Gigi Dall’Igna, the engineer who created the ‘Desmosedici’, considers that they do not reach 400 km / h. because it doesn’t do much good in racing
“I am convinced that, if we wanted to, we would exceed 400 km / h.”, Assures Jorge Martín, the MotoGP ‘rookie’, who yesterday achieved the ‘pole’
“In our tests, we have already achieved that speed, but then it is very difficult to stop the bike when reaching the corner,” says tester Pirro
One day, back in July 2016, someone, probably not even signed it Kawasaki, perhaps the ‘Kawa’ dealer in Turkey, wanted to stick the glob of proving that his motorcycles were the bomb and asked his Supersport Champion, Kenan Sofuoglo, to prepare to try to reach 400 kilometers per hour on a motorcycle.
The fact is that the test, the show, was prepared in the very long, almost endless, Osman Gazi suspension bridge, which links the city of Gebze and the province of Yalova. The bridge is an immense 50-kilometer straight. Sofuoglo didn’t need that much, but, yeah, he made his Kawasaki ‘Ninja’ H2R reach 400 km / h.
Now what Johann zarco, back to life, racing and fighting in MotoGP thanks to the vision of the Italian Ducati engineer, Gigi Dall’Igna, has crowned the straight of more than a kilometer of the Losail route, in Doha (Qatar), at 362.4 km / h.There are already those who say that the ‘Desmosedici’, which yesterday placed its two ‘satellite’ pilots, Jorge Martin and Johann zarcoIn the top two places on the grid today (7pm, DAZN and Movistar) of the Doha GP, it could, if its riders and Dall’Igna wanted, of course, reach 400 km / h.
Here’s ‘Rocket Martin’
And it’s not just Dall’Igna himself saying, nor even the test pilot, Michele Pirro, proclaims it even the young Spanish pilot Jorge Martin, ‘rookie’ of MotoGP, who has only been riding that red steed for five days and who has gone from being nicknamed ‘Martinator’ to ‘Rocket Martin’ for the speed he reached, in his first outing, last Sunday, in Losail. “Yes, yes, I like ‘Rocket Martín’ better and I can assure you that the Ducati does not reach 400 km / h. because we don’t want to ”, says the Madrid rider, who yesterday gave the bell in Losail by becoming ‘poleman’ in his second grand prix in MotoGP.
“Or because it wouldn’t do much good,” adds Dall’Igna, the creator of this flying motorcycle. Well, what’s more, the ‘Desmosedici’ doesn’t fly off because it also has the best aerodynamics, sorry, wings, of the entire category. “I don’t have much interest in talking about this matter,” Dall’Igna said in a recent interview in the Italian daily ‘La Reppublica’. “I think we are at the top speed limit that you can have and exceed those 362 km / h. It wouldn’t do any good, really. What could we get to 400? Yes, I have no doubt, simply reducing the ‘downforce’, but, I insist, it is not worth it ”. The ‘downforce’ is the vertical and downward force that has the ability to load weight on the motorcycle to stick it to the ground and not fly off. It is an effect, yes, of the aerodynamics, both in MotoGP and in F-1.
The rivals of the four official Ducati riders are convinced that they don’t race anymore because they don’t want to. Another thing is that, in effect, it served them something in circuits where there is not a straight as long as Losail. Remember that before Zarco got to 362.4 km / h. and set a new speed record, the record was also held by the Italian Andrea Dovizioso, in Mugello-2019, with only 5 kms / h. less. “I, in private tests, that is, in our tests, testing things, I have already reached 400 km / h., That’s why I say that, if we wanted to, we would reach 400 in a GP”, repeats Pirro, which is, I insist , who else knows that bike and its power.
Danger in consumption
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Obviously reaching that top speed would make the ‘Desmosedici’ consume a little more gasoline and, therefore, in the case of Losail, where the bikes cross the finish line with the tank almost dry, it would be a big risk. “We have always had the power and the aerodynamic package and our chassis allow us not to fly away,” says Pirro. “It is evident that when you reach that speed, the first corner arrives earlier and the force you need to brake it and put it into the curve is brutal, as you go from 360 to 80 km / h. in a few meters ”.
It is clear that all riders would like to have this possibility in their hand, on their throttle, on their right handlebar, even if it was difficult to use it to the full. And in that sense, only Ducati men have the power to twist or not twist their right wrist to that madness of speed.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.