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Old 08-31-2012, 01:26 AM   #4456
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Originally Posted by geode View Post
Have you considered the possibility that maybe the Ducati engineers / management are too close to the problem to see it clearly or be willing to change what needs to be changed?

Ducati management is wedded to certain concepts as part of their motorbike history / identity, refusing to change certain elements because of their historical place in the company.

The Audi engineers will, I suspect, come in and look at the problems, review the massive amount of computer read-outs and data and search out solutions, and their search won't be hamstrung by the desmo / trellis / 90 degree / etc "Ducati Way".
they wont undersatnd what they are lookin at imho.A racing bike and a racing car are very very different machines.Even Honda and Yamaha cant get it right.The 800cc Honda seemed to be a very very good bike,the 800cc yamaha not so much,this year the roles are reversed.
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:55 AM   #4457
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A bike has a lot more going on than a car in its handling, its more like a plane with pitch and yaw.
Yamaha spent most of the 2011 season working on its 2012 bike, Honda chased the win and are only now moving towards developing the 2012 bike after Mugello.
I can't see the Audi engineers just coming in and making the bike work magic, they can probably bring a sackful of cash though!
Its handling thats the big problem with the Ducati not power.
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Old 08-31-2012, 03:14 AM   #4458
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Its handling thats the big problem with the Ducati not power.
The two are related however, because the power comes from an engine configuration that causes handling (setup) problems.

Audi has superior resources for modeling the effects of chassis design - this is where the near-term synergy is anticipated. It's not so much about some bright spark having a fresh idea as it is being able to simulate the outcomes without churning out engine cases, frames and swinging arms to test the theory.
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Old 08-31-2012, 05:48 AM   #4459
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The two are related however, because the power comes from an engine configuration that causes handling (setup) problems.

Audi has superior resources for modeling the effects of chassis design - this is where the near-term synergy is anticipated. It's not so much about some bright spark having a fresh idea as it is being able to simulate the outcomes without churning out engine cases, frames and swinging arms to test the theory.
It isn't likely that Ducati can screen jockey their way out of the difficulty they are in. That way of working is what got them here. They are wedded to the concept of a data driven modeled "solution" that is refined for the next year or two. When the "solution" misses the mark there is no plan B.
JB mentioned Honda showing up at a test with 10 different frames when they found themselves in a similar situation. Ducat showed up with "refinements".
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Old 08-31-2012, 05:52 AM   #4460
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It isn't likely that Ducati can screen jockey their way out of the difficulty they are in. That way of working is what got them here. They are wedded to the concept of a data driven modeled "solution" that is refined for the next year or two. When the "solution" misses the mark there is no plan B.
JB mentioned Honda showing up at a test with 10 different frames when they found themselves in a similar situation. Ducat showed up with "refinements".
Honda has a shit-ton more money to spend. Ducati simply cannot operate like Honda does.
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:01 AM   #4461
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Honda has a shit-ton more money to spend. Ducati simply cannot operate like Honda does.
Is Audi going to change that?
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:42 AM   #4462
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Is Audi going to change that?
I doubt it, but I don't know.
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:28 AM   #4463
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Is Audi going to change that?
Judging by the sound in this threaed, that's the only thing they're going to change. I think they may have a bit more to contribute than that, but still it'll take them a while to turn things around on the track.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:16 AM   #4464
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Originally Posted by geode View Post
Have you considered the possibility that maybe the Ducati engineers / management are too close to the problem to see it clearly or be willing to change what needs to be changed?

Ducati management is wedded to certain concepts as part of their motorbike history / identity, refusing to change certain elements because of their historical place in the company.

The Audi engineers will, I suspect, come in and look at the problems, review the massive amount of computer read-outs and data and search out solutions, and their search won't be hamstrung by the desmo / trellis / 90 degree / etc "Ducati Way".

Perhaps worth remembering too that the Ducati Way was what they learned from the TPG era. Brand identity: understand what are your unique selling points and support them.

It has pulled them back, once again, from the brink. I understand it is not necessary that they affirm those points in their MotoGP program, and with the Panigale sport bike they have moved away from "trellis frame" and towards something more abstract such as "innovation".

Nevertheless, the 90 degree vee is the basis of all their modern significance as a manufacturer and design house.

The peculiar thing is, its big advantage is smoothness, and hence lightness. But that's nullified in this weight-mandated prototype class. (Not that Honda wouldn't win the weight battle also, if there were no limits.)

In the showroom tho, where price counts, cheap and light sells. (Not that Ducatis are cheap, but you know what I mean.)
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:35 AM   #4465
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What if VW bought Ducati for their marketing/ customer loyalty genius?
Audi Island at LeMans and Sebring?
Skimpy pinkish red Audi short shorts and tops for sale in the 2 acre Audi tent?
The Audi grandstand complete with placards in the seats so the Audi-isti can make cute displays for the cameras across the track?
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:34 PM   #4466
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The Audi grandstand complete with placards in the seats so the Audi-isti can make cute displays for the cameras across the track?
Oh, I am *so* there. (5-time Audi owner)
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:34 PM   #4467
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they wont undersatnd what they are lookin at imho.A racing bike and a racing car are very very different machines.
IIRC, BMW had the same problem in WSBK. Initially they had the race car guys trying to make the S1000RR competitive, and that ended in disaster.

Audi has deep pockets, and lots of technology, but they are short on understanding of motorcycle dynamics (particularly at the ragged edge in a racing application). The best thing they can do in the short term, is try to acquire the best motorcycle talent available, and put them on the Ducati team. In time, they may be able to develop their own talent, but for quick results they need to dig deep and attract some proven designers/engineers.

My $.02.
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:35 PM   #4468
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Great article from a recent convert...

How to Stop Worrying and Love Motorcycle Racing
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:21 PM   #4469
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Great article from a recent convert...

How to Stop Worrying and Love Motorcycle Racing
Briliant! The Simo reference a little close to home for those of us already fans, but I can see the context relevance.
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:48 PM   #4470
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Wasn't that a big problem with the cube and the other Ilmor bike derived engines they didn't understand the concept to put the power to the two wheeled vehicles.
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