Minichamps MIN122080033 2008 Ducati Desmosedici GP 8 Team Marlboro MotoGP Bike - Marco Melandri (1:12 Scale)
"I get a call from Ducati asking if I was interested in the ride. I didn't need asking twice...!"
- Troy Bayliss, after being approached by the Ducati Factory to replace the injured "King Carl" Fogarty
Ducati started its 800 cc project extremely early and according to Ducati's racing chief Filippo Preziosi, by August 2006 Ducati had already built 20 800 cc engines with various specifications. In addition, the actual bike was track tested for the first time during early May of 2006. Public testing with the bike began at the Brno Track where Loris Capirossi won the day before riding the GP6, on the 21st of August. Lap times were only 1.4 seconds off his track record time.
Further testing of the GP7 in Motegi, Japan, revealed that the 800 cc machine could run faster laps than the higher-displacement 990 cc bikes, and held nearly a second advantage over the next fastest 800 cc (Dani Pedrosa's Honda).
It was also noted in the motosprint at Le Mans Grand Prix to have a 20 hp advantage over Honda and Yamaha, as well as a significant speed advantage, throughout the 2007 season. Also there are other aerodynamic settings to increase top speeds if needed.
In the opening race of the 2007 MotoGP season and the 800 cc era in Qatar the GP7 machine was ridden to victory by Ducati's new rider, Casey Stoner. The new bike clearly showed its surplus of power over the rest of the grid, especially on the straight parts of the track, concluding with the new track record over the last year's. Second place contender and former World champion, Yamaha's Valentino Rossi testified that "unfortunately, there was too much difference between (our) bikes in the straight" and "Our Yamaha will never go as quick on a straight as the Ducati." This words turned into a great true. During the most part of the year Stoner showed his domain obtaining their first World MotoGP championship in the circuit of Motegi, Japan, on September 23rd, 2007, four races before the end of the season.
Pictured here is a 1:12 scale replica of a 2008 Ducati Desmosedici GP 8 Team Marlboro MotoGP bike driven by Marco Melandri. This gorgeous replica features a working suspension and removable fairings that reveals an extremely detailed engine. Also includes a detachable kickstand.
Length: 7 inches
Height: 3.50 inches
Release Date: November 2009
Historical Account: "Disastrous Season" - Born on August 7th, 1982 in Ravenna, Italy, Marco Melandri is a MotoGP road racer currently racing for the Hayate Racing Team. Melandri is also a former 250cc World Champion in 2002. Melandri currently lives 2 miles away from the famous race track, Donington Park, Leicestershire, England.
Immediately after Melandri's 3rd place finish in the 2007 USA's MotoGP round, Ducati announced that he would join its factory team alongside Casey Stoner for 2008 and 2009. But 2008 proved disastrous, with a run of uncompetitive runs often leaving him behind the semi-works Alice Team bikes of Toni Elías and Sylvain Guintoli. At Assen he qualified last and ran there throughout. Due to the poor running in the season, speculation persisted with Melandri tipped to move to Kawasaki after the summer break in 2008 to form a three bike team alongside John Hopkins and Anthony West, while his current seat was said to be taken over by Sete Gibernau for the second half of the 2008 season. However, on July 27th, Ducati Marlboro team boss Livio Suppo confirmed that Marco Melandri would race at Brno, the first race after the 2008 summer break. On August 19th, however, Melandri confirmed he will be joining Kawasaki Racing Team for the 2009 MotoGP season to ride alongside his new teammate John Hopkins. He then ended the season in a lacklustre 17th position.
In 2009 Melandri achieved his first podium since 2007 with his 2nd place finish at the French motorcycle Grand Prix.