MotoGP 2018

The MotoGP Season ended in November and that leaves a pretty big gap in my MotoGP Geekism until the first tests later this month and the first race in March. So Ducati beat everyone to the punch and launched the GP18 Desmosedicci MotoGP bike today (last night) and now that photos are out I started looking at the changes they have made for the new bike. Now they were already HEAVILY into the aero development on the GP16 and GP17 perhaps moreso than any of the others in MotoGP. Having access to the VW Groups engineering might likely helps a lot!

A few observations to start. The first thing that jumped out at me was the amount of daylight around the front wheel area on the new bike. The side shot shows how minimalist the new design is in comparison to even the last iteration of the GP17 raced at Valencia in the finale. It still has the huge gills (winglets) favored by Lorenzo for much of last year, though I suspect they have been revised subtly since November. Exhaust system looks to be subtly revised though that may be mostly cosmetic. It is still rocking that huge, mysterious “Salad box” (not my term I swear!) under the rear seat that first appeared early last Spring. Also still using the unobtanium Carbon Fiber Ohlins Forks I would love to have for no other reason than to hang them on my wall and drool. But I think the biggest thing I notice is that the thing seems to be just bristling with vents and fasteners and winglets. Far from the smooth flowing bodywork of old.

All I got for now. Feel Free to discuss.
2018 gallery
2017 gallery



This Ducati is definitely a big change in aerodynamic thinking. I have always been told that the radiator area is super high in drag, but this seems to expose it further. I wonder if this is a ploy to hide the real bike? Interesting how aerodynamically clean the bottom and back of the bike is - note how tightly the pipes are tucked away.

As a former Lorenzo fan (changed over the Rossi vs Marquez fight), I don't think he can rise again. He was winning when he had the best bike and could get way out ahead of everyone from the start. He was never good in a parity race as his strength is getting clean air and consistency.

I sort of thought BMW might be angling for MotoGP with the Carbon Fiber frame on the HP4. Also, Johnny Rea made some pretty bold statements about going to MotoGP so I was thinking maybe Kawasaki might be getting into the fray again too. Of course that couldn't happen until 2019 or 2020.

Don't know if Suzuki has any tricks left in the GSXR. It's getting much more competitive in the lower classes but Ducati, Honda & Yamaha are so far ahead. Also KTM might be a surprise this year as their progress last year was pretty amazing.

I look for something new and competitive from Honda, as Marquez managed to ride a pretty flawed bike to the win last year - amazing effort. As for Yamaha, I think they might go backward to the 2016 bike which Zarco used to embarrass Yamaha all season. You have to figure Rossi is nearing the end and when he lets it all hang out he is as fast as anyone. People say he just loves racing which I do believe, but the 10th championship is what's driving him and when he feels that's not possible I think he will hang it up. Someone needs to step up for MotoGP, because when Rossi was out it was just not the same.
If you (like me) want to really deep dive on this, Asphalt and Rubber has a bunch of pretty high Resolution images posted now that allow for a little more intimate scrutineering. Of particular interest is the TIG welding on the frame below the "fuel tank" area. A lot going on there. Also of interest is that both Dovi and Lorenzo's bikes sport thumb brakes on the left bar. Wasn't aware that they were both running them. They first came into vogue back when Mick Doohan nearly lost his leg and had to use a thumb brake because he couldn't use his right foot. Also odd I thought was the use of good old philips screws to mount the fairing panels. Then theres the super cool little eccentric travel limiter on the rear brake pedal. Then theres the mysterious thumb lever on the throttle side of Dovi's bike that I cant quite figure out what it does! Fun stuff!


Wow good looking out! Those welds are strange and the metal must be paper thin looking at how it is puckering. Lorenzo added the thumb brake when he hurt his leg last year. I think Crutchlow uses one too. I was thinking of putting one on the Busa as my foot doesn't have the feel to use the rear effectively.
Not to keep pounding my own thread but... Just read that Johan Zarco's Tech 3 Teammate Jonas Folger will miss the entire 2018 season due to his ongoing health issues. He was thought to be fighting Epstein Barr, but now diagnosed with something called Gilbert Syndrome. Never heard of that one. Not sure who they will replace him with yet but that is one of the most coveted seats in the sport so the line will be forming soon!


Donating Member
Ouch! It's a good thing their races aren't too long. See that sorry excuse for a seat? What's that silver unit below the counter sprocket? Wouldn't it be a kick in the azz to take it for a spin? The power and light weight and braking would be a real shocker.
They actually have a press day every year after the last race of the year at Valencia, where select journalists are allowed to take the bikes for a ride. That being said, I know my limitations and wouldn't even want to try riding one of them. Imagine a 260RWHP Hayabusa on the stock wheelbase, now Chuck about 200 pounds off of it. Even with all the electronic Rider aids these puppies are on the razors edge at all times. The 2stroke 500s were even hairier without all the electronics.

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