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Ducati test carbon chassis at Barcelona

The new Ducati GP9 at BarcelonaThe 2009 MotoGP bike from Ducati made its public debut during the post Barcelona GP test today.

With a carbon fibre frame rather than Ducati's trademark trellis frame, it represents a move away from the regular twin spar chassis used by the Japanese manufacturers.

Alan Jenkins, the former F1 engineer and now a long time consultant for Ducati Corse, has had a major input into the project.

Casey Stoner will have the chance to ride the bike at Barcelona today or tomorrow once test rider Vittoriano Guareschi has done some initial mileage.

Carbon fibre chassis are new in the MotoGP era, but such projects were last tried out on an Armstrong 250cc machine in the mid-80s, only for it to suffer from immense vibration problems. Aprilia's 250s have successfully run a carbon fibre swing arm since the late 90s.

At initial glance, the bike does not look radically dissimilar to the current GP8, which itself is similar to the title-winning GP7.

It is believed the GP9, in line with Ducati's policy of getting the maximum amount of testing time, has already run behind closed doors, at Mugello.

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