If you head down to Mugello today (Thursday, September 8th), you will be lucky enough to hear the mighty sound of Ducati's 2012 Desmosedici GP12 engine pounding out the laps around the classic Italian circuit. And unless you are very lucky - or highly ingenious - that is all you will get to see. The test of the GP12 is being held behind firmly closed doors, with observers extremely unwelcome.
All this just adds to the mystery of exactly what Rossi and Ducati are testing on the Desmosedici GP12. When asked about it at the Misano round of MotoGP, Rossi remained vague: "Something for the front, and to help turning." The manner in which he casually dismissed the parts to be tested was meant to suggest that the test was of only limited significance for the moment, Rossi adding that the goal of the test was to work for 2012. Of course, Rossi's brilliance as a communicator - both in the positive sense of getting across his point with humor and insight, and in the negative sense of hiding information that he or the team wish to keep a secret - makes it impossible to evaluate the sincerity of the claim. After all, "something for the front," could be a new set of triple clamps, a revised offset, a new subframe, or a completely new chassis.