Although much of the attention regarding Ducati MotoGP teams was focused on the Wrooom event in Italy where the livery of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden was unveiled, another Duc was presented to the public for the first time in Prague this week.
The MotoGP machine was the Ducati Desmosedici GP11 that Czech rider Karel Abraham will compete on for the Cardion ab Motoracing team.
Abraham announced his participation in the premier class at the end of the 2010 MotoGP season, as the rookie was competing in the debut Moto2 class with the Cardion ab team.
With the addition of the Cardion AB satellite team, the 21-year-old rider will be the sixth on a Ducati. He will join the other Ducatis on the 2011 MotoGP grid: the factory Ducati Marlboro Team (Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden), the satellite Pramac Racing Team (Randy de Puniet and Loris Capirossi) and the satellite Aspar Team (current rider Hector Barbera).
Abraham, who made his professional debut in 125cc MotoGP in 2005, tested the new Ducati MotoGP machine at the traditional post-season Valencia test in November.
Karel Abraham says: "After the second Test we could have the first indications of how successful we can be this year. The bike is much more difficult to control and requires perfect physical fitness."
Marco Grana (Cardion ab Ducati MotoGP Crew Chieff) says: "Karel proved that he is a very fast rider. He has a huge potential to do well right from the start of the season. There will be a lot of fast riders in the premier class so it is clear that the competition will be huge. But in Valencia we showed what we are able to do."
Regarding the Valencia race, Grana is discussing Abraham’s win in the Moto2 class last season. Abraham’s next outing on the Ducati will be at the official MotoGP Tests at Sepang (Feb. 1-3, 22-24).
The rest of the Cardion ab crew consists of Martin Havlicek, Martin Nesvadba, Yannis Maigret, and Pietro Berti, all of whom also continue from last year’s team. Three personnel from Ducati will also work in the team as track engineer Cristhian Pupulin, telemetry analyst Dario Massarin and spare parts technician Michele Bubbolini.
Karel Abraham Sr. (Cardio ab Ducati Team Manager) says: "We are very satisfied with the cooperation with Ducati." He then commented on the Cardio ab Ducati team. ""All of them are professionals. They are working very well and together they create a great team."
It should be noted that Abraham Sr. also owns the Masaryk Circuit in Brno, where the Czech Grand Prix will take place.