While the big switch back to a full liter of displacement for MotoGP racing motorcycles won't go into effect until the 2012 racing season, there are still major performance gains to be had with the current 800cc powerplants. Evidence of such can be seen in the new Ducati Desmosedici GP10 racer, which was just unveiled at an exclusive event in the Italian Dolomite mountains.
The biggest change to the bike's outward appearance is its new tail-mounted exhaust location, which does a lot to clean up the side view of the bike and looks absolutely amazing in execution. It's under the carbon fiber skin, though, where the most important changes take place, starting with a heavily revised cooling system designed to allow each engine to last longer – a nod to new rules stipulating that each team can only use six engines per rider for the entire season.
Besides the expected updates to the pistons, rods and crankshaft, the major news is that Ducati has switched back to a so-called big-bang firing order for its V4 engine, which the manufacturer claims will make the powerful bike easier to ride with improved grip and traction. In addition, the rear half of the bike was made stiffer in an effort to keep the machine from squatting under hard acceleration. Check out our high-res gallery of images below and be sure to click past the break to see the live unveiling captured on video.