Interview with Leonardo Bagnoli, Ducati Head of Vehicle Simulation.
Materials research has always been an obsession for Ducati. If we think of our founding values, style, sophistication and performance, we find them all in this innovative research activity. The precious materials we work with, especially titanium, magnesium and carbon fibre, are the backbone of the vehicle’s dynamics and at the same time give our racing bikes that unmistakable Ducati look.
We talked about it with Leonardo Bagnoli, Ducati Head of Vehicle Simulation.
“Materials research is extremely expensive and difficult. Because it’s necessary to test different areas, considering the type of material and the best shapes to make it perform at its best. A few millimetres can be the difference between a huge success and a failure”.
The Superleggera V4 takes this extreme approach, which we inherit from our daily activity in the world of GP and SBK competitions, to a completely new, even more complex level. Although extreme in fact, the world of competitions has a limited duration in time. Ducati research is best expressed in exasperating the characteristics of the materials, calculating in advance the number of cycles and the type of mechanical stress to which they will be subjected.
“When doing research there’s an element of challenge. Of solving an enigma. Complexity needs to be dealt with head on and resolved in new ways.
For the Superleggera V4 the challenge was completely different from a racing prototype: we have to achieve extreme performance while safeguarding reliability and meeting type-approval requirements. It’s a question of making the most of the characteristics of materials and components without being able to predict the real stress they will be subjected to, creating components with experimental technologies to apply them to a motorcycle that’s not just for a single specific rider, but must be ready for standard type-approval. The component we design doesn’t just have to get through 10 races. It has to last forever. And so the work of calculation and simulation is twice as much as for any other bike we produce”.