After a late start last year, Ducati is looking forward to the punctual start of the 2021 MotoGP season. Proof of this is their recent online unveiling of the factory MotoGP team, now called the Ducati Lenovo Team.
For the 2021 season, Lenovo is the Title Partner of the factory Ducati team. Lenovo is a technology leader in PCs, smart devices, data center, services and software solutions. Its riders, Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia, will be wearing the Ducati squad's official colours for the first time.
"We're starting the new season off the back of the Constructors' World Title won last year. In 2021 there are many new things, from our Title Partner Lenovo to our riders Jack and Pecco. We look forward with optimism to the new season," said Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding.
For this season, the official Desmosedici GP team bikes will be all red. The new riders, Jack Miller and Pecco Bagnaia are moving up after gaining experience with the Pramac Racing Team.
As per this year's regulations, teams cannot modify some of the bike's components. Still, during winter, Ducati has been busy working on many other aspects to improve their bike's competitiveness.
Of course the real stars of the show are the Desmosedici GP bikes.
These mean machines are powered by a 1,000cc Liquid-cooled, 90° V4, four-stroke, Desmodromic DOHC engine with four valves per cylinder. The engine has a throttle body per cylinder with injectors above and below the butterfly valves. Acceleraton is controlled by double ride-by-wire systems. It’s paired to a Daucati Seamless Transmission with a DID chain final drive. Running on Shell Racing V-Power fuel, they produce over 250 hp and are capable of a top speed of over 350 km/h.
The bikes are built on aluminum alloy twin-spar frames. They ride on an Öhlins inverted front fork with carbon outer tubes and an Öhlins rear shock absorber, adjustable for preload and damping. Michelin slick tires are fitted on 17-inch alloy wheels. Bringing it to a stop are two Brembo 340mm carbon front discs with four-piston callipers. In the rear is a single stainless steel rear disc with two-piston calliper. The epic exhaust note is care of an Akrapovič exhaust system.
The frame is wrapped in full carbon fiber fairing with extensive aerodynamic wings and designed to produce downforce for better grip. The bikes boast of a dry weight of just 157 kg.
For comparison, the Panigale V4 R can deliver 214 hp at 13,000 rpm and torque of 123.5 Nm at 10,000 rpm. However, this is from a 1,103cc engine. The Superleggera V4, Ducati’s lightest ever superbike produces 237 PS from a 998cc. It may be lighter than the Desmosedici bike at 152.2 kg but struggles to breach the 250 hp ceiling. Both bikes can definitely hit 300 km/h, but where not quite sure if they’re capable of reaching 350 km/h.
What we’re sure of is that the 2021 MotoGP season — starting with two rounds of Qatar in March 26-28 and April 2-4, 2021— is definitely going to be exciting.