2014 Ducati MotoGP News
MotoGP's Ducati Team officially presented Monday its team and strategy at the Audi Forum inside the Munich Airport in Germany.
This shows the synergy between the Bologna-based motorcycle manufacturer and the Audi Group. And at the team presentation, all the top players in the Ducati Team were present, including riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow, Ducati Corse General Manager Luigi Dall’Igna, Ducati Corse Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti, Ducati Motor Holding CEO Claudio Domenicali, and, of course, the Ducati Team GP14.
Ducati finds itself in a unique situation in 2014; its the only one of three factory-backed teams to run under the new MotoGP "Open" class rules. The other two teams - Yamaha Factory Racing and Repsol Honda - will still run under the stricter prototype rules.
“As I have said recently, in MotoGP we also want to find again those values that have led us to obtain successful results in the past," Domenicali said at the start of the press conference. "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 and Andrea 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.”
Domenicalli than invited Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg to the stage. The member of the Board of Audi AG for Technical Development underlined that Audi and Ducati share the same passion for racing, have many values in common and both represent excellence in the field of technology and innovation, Ducati reports.
Once Hackenberg wished the team the best for 2014, Dall’Igna got down to discussing the GP14 in 2014.
“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. 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," Dall'Igna said.
"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.”
Ciabatti also talked about the work the team has ahead of them: “After three difficult seasons without any significant results, the changes in organization that we have made in our structure for this season are producing their first results.
"The entire Ducati Team is very motivated and united, and the encouraging results we obtained in the last tests give us hope for the championship that is about the start. We know that we still need to do a lot of work to further reduce the gap separating us from the frontrunners, but we are convinced we have made the right decisions and so we are very optimistic."
For Andrea Dovizioso 2014 will be the second season in MotoGP with the Ducati Team. After an eighth place last season, the 27 year-old Italian will be hoping for better luck this time around and first impressions from the tests are positive, Ducati said.
“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. 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," Dovizioso says.
"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.”
This will Crutchlow's fourth year in MotoGP, and his first year with the Ducati Team. The Brit discussed his optimism on the upcoming season.
“I’m excited about the season ahead and I think Qatar is going to be good for us. The team have been working well, and especially in Australia I felt we were doing a good job," Crutchlow says.
"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.”
The Ducati Team will also be presenting their livery tonight at the Audi Zentrum in Eching.
The 2014 MotoGP Championship begins March 20-23 at Losail, Qatar.