Ducati Adds Seamless Gearbox to Open Class Bikes

Things apparently start to unfold the way I presumed they would, and learning that Ducati was able to add a seamless gearbox to one of their Open class bikes is probably the news which will cause a huge stir in the Honda and Yamaha boxes. Last year I estimated that Ducati will make the most of its involvement with Magneti Marelli and will be literally (at least) one step ahead the rest of the grid as far as the Open Class ECU and software go.
Hector Barbera enjoying his Open Ducati at Sepang 2 5 photos
Hector Barbera at SepangHector Barbera has a seamless gearbox on his bikeHector Barbera on the GP14Hector Barbera
The recent news from the second test in Sepang is consistent with what I wrote back in the day, that Ducati will not miss the opportunity to make the most of all the work they put in the new Marelli software.

Honda and Yamaha said there’s no way to build Open spec software to integrate seamless transmission

All this time Honda and Yamaha kept on playing the same song, whose chorus was that no seamless transmission could be equipped on the Open bikes because the Open Class software was not advanced enough. Ducati preferred to say nothing, and keep on working really hard, knowing that there has to be a solution for this even before all the teams would start working together for the unified software.

According to gp-inside, Ducati has asked UK transmission specialist X track to develop the seamless gearbox and help turning impossibility and dreams into on-track, palpable reality. And I’d say that Hector Barbera posting the 8th best time on day three at Sepang 2 is pretty palpable, possibly one more reason for the vocal Valentino Rossi to speak about the way things in the premier class seem wrong.

Unified software means that seamless gearboxes MUST work

We reported on multiple occasions about the fact that the software for the MotoGP bikes will be “frozen” after the Assen round this year, and all the development efforts must be put together into delivering a unified software version for the Marelli ECU, which will be used by both Open and Factory teams.

Since the current grid already has bikes running seamless transmissions, it’s obvious that the unified software will have to be compatible with them. Why Yamaha and Honda chose to downplay the possibilities of the existing Open platform is yet unclear, but the fact seems to have backfired. Anyway, tomorrow’s editorial will deal with this matter a little more extensively.

The big news for today is that the season which is about to start has just become more interesting, and if Barbera manages to feel his GP14 machine better than Rossi or Cructhlow did, we’re in for quite a show. Even more, the Desmosedici GP15 will be furthermore refined as the championship unfolds and we might see some of the things Gigi Dall’Igna finds to make the previous year bike a tad better, too.

Once more, things are definitely getting hot over at Yamaha and Honda and it will be interesting to see how they will fight back.
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