MotoGP: Ducati Ready For Challenge Of 2014

Cycle News Staff | March 10, 2014

Ducati’s MotoGP team was introduced today at a press conference held at the Audi Forum inside the Munich airport in Germany with the team showing off its new livery while also talking about the coming season in the series.

“As I have said recently” declared Ducati Motor Holding’s CEO Claudio Domenicali at the start of the press conference, “in MotoGP we also want to find again those values that have led us to obtain successful results in the past. We are ready for the new MotoGP season, firmly convinced that the enthusiasm, the passion and the technical competence of our team, together with the support of our sponsors and partners and all of our ‘tifosi,’ will enable us to tackle this commitment with determination. Cal [Crutchlow] and Andrea [Dovizioso] are very talented riders, and Luigi Dall’Igna will surely be able to manage the resources available in the best possible way. The new technical and sporting decisions that the company has decided to take will allow us to compete once again with the spirit that has always characterized the women and the men who work in Ducati, capable of producing dream bikes that are in the forefront for technology and design.”

Dall’Igna also spoke of the team as he readies for his debut as Ducati Corse’s general manager.

“Coming to work in Ducati Corse is probably the most important challenge of my life: working in MotoGP as General Manager for one of the most famous and prestigious manufacturers in the world – Ducati – is an important achievement but also a great responsibility,” he said. “I am very proud of the choice that I have made and just as motivated by the results of testing at Sepang and Phillip Island. At the moment the most important thing is to continue with the development of the bike, and the choices that we have made will allow us to move forward and improve. We are satisfied with the lap times in the last tests, but also the consistency of the times, which are backed up by the riders’ comments. Ducati has significantly reduced the gap to its rivals and we are confident we can make further steps forward during the season.”

For Andrea Dovizioso, 2014 will be the second season in MotoGP with Ducati. Last year the 27-year-old Italian finished eighth in the championship.

“I am very happy with the way the pre-season tests went because we managed to improve more than expected, and this gives me a lot of confidence,” Dovi said. “Thanks to the work of Gigi, and by making a few balance changes, the bike is now more manageable, goes better and we succeeded in doing the times we did in the recent tests. Losail is a very difficult track, but I think we will be quite competitive, even though we still have a few doubts about our effective race pace. In any case, we have reduced the gap from last year and today we are much more competitive. We still have to improve to arrive at the positions where we want to be, but I think that in the first race we will manage to start close to the front.”

Like Dell’Igna, Cal Crutchlow will make his debut with the team in two weeks in Qatar.

“I’m excited about the season ahead and I think Qatar is going to be good for us,” the Brit said. “The team have been working well, and especially in Australia I felt we were doing a good job. We still have some things to try with the bike, but I’m excited to start the season in what I feel is not too bad a shape. I think we will be at a disadvantage because we never tested there, but we’ll still be giving 100 percent in the race.”