Acerbis X-Seat and Danesi at the MotoGP

The idea came about almost by accident, as what sometimes happens with original and innovative projects. One day while Yuri Danesi (Acerbis' race product manager) was discussing with Honda Scot Team Manager, Alberto Martinelli, the various issues MotoGP racers have, a light went off inside Danesi's head: Why not take the considerable experience and knowledge Acerbis has developed with the X-seat for off-road motorcycles and apply it to MotoGP bikes? He took this into consideration especially since within this sector of racing, the technology has remained in the stone age, just like the bikes, as demonstrated by the fact that the seat the teams had been using was a piece of hand cut neoprene pasted on the frame of the bike.

And so, a year ago, the idea of the revolutionary X-Seat was applied and developed for the fastest race track vehicles on two wheels. The project started with Acerbis' R&D; department studying the CAD designs of GP bikes noting all necessary math, then building the first mold, then debuting the end product at the Moto GP of Misano Adriatico with Gabor Talmacsi. The results were immediately positive, especially at rainy races where, in the past, the traditional neoprene seat would tend to absorb water, gain weight and become quite slippery, whereas the X-seat proved to be 100% waterproof and retained its grip. The Acerbis X-Seat also proved to be a host for sponsor logos as the construction of the seat provided the possibility of multiple colors and logos to be embedded into the piece during the molding process. The Acerbis X-Seat showed an impressive debut in Moto GP racing as Iroshi Ayama won the 250 world title aboard the saddle. For his victory, Ayama was presented with a limited edition X-Seat custom zed with a World Champion logo imbedded in the seat. A replica version was then produced and presented as a souvenir to his Honda teammates and sponsors.

"This year we are still working with Team Scot, but in Moto2," explained Yuri Danesi at the MotoGP paddock "alongside De Angelis and Canepa with whom we conducted our first winter text using the seat last year."

**So what has been evolving since then? **"De Angelis, who is quite tall, wanted to lower the seat height from 10 to 8mm, he also wanted more grip which we were able to provide by integrating large-diameter grains of rice into the mold, while maintaining the same level of softness that worked well in 2009. Canepa, on the other hand, wanted to maintain the 10mm of thickness, but like De Angelis, he opted for more grip. We made two custom saddles for each rider, complete with the flag of San Marino integrated into the mold of the seat. San Marino was chosen because it is the state where the main sponsor of the team, Team Scot, hails from."

Will there be further developments in the future? "The shape, thickness and texture will remain the same since all of our tests have provided a very satisfactory outcome in this regard, but as far as evolution of the seat is concerned, we are in the process of creating a custom seat for each race. For example, integrating the French flag for the French GP at Le Mans, then an English flag for the GP of the Channel, etc...and possibly integrating the logo of a sponsor who is heavily involved in a specific race."

Will the technology that has developed the X-Seat in MotoGP be applied to standard road bikes? "I would say yes, as the project is nearing completion and we have already made a seat for the 1198 which will enter production soon and will be available in Ducati's Performance aftermarket catalog. This is just the first step, but given the interest we have gained with other teams in MotoGP and Moto2, I believe it can only be the start of a large scale project.

Acerbis X-Seat and Danesi at the MotoGP