Recently, a MotoGP commentator with a background in Grand Prix and WSBK got a leg over the winning hooner of MotoGP 2022 for a half-dozen laps around the circuit.
Fancy a guess at his final thoughts?
To clarify, the machine was the exact stellar model that Bagnaia straddled for the honors of Ducati’s recent Triple Crown – a delicately tuned beast, down to the obligatory 1000cc/250hp+ power, Michelin MotoGP-spec slicks and carbon disc brakes.
“The timing of the valves, etc., on a MotoGP engine, are set to be most efficient in the rpm ranges used when racing – they simply won’t run at low rpm, the engine judders and ‘bunny hops,” recalls Crafer.
“I nailed the take off and might have felt pleased with myself if I wasn’t so busy thinking that I had just experienced the most perfect clutch feel of my life!”
Crafer was treated to a total of six laps – three of which had Crafer behind the leading accompaniment, and three of which had the ex-racer in the front (his happy place).
“If I had raced Misano the current direction I’d have suggested less laps with Michele leading, but I was not confident I could figure out the two corners after the fast turn at the end of the back straight, which don’t flow naturally to me, as they were designed to be used in the opposite direction as I had raced them,” comments Crafer
Carbon brakes pumped and dragged for warmth, responsiveness mapped, and the man was soon in the twisties, marveling at the stability of GP22’s handling – particularly the bike’s ability to stay on a lean without putting up a fight.
“I hate bike setups or tyre profiles that require input to stay on their side, because this takes energy and concentration when you need it free for other things, like feeling the edge of grip.”
“…it was nice to feel such a neutral-handling machine while I took small, hesitant steps toward the edge, without going over it.”
A bit of extra yoink on the straightaway, and Crafer’s front wheel raises, along with his eyebrows; apparently, the inner workings and tuning of the Desmosedici GP22 make her a maestro on one tyre, too.
“I don’t understand how the rear stayed so perfectly in line while off the ground…somehow the rear wheel speed matched perfectly with the surface so I felt no change, no rear wheel slide or stepping out,” anthuses the former racer.
“I could then push on the right handlebar to enter the turn on the line I’d wanted with the same brake pressure – how the hell did the Ducati GP22 do that?!”
Bottom line, Ducati’s got a new fan for life…and he wants another round.
“It is the first motorcycle I’ve ever ridden on track that I did not want to change a single thing on – it was better than me in every area.”
“A true Masterpiece.”
Stay tuned for updates as we continue toward 2023; drop a comment below letting us know what you think, and HAPPY AMERICAN THANKSGIVING EVERYBODY!!