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Friday, September 23, 2011

Nothing left from GP11.1, concedes Nicky Hayden

Nicky Hayden says Ducati’s factory GP11.1 has already reached the ceiling of its potential, even though he’s only raced the updated Desmosedici three times.

Ducati first rolled out the GP11.1 back in late June at the Assen round for Valentino Rossi, who was struggling to make any significant progress on the GP11 model.

The GP11.1 features a new seamless shift gearbox, new rear suspension system, swingarm and 1000cc motor modified to comply with current 800cc regulations.

Hayden rode the new bike in practice for his home round at Laguna Seca in late July before deciding to delay his race debut on the bike until he’d got more time to test the bike.

He started to use the GP11.1 from the Indianapolis race onwards but in three races he’s only scored 11-points.

And he told MCN that the GP11.1 had already peaked at its maximum level of performance.

“Yes, it seems this bike is at the top of its potential already. They are certainly testing some stuff and we know we got to make a big change because we’re a long way off.”

Rossi is due to test a full aluminium twin spar frame in Jerez tomorrow (Friday) as Ducati tries to explore a more conventional way of fixing the front-end problems that have hindered the nine-times world champion throughout 2011.

Rossi raced a new aluminium concept to 10th at the Motorland Aragon last weekend but it wasn’t a full conventional twin spar frame like the one used by Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki.

It appears that Rossi has completely lost faith in the carbon fibre project but Hayden said he didn’t think it was the material that was the cause of Ducati's persistent front-end issues.

He added: “They’ve tested aluminium and I don’t think it is a matter of material. I think it is more stiffness and flex. You can make carbon softer or stiffer so I don’t think that's the situation. I tested a lot of aluminium swingarms and carbon fibre swingarms and you can get either one to do what you want it to do.”

source: MCN

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