Ducati Team in 2014 MotoGP
Heading into the second Sepang preseason MotoGP tests, one big question loomed in the Ducati Team paddock – will the team of Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow race the Desmosedici GP14 under the new Open-class option, or the Factory option?
Following the three-day test that saw both riders drastically improve on the new GP14 (Dovizioso finished the final day in third, 0.068 off the top time set by Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi), the Ducati Team confirmed it will compete under the Open-class option.
Ducati had until February 28 to make the decision to switch to the Open class, which benefits from less restrictive rules on the number of engines allowed per season (12 vs. five for factory) and a greater fuel allowance (24 vs. 20 liters).
All bikes in both classes – Factory and Open – must also use the same Magneti Marelli ECU. But the Open option allows teams to utilize standard Dorna software and have more freedom of engine development.
Duucati reports after carefully considering the two options, it has decided that “the most suitable one for the current needs of the Bologna-based manufacturer is the Open one, which gives the possibility to the race department to continue the development of the bike and the engine throughout the entire season.”
Ducati reports that satellite Pramac Ducati rider Andrea Iannone will also race a GP14 in the Open class.
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager) says: “We have carefully studied the new technical regulations and have concluded that the Open option is the most interesting for Ducati, in the current situation.
“This year we have to keep developing our bikes throughout the season to improve our competitiveness, and the Factory option appears to be too restrictive for our needs. We are confident that the electronics package provided by Magneti Marelli and DORNA has very good quality and will allow the correct management of all the main functions of the bikes.”
The switch means Ducati will not participate in next week’s Bridgestone tire test at Phillip Island. Only the Factory-option teams will be present, which includes the Yamaha Factory Racing and Repsol Honda teams, and Yamaha and Honda satellite teams.