Ioda Returns Tubular Steel Chassis To MotoGP

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ducati's carbon fibre chassis may have disappeared from MotoGP for 2012, following the factory's switch to an aluminium twin-spar frame - as used by its Japanese rivals - but the new Ioda Claiming Rule Team is set to revive an earlier form of Ducati frame.

While Aspar, Speed Master and PBM have chosen to use the full Aprilia (ART) CRT machine, Ioda has chosen to pair Aprilia's RSV4 engine with its own tubular steel trellis frame.

A steel trellis frame was raced by Ducati (in 'unstressed' and then 'stressed' form) from its 2003 MotoGP debut until switching to carbon fibre for 2009, and was thus used by Casey Stoner to win the 2007 world title. The Ioda is set to be the only 2012 MotoGP bike not to use an aluminium twin-spar chassis.

Young Italian Danilo Petrucci claimed the Ioda frame felt better than a normal Aprilia chassis during the bike's debut at this week's Jerez test, although two falls on day two injured his scaphoid and caused mechanical damage.

Petrucci - who revealed that the Ioda does not yet have carbon brakes and is running 'a superstock engine, 20 hp less than ART CRT' - posted a best lap time of 1min 43.3sec on both Monday and Tuesday.

That placed him 2.5sec slower than Aspar pace setter Randy de Puniet after day two, but 1.1sec ahead of PBM's James Ellison (making his ART debut on Tuesday).
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