MotoGP: Major Ducati upgrade coming soon

Andrea Dovizioso of Italy and Ducati Team pops a wheelie during the MotoGP Red Bull U.S. Indianapolis Grand Prix - Free Practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 8, 2014.

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Ducati is planning an evolution of the Desmosedici GP14 for next month’s Aragon Grand Prix with major revisions to the frame and engine position.

The bike is expected to be the final version of the GP14, which will feature some of the design concepts being assessed for next year’s all-new GP15.

The GP15 will be the first complete Ducati penned by technical director Gigi Dall’Igna, who was poached from Aprilia in a bid to restore Ducati’s MotoGP fortunes.

Ducati is in the depths of a four year losing streak.

The upgraded GP14 for Aragon will be based around a new frame and revised engine which will allow more options for engine position and weight balance as Ducati continue to try and eliminate chronic understeer.

"While we are working a lot on the design of the GP15, it is not over with the GP14 because we think that being able to position the engine differently will help minimize the understeer problem," said Ducati’s Paulo Ciabatti.

"Unless we have delays we should have it in Aragon.”

At least one of the evolution GP14’s will be allocated to factory rider Andrea Dovizioso at Aragon. Subject to availability a second bike will be for Andrea Iannone, the newly signed factory rider for 2015.

But factory rider Cal Crutchlow, who is departing for LCR Honda next year, is highly unlikely to get the upgraded GP14.

 “If you have something new that you think is going in the direction of a new bike next year, you normally don’t give it to give to someone who is leaving," Ciabatti said.

"It doesn’t mean you don’t like the rider. But if somebody is leaving the day after the final race in Valencia and knows too much then it is going to be the benefit of another manufacturer."

Ducati has also confirmed that the new GP15 will not be ready until the opening pre-season tests in Malaysia next February.

It is crucial the GP15 is a big step forward to close the gap to main rivals Honda and Yamaha.

"It is a very big job and I only want to do it once, so [it] will take time," Dall’Igna said.

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