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Shell's technical partnership with Ducati Corse
The technical partnership between Shell and Ducati Corse is a strategic relationship in which both parties embrace engineering development. The programme is extensive, covering technical support and consultation, plus product development and provision of tailored Shell Advance racing lubricants and Shell V-Power racing fuel.
This technical partnership has been developed over the past 11 years and has become one of the strongest within the motorcycle world having produced 6 World Superbike Riders’ Titles and 9 Manufacturers’ Titles.
In 2003 Shell joined Ducati in the pinnacle of two-wheeled motorsport racing, MotoGP, and in 2007 gained their first Riders’ World Championship, the first time a non-Japanese manufacturer had won for 33 years. At the core of this relationship lies a common passion for technology.
Shell Advance racing lubricant plays an integral role in powering and protecting the Ducati engines in MotoGP. The tailored blend is designed to reduce friction and increase power, as well as maintaining the performance of the engine and gearbox by helping to protect it against metal wear.
The Shell Advance racing lubricant has been optimised to deliver Shell’s maximum performance and liberate new power, while maintaining its protective properties throughout each session on the track.
In 2011, 12 chemists, engineers and technicians will contribute to Shell’s technical partnership with Ducati Corse, investing around 2500 hours into research and development of race-winning fuels and lubricants for Ducati Corse.
Based in the Shell Technology Centre in PAE Laboratory, Hamburg, Germany and regularly visiting the Ducati factory in Bologna, Shell works closely alongside Ducati to ensure the racing fuels and lubricants are optimised for its bikes in MotoGP, while conforming to the championship regulations.
“In MotoGP, race lubricant has three main functions,” explains Shell Lubricant Development & Ducati Project Manager, Michael Knaak. “First, it is designed to reduce friction in order to increase power. Second, it maintains gearbox performance. Third, and perhaps most important, it has to protect all the moving parts, ensuring the bike is reliable and reaches the finish line, ideally in first place!’
Shell is always working with Ducati to deliver lubricant that produces more power, while maintaining reliability. This balance is key, as MotoGP rules dictate that each team, including Ducati, can only use six engines per season in 2011.
Alessandro Cicognani, Ducati Corse MotoGP Project Director: “The partnership with Shell has gone from strength to strength. Shell Advance is central in providing the engines with the protection they need across a demanding season.
The stress upon the engine is very high in a race situation, so Shell’s contribution to maintaining the high performance of the engine over multiple races will be very important.”
Shell’s commitment to innovation through motorsport is not only vital for Ducati Corse, but also forms an integral part of an extensive research and development programme that is key to making better road fuels and lubricants for bikers around the world.