Shell Advance and Ducati
Shell Advance Ultra 4’s tailored blend of lubricant plays a key role for Ducati in lubricating the engine’s rotating and oscillating parts and the constantly moving components of the gearbox.
Shell says that the oil has been optimized to deliver maximum performance and liberate new power, while maintaining its protection properties throughout each session on the track.
Of course, engine reliability is a key marker in the success of Ducati Corse.
The Shell technical partnership with Ducati began in 1999 and the pairing achieved immediate success and fame that same year when Ducati won the World Superbike Championship.
In 2003, the technical partnership was renewed and expanded to include MotoGP. Just four years later, Ducati took the triple MotoGP World titles (riders’, manufacturers’ and team) and in January 2008, Shell and Ducati signed a new agreement through until the end of 2011.
“In MotoGP, engine lubricant has three key functions,” explains Shell Lubricant Development & Ducati Project Manager, Michael Knaak.
“Firstly, it is designed to reduce friction in order to increase power, secondly, it maintains gearbox performance and thirdly and perhaps most importantly, it has to protect the moving parts, all to ensure the bike is reliable and reaches the finish line, ideally in first place!”
It takes a good engine lubricant to achieve just the right balance of these characteristics, while ensuring the bike’s performance is optimized, no energy is wasted and maximum power is delivered by the engine. The implementation of a mix of highly effective 'friction modifiers' in the latest blends of Shell Advance has allowed the Desmosedici to produce even more horsepower, just by changing the oil.
“Lubricant is critical,” continues Knaak. “Shell Advance Ultra 4 motorcycle oil plays an integral role in powering and protecting the Ducati engine. It has been optimized to deliver maximum performance and liberate new power, while keeping the engine clean. All of these characteristics can now be found in Shell motorcycle oil for the road, which is developed from the learning Shell makes on track.”
Ducati Desmosedici Engine Oil Anti-Friction Blends and Additives
In the age of the limited fuel tank size, maximizing fuel efficiency has also become the most important goal for Shell and Ducati in MotoGP.
Fuel efficiency and power can be in direct opposition to each other, so the challenge for the Shell technicians is to meet this fuel economy goal while balancing the delivery of performance. The latest version of Shell Advance racing oil has been optimized to work with Shell V-Power race fuel, with the aim of reducing fuel consumption and maximizing power output from the bike.
Shell has an entire team dedicated to the Ducati Corse effort. “At Shell we have a team dedicated to tailoring Shell Advance engine oil for the Ducati Desmosedici,” says Knaak.
“The team has grown significantly in recent years. In 2008, 12 chemists, engineers and technicians will contribute to Shell’s technical partnership with Ducati. These same people are also tasked with developing motorcycle oil for the road, so that new technology can be transferred quickly.”
Development of race oil for Ducati is a complex process. The Shell engineers start with a pre-candidate oil and modify it at their laboratory in Hamburg, Germany, to produce a Shell Advance race oil candidate.
The development process ensures that the oil candidate has the exact qualities desired for the race bikes. Following this, the oil is passed to Ducati Corse for testing on the Borgo Panigale test bench, from which successful candidates are supplied to the team for testing on the track. Only when Shell and Ducati Corse’s engineers are fully satisfied with an oil candidate, the new blend is used in competition.