was the bike’s public debut.
“I just saw the new 1098 for the first time yesterday” declared Troy. “It looks and feels good and although it clearly doesn’t feel like home after a couple of laps, I’m sure Ducati are moving in the right direction and it will be soon. I’ve still got a few things to concentrate on at the moment, like winning this year’s title, but I’m really looking forward to testing the bike at a quieter moment in the future.”
The 1098 F08, which will replace the 999, complies with the draft regulations for the World Superbike Championship issued by the FIM two weeks ago. In particular engine specifications are much closer to the road version than on the 999. For example, the con-rods, the crankshaft and the rocker arms are all standard components.
As for the bike itself, the level of elaboration is similar to the F07 and in particular the frame is identical to the road bike, while the swing-arm, front and rear suspensions and exhausts can be modified.