Andrea Dovizioso To Leave Ducati At The End Of 2020 - What Next In The MotoGP Rider Market?

Desmo Dovi is no more. The eight-year partnership between Andrea Dovizioso and Ducati Corse will come to an end when the flag falls after the last race of the 2020 MotoGP season.

The news was made official by Dovizioso's manager Simone Battistella, after a final meeting with Ducati management to try to agree terms. Battistella told broadcaster Sky Italia that they had been unable to find common ground to continue.

"We have told Ducati that Andrea does not intend to continue for the next years, that he now only wants to concentrate on the next races, but that the conditions to continue together don't exist," Battistella said. "He won't be leaving MotoGP, however, even if there are no negotiations currently happening with other teams. This has been a conclusion reached over the last period. Andrea feels much more calm now that he has taken this decision."

Shortly after the interview was broadcast, Ducati issued a statement by Ducati Corse Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti via its social media channels. "We met Simone this morning here at Red Bull Ring, and realized that unfortunately, there are not the conditions to continue our relationship with Dovi beyond the end of the current contract," the statement read. "Ducati and Andrea will now fully concentrate on the remainder of the 2020 season, starting from tomorrow's Austrian GP, with the common goal to add more wins to the 13 first places already achieved together, and fight for the title until the end of the championship."

Long decline

The decision was the now seemingly inevitable outcome of the long deterioration of the relationship between Dovizioso and Ducati – and especially Ducati Corse boss Gigi Dall'Igna – over the past couple of years. Dall'Igna felt that Dovizioso needed to push harder and get more out of the Desmosedici. Dovizioso felt that Dall'Igna was focusing solely on creating more horsepower, and fixing the last of the turning issues which have dogged the Ducati for 15 years or more, at least since the switch to the 800cc formula in 2007.

Things went downhill more quickly in the past couple of years, with Dovizioso and Dall'Igna no longer on speaking terms outside of brief work meetings. Dall'Igna believed Ducati had a bike to win the championship, but not the rider – a pattern which the signing of Jorge Lorenzo fits neatly into. Dovizioso believed he could be champion if it were not for Ducati's failure to give him the last piece of the puzzle, a bike which turned better, to help him win the title.

The final stumbling block appears to have been financial. Ducati had asked Dovizioso to take a pay cut for 2021, with reports that he was also being asked to accept a pay cut for the 2020 season as well, due to the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unsurprisingly, Dovizioso was not so inclined: the Italian had finished as runner up to a dominant Marc Márquez for the last three seasons, racked up 13 victories for Ducati, and been absolutely instrumental in helping to turn around Ducati's fortunes since his arrival in 2013, together with Gigi Dall'Igna.

Rider reshuffle

What happens next for Andrea Dovizioso? Paddock consensus is that he will join Aleix Espargaro at Aprilia. That makes a lot of sense from numerous perspectives. Aprilia want an Italian rider to enhance their status as an Italian brand. With the RS-GP now finally starting to look competitive, Aprilia need an experienced development rider, which Dovizioso unquestionably is. Aprilia are more desperate than Ducati for success, and so potentially have deeper pockets, at least in the short term.

It would also be a small piece of revenge for the Italian factory. At the end of 2013, Ducati poached then Aprilia Racing director Gigi Dall'Igna to lead their racing program. Eight years' later, Aprilia return the favor by tempting Andrea Dovizioso away from Ducati to help lead the development of the RS-GP.

If Dovizioso goes to Aprilia, that would leave Cal Crutchlow without a seat in MotoGP. That would be an issue for British broadcaster BT Sport, who want a British rider in the premier class, but there are no real candidates to ascend to MotoGP, nor attractive seats available.

Ducati's choices

In theory, Crutchlow could return to Ducati, but Ducati have shown no interest in seeing the British rider return. The more plausible explanation is that Ducati promote Pecco Bagnaia from the satellite Pramac squad, as they have done with Jack Miller. Ducati owns the contracts of the Pramac Ducati riders, and Pramac is very much the Ducati junior team, where they prepare talent for ascension into the factory squad.

If Bagnaia is promoted to the factory team, that would leave space in the Pramac squad for some experimentation by Ducati. Enea Bastianini's name has been mentioned a lot recently, as the Italian has impressed in Moto2. Bastianini could be one rider to be promoted to MotoGP in 2021. Luca Marini is another name which has been doing the rounds, the Sky VR46 rider having made a big step forward in the past couple of seasons.

Johann Zarco is another alternative, though the Frenchman is more likely to be placed in Pramac than in the factory squad. What Ducati are after is a rider to win a championship: Zarco has shown he can be competitive and score podiums on the Ducati, but there are lingering doubts that he can cope with the pressure of a factory team, after what happened in 2019 with the factory KTM squad.

Rumors continue to circulate about a possible return to Ducati by Jorge Lorenzo. It is hard to assess how much substance there is to the rumors. Ducati have politely talked around the rumors, without addressing them directly, and Jorge Lorenzo has gone quiet in recent weeks. But it is a popular proposal among pundits, as it generates a lot of debate and engagement.

Lorenzo is beloved by Ducati Corse boss Gigi Dall'Igna, but he faces opposition from Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali. It was Domenicali's opposition that eventually forced Lorenzo out at the end of 2018.

A decision on Ducati's future line up will follow in a month or so, once Ducati have had a chance to digest the news that they have lost Dovizioso, and to weigh their options. "We will take some time to make some considerations, and in the next weeks, we will inform everybody," Davide Tardozzi told Simon Crafar on the MotoGP.com broadcast.


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Comments

He has handled the stinking situation like a pro and a gentleman and will be far better off away from Gigi Puig.

Here's hoping that the Aprillia gig happens and he can help them to flourish.

Undaunted indeed....

Kind of unfair to compare a great and very successful engineer like Gigi to an asshole like Puig. Were it not for Marc's supreme talent, Puig would be looking very bad, as we're seeing right now.  Gigi was very successful at Aprilia, and then transfromed the D16 from a non competetive bike that no one had won on in over two seasons, to one that now has been runner up to the almost unbeatable phenomenon Marc Marquez three years in a row.  A bike which four different riders have been able to win races on, and a few others have scored podiums on.  It's a bike that has widely been regarded as the best on the grid over the past few years.  I'm a big fan of Dovi, but Gigi may be right.  I'm not sure if they will sign Lorenzo, but as a 5 time world champion, and the only person to win a Moto GP title over Marquez, he probably does give them a better chance to beat Marc than Dovi does. 

The problem with guys like Gigi is they start thinking they are the show and not their riders. While Gigi has vastly improved Ducati's GP bike it's still not there. The bike is only as good as the time clock says it is, and so far it's not a championship bike no matter who rides it. Without Dovi next season, the Ducati effort it weaker yet.

They are done no paying that guy. I am also pretty sure he never rides for a company employing Domeniccelli too.

There will be differing views on Ducati’s decision. For my part, it’s the right one. I wish it had been taken sooner. There’s no room for sentiment. Or wishful thinking. Ducati has had a championship winning bike and it should have had a rider with championship winning potential to put on it. And that’s a young rider. Someone who can take it to Marc. Week in, week out. That’s not Dovi, never really has been, not even at his best, and that’s in the past. Bring on the next generation. 

It's pretty straightforward: Ducati management has never missed an opportunity to do everything wrong. The way they treated Dovi - regardless of his results, which by the way are nothing to be ashamed of: he did bring it to MM 93 - should be studied at business school as a must NOT. 

They did it with stoner, rossi, Lorenzo and Dovi. Even the way they pitted Iannone against Dovi was more like dog fight than healthy competition.

They had a guy who worked with them building a new winning bike they, put on the table 24 millions to bring in Lorenzo and during the first year when he was struggling they had the nerve to say to Dovi (who, I repeat was bringing the fight to 93) that he should be happy with the little money they were giving him and be greateful...

All of the top riders left because they had some sense of self-respect, Stoner and Lorenzo to name but two. Now, they don't want Dovi? Just say it instead of playing cat and mouse. How many months they spent contacting every possible rider while stalling with Dovi? It's despeakeble. How can you expect a great performance from your rider when you have made clear that he is worth nothing to you?

What amazes me is that they still haven't learnt their lesson. And soon they will treat like s**t whoever comes next. Poor Pecco. Poor Lorenzo.

Well done Dovi. I bet Tardozzi & Co. Must be praying that Dovi does not win any race or, even worse, the championship...  What a waste! 

For whatever excellent work is done by the engineering team at Ducati their team management continues as you said "to never miss an opportunity to do everything wrong." As Livio Suppo said it's something between what the bike and be and the rider can do. Ducati can't seem to figure out this whole relationship thing. Simply saying the bike is "good enough" and expecting the wins to come rolling in is foolish.

I like Dovi allot and if we were to take Magic Marc out of the equation Ducati would have a fist full of world titles by now. If I'm being honest I think Ducati has something of a point on Andrea not being aggressive enough but their way of promoting drama within the team is unprofessional to the max. They seem to keep looking for someone to come in and fix all their problems. But things don't work that way. It's all about the relationships and cultivating those relationships. 

Far too many exceptional riders have passed through that garage and been snubbed by management to the point where it's clearly not an accident. KTM on the other hand seems to have done a much better job here. They formed those relationships as early as possible and it's those relationships that lay the groundwork for building towards positive results. Binder in Moto2 last year said their chassis wasn't working so what did KTM do? Say it was perfect and Binder should try harder? No. They used the relationship to (try) and work through the problem. 

Andrea is nearing the end of his MotoGP racing days and that's fine. He's done excellent work taking Ducati to a load of 2nd places. If they would like to part ways that's fine but think of how exactly this teen drama is going to impact a new young rider looking to come to Ducati. If I were to step into the box as a new rider surrounded by smiles and optimistic words from Ducati management I'd be thinking "these guys are full of it, I'm just their next flavor of the month and I need to watch my back." 

Ducati burning every bridge of past riders isn't going to help them win any time soon. For me, Miller will be the real test. He's solid and worked his way up to the factory team. If he struggles to win it all will management burn that bridge as well? They already have with everyone else so We'll see what happens. 

Let us not forget that Ducati Corse recommended that Melandri see a shrink. Marky Marc's current situation (and other examples in the past) clearly show the downside of riding the dark horse excessively. 

"Ducati management has never missed an opportunity to do everything wrong." That's great!

As somebody who used to follow Formula 1 many years ago before it became interminably dull and gimmicky, there are more than a few similarities between Ducati and Ferrari. An overwhelming attitude of self-importance, treating their riders/drivers like garbage, internal divisions etc etc. I could go on and on!

Nobody else knows how to pluck defeat from the jaws of victory like the boys in red.

Thank you for this comment. In a vacuum, it might be fair to question if Dovi is "the guy". But Ducati has a clear pattern of throwing their riders under the bus. It would serve them right to flounder at the back of the grid as penance for their rider abuse. It's not just business. It's bad business.

Ducati needs someone to win races if not championships , until the junior riders can make that step up then it's probably not worth putting them into the pressure cooker that is the 'works' team . Pramac is a far better place to bring them on , giving a current bike with 'works' support but much less pressure .

Could Lorenzo be in the mix ? might not be a bad choice for a year to give the youngsters time to grow - and the engineers love him and his imput .

And he really , really likes to win ...

Dovi informed them via his manager, and the looks on the faces of Tardozzi, who earlier tweeted that they would take their decision after the 2 Austrian races, and Ciabatti, looked both surprised, forlorn and disappointed. The look on Davide's face when Dovi briefly posted P1 time in Q2 was classic!

... on something other than a Ducati, I think Aprilia would be incredibly lucky to have him come aboard. Would Dovi be as fortunate by moving to RS-GP? Perhaps in 2021, more likely in 2022... and only if Aprilia does a good job and spends the required sum.

Lorenzo is a no-brainer for Ducati (depite their odd history), he's the only rider that they have an opportunity to sign who could give them a legitimate shot at the title with. I don't see Miller able to do it, and Pecco hasn't shown enough to warrant that kind of prediction.

 

 

Would be a superb coup for Aprilla if they were able to get Dovi onboard. They've been in desperate need of a top quality rider to truly move this project forward for several seasons already. Obtaining the Italian would go some way to steering them in the right direction.

However, out of interest David, if a deal doesn't happen between Dovi and Aprilla, what about a small possiblility Dovi could go and reunite with Tech 3 instead? I know Tech 3 is meant to be somewhat of a junior team system these days, but Lecuona, while quick on occasions, has failed to finish any of his four MotoGP races so far. While it's not THE factory team, the packages as pretty much as good as factory spec. With KTM on the up, it might not be a bad thing to go and sound them out, likewise KTM could benefit from Dovi's huge experience and imput from his years at Repsol Honda and Ducati. Worth putting in an offer.

It was a simple situation really. Gigi and Dovi hit an impasse starting 2017 and culminating early 2018 when Dovi had again done the unthinkable. That being, relegating Gigi's chosen one, Jorge Lorenzo to his (Dovi's) dustbin of erstwhile Ducati team mates. Dovi seems happy enough. In fact, looks relieved that it is all finally over. Ducati of course are trying but failing to make it appear cordial and strictly business. The big issues for both parties are threefold and it remains to be seen how it all pans out.

Firstly. Can Dovi and Ducati get that elusive title? That should be paramount for both right now and to hell with the rest. Secondly. Who do Ducati replace him with? If I were them I would not make overtures to any rider until the season is over. Thirdly: 'Dovi will remain in MotoGP'. That is one all embracing statement. The possibilities are endless. Race for Aprilia, a semi sabatical year with a KTM deal to test alongside his old sparring partner at Repsol with the odd wildcard ride and to stand in for any injured rider a la Ducati with Pirro. That is not beyond the pale of KTM. Ex factory HRC man spurned by HRC and Ex factory Ducati man spurned by Ducati. Don't expect Ducati nor Dovi to make any announcements soon, (nor KTM... he he)

 

If you watch the Undaunted video on the Red Bull site, hearing Dovi talk it seems to me more likely that he's going to retire. He talks about weighing whether the risks are worth it anymore, and how bad the pain is.

Him saying today that it's "Not the right time to give more details" to me sounds like "I'm going to retire but don't want to announce it so early, I'd rather focus on the 2020 title."

Dovi is a great rider and a great man. He was instrumental in turning the Duc from a trainwreck to a championship fighter. Ducati management is only second to Honda in awfulness. 

But as painful as it is to admit, I think Dovi's championship chances have passed. There are too many new fast boys to contend with. Ducati really does need someone who is faster and less dependent on the bike than Dovi. From what I've seen, Pecco is that guy. So Ducati have stumbled into a good transition by dumb luck. Dovi had a great career and can leave the paddock with his head high IMO.

You can go as far back as Casey Stoner to read about Ducati handling issues. He gave them all the feedback he could, something he is known for, but it landed on deaf ears. Ducati is a small company and they hold their purse strings tightly. Casey's hurt his chances of big changes, believe it or not, by winning. How bad do you really need capital investment if you are already winning, right? Rossi famously mocked Stoner as not giving good feedback because Casey was the only rider that could win on the bike. The truth is, Stoner, like Hailwood, is the type of rider than can ride around problems if forced to. Vale found this out when he in gave similar feedback and received little in return. And now Dovi receives the same treatment. Ducati has gotten away with underpaying Dovi for years and have gotten outstanding results in return. I am not impressed with how the treat riders at all. Expecting him to take a pay cut is an absolute insult. I do hope he goes to Aprillia and finishes out his career with respected, successful service.

I just hope Dovi continues in MotoGP. He's one of the most interesting riders to listen too.

I've no idea about Ducati management or the situation between Dovi and Ducati, i'm sure it will come out with time. All we can do is wait to see if they all made the right choice.

Another rider thrown under the Juggernaut. Dovizioso sacrificed to the God of speed.

Why do good people leave great teams like HRC or Ducati corse? They leave because of bad management driving them out.

Who is worse Gigi or Alberto Puig? I can only say that Puig at least gets the desired results. For an informed answer we would have to ask Jorge Lorenzo. He has recent experience and he is the only rider to take the championship from Marc Marquez since 2013.

 

But what does Puig do to get results?  Honda was winning with Marc before Puig got there and Dani was able to win some races too.  Puig sacked Dani which was a bad decision, and now Marc is the only one who has been able to win on the bike for the last season and a half.  Ducati was lost before Gigi signed on with them.  He's the chief engineer.  He's a lot more instrumental in their success than Puig is in Honda's.  Gigi is the chief engineer and played a big role in taking the bike from not winning to consistently running at the front, while Puig has very little to do with the engineering of the Honda.   I'd even go as far as saying that Repsol Honda wins in spite of Puig, not becuase of him.

 djhankd I agree 99% !

Devil's advocate question it was.

The 1% being Ducati wasn't completely & utterly lost before Gigi. They had a good engine.

We do not know what has transpired behind closed doors, nor do we know if what we are told is the truth.

The way I see it, yet again, Ducati Corse management have found a way to shoot themselves in their collective foot. Dovizioso has decided to take charge of his own destiny. He is sick and tired of the mind games - see you later. Yesterday's crap news about Ducati management wanting to wait until after the next two races to make a decision (which will not be based on results), must have been the last straw. Hence Dovi's statement today. Say what you shall about Dovizioso's lack of motogp world championship trophies, the dude has principles.

The best part of this is that Dovizioso has found his form and still has a shot at the title. Of course, should he succeed, there will undoubtedly be some naysayers with imaginary asterisks pointing at Marquez' busted funny bone and the Yamaha's technical engine problems that may play a role in the final outcome of this year's championship battle. This all points to the extremely simple fact which Ducati Corse management glaringly fails to understand, year after year: It's a package deal. You guys act like the bike drives itself and the rider just sits there! Basic relationship understanding 101: When there are differences, compromises have to be made (or else welcome to the suck!). I believe the heads at Ducati Corse management cannot see past their own egoic pride. My two cents.

The potential irony in all of this is that if Dovizioso wins the championship he can hang the number 1 plate on his daughters bedroom wall back in Forli, or he can put it on an Aprilia (or whatever bike he may end up on next year in motogp because thems the rules). In that way, Ducati Corse management would be constantly reminded just how much they fucked up next year every time they see his bike.

GO DOVI!  

First of all, I'm a Ducati fan....have two in the garage....BUT, their 'management skills', or lack there of, is staggering! They continue to screw the pooch, over and over and over and over again! You'd think they would have learned, after the Stoner debacle, but Noooooo......they pull the same stupid thing with Jorge. Add onto all this, they're trying to beat a racing 'freak' and IMHO, the only person that can beat Marc is Marc. Regardless of how good the bike is. I think Ducati needs to learn what 'insanity' is.......doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result. 

"...Puig at least gets the desired results..."

I get the feeling that he's just another cog in the wheel. His people skills certainly seem to be on the colder side. But that's from the outside looking in, and I could be wrong.

But hey, all those management types are sort of like that, eh?

I'd be interested in Tammy Gorali writing an article for Motomatters comparing all the current managers. Though I speculate that the Media run the risk of angering those Managers should they write something that is less than pleasing. And then being held at arms length when it comes to information?

Thanks for quoting me cmf. Yes you are correct imo.

Like that? Sort of, maybe last century. These days most organizations realize burning the people that actually do the job is bad for business. Training people, using them, then throwing people way costs money. Loyal employees work for years and need only one induction process. I costs money to replace the ones that are tossed on the scrapheap. Advertising, interviewing, checking the resumes, traing & whipping them into shape etc.

I'd like to read such an article. Isn't Tammy Gorali good at that writing & interviewing stuff!

Let's get back to the racing.

I wish this tore me up, but it doesn't. The duck was the vastly superior bike in 17 and 18 and Dovi couldn't do it. Plus he had Honda factory kit for years and failed to get it done. Time to hang it up, let Zarco or Pecco have a chance.

David, and/or MM commentators more knowledgeable than I, please correct me, but my understanding is:

Dovi's 2020 salary is ~9 million euro. Ducati's offer was a 2020 cut to 3 million euro, and a two-year extension at 3 million euro per year. Even I can do the math, which tells me to ride out my current contract and then look elsewhere.

Once the Ducati announcement came out saying they would decide in Austria, and assuming Ducati did not move on their "offer," Dovi and his manager simply beat Ducati to the punch, announcing that he had left Ducati instead of the other way around. And that's how it seems to be playing out in the media.

Anyway, I'll root for the post-Desmo Dovi wherever he lands. Have to admit, we love the drama!

The simple math was clear from the outset. But, I heard a rumor that Dovizioso and Battistella renegotiated his 2020 salary. Don't know if this is true. Eventually, it came down to a conflict of ideals. 

I love the "best bike" argument. Championed by keyboard tappers that never sat upon or raced a motogp bike. Even a motogp racer cannot say which bike is best because they only know their own experience on the bike they ride in that moment. "Best Bike" is the one that wins the championship. Whether that be the rider's or constructor's championship is up for debate. Which we love to do.

Only That which is all perceiving and which does not belong to time could say which motogp bike is "best". Not convinced S/he (It) cares. 

These guys are pretty quick to know where they are stronger or weaker than the rivals they are racing with week to week. I'd say they know quite a bit about every bike on that grid.

Do you know what subjective experience will be before you experience it? You have never been surprised by experience? My observation is that humans, in general, cherish experiencing above all else. If one already knows what experiencing will be then why bother?

Stoner's initial impression with the GP7? He thought it would destroy his career. Rossi's initial impression with the GP11? That he was in the shit. Dovizioso exuded confidence speaking about his upcoming adventure with Ducati for the 2013 season. After his first race he looked shell shocked. The difference between objective observation and subjective experience of motogp bikes can be vast - even to seasoned motogp veterans.

Motogp riders are no different than us concerning the subjective/objective experience. In fact, we are all exactly the same in this respect. They are not the Gods that some make them out to be. Conditioned by experience, yes. Just as we are.

Undergraduate philosophy class was less interesting via reductionist "there is no reality, and nothing is true." Its an unfortunate Illmore of an perspective lens in my view.

;)

I like disagreeing w you. We always know pretty well, there is consensus of 2/3rds to 3/4 of us. It gets more colorful extrapolating and interpolating such things as "how much of that bike is on display from these riders? How good a fit are they for it?" at al. That there can be a lovely Ducati of a perspective lens. Except for that bloody salad box tail. Or the Fokker Triplane wings. Nothing is perfect, even perspective of "Best" within very complex contexts and laden with some measure of subjectivity. 

Cheers!

 

Sometimes it is ok for something to not be ok. Like a couple where she wants kids and to live in the city, but he only gets it on by moonlight and crickets. Allow it to come apart, and less seems so personal.

This is for the best. Andrea can be very proud of his arc of career trajectory. That is not over. The Aprilia seat looks a natural 2021 spot. The new bike will be shaken out, and ready for him to develop with Aleix. 

Eyes to the shootout for the spot amongst Zarco and Bagnaia. Also against Dovi and his legacy as a 3 way 2020 fight. With Pramac getting full fat Factory bikes and good support, the 2nd seat there is a part of this picture. And some dark horse outside chances for folks like Jorge. I don't see anything happening outside of Bagnaia, Zarco and Martin slotting in to the two seats. 

To be seen on track. Lucky us!

 

 

 

you can be sure that any deal between JL and Ducati will insist that Ducati do anything and everything that He asks.I dont see it however.I am sure the memory of a broken back will be too much for anybody.But perhaps we just cannot imagine how driven champions actually are.

The problem with motorcycles is that i dont think anyone actually knows how to build the perfect bike.You see it over and over again esp in the last decades with the way that honda and yamaha alternately dominate for a couple of years then go one step too far in some aspect of their "secret",then spend the next year trying to dial it back.Unless you have an absolute freak like MM or Stoner who CAN make it work.I actually think the Yamaha is closest to the perfect bike.The is only one problem....#93

as for Mr Dovisioso he is pure class.He is almost the fastest.He would win championships if not for the factor above.He has always been competitive 

Gigi has been pessimistic in recent comments about Lorenzo coming back to Ducati. "I'm not sure of his intentions."

I believe the peacock wants to strut around, fluffing his feathers, feeling important while giving relevance to his existence while he soaks up the attention. Not sure he would be committed to going for it 100%, regardless of past achievements.

I've been a Ducati fan for a while (have owned several) but their management is atrocious. Stoner, Rossi, Lorenzo, Dovizioso, who else will they hire and ignore. The hubris of that company (the team has changed, the behaviour has not) is mind-blowing.

I want Ducati to succeed but, I'm glad that the team is failing in a way because I hate the way they go about it. I feel the same about HRC. I'm a MM93 fan because he's amazing but, I hate that the bike is basically unrideable if you aren't MM93. I'd almost prefer him to stay injured and watch poor Nakagaami fight that thing around the track.

Marco Melandri, Cal Crutchlow, Nicky Hayden. Do Ducati still get on with Loris Capirossi or Sete Gibernau?

Wait, sorry Marco Is back as a stand-in on a Ducati. Of corse it's the Barni WSBK Ducati. Apical smacks self on the forehead with palm of right hand, I'm a Ducati nut too! Rode my 996 in the rain for a day to look at an 848.

Scott Redding yes ruawira I agree, SR45 to win the SBK title then return to Motogp. Is that the best option for Redding? Would you want a friend to get involved with the Ducati Corse team? Managed by Machiavelli. People are predicting problems for the pairing already.

Redding has a two year contract with WSBK team and I suspect he will only be allowed to leave after 1 year if he wins title at first attempt. Rea is not going to make it easy. I think he would be mad to go back to Motogp given how he was treated.

Ducati dont have to hurry to make a decision about Dovi's future,

Ducati Corse management have made their own family bed of nails and now they get to lie in it together. Oh, the pain and glory of watching a (yet another) disrespected rider win races for your brand. How do they explain it to themselves at night, alone with their thoughts before drifting off to interrupted, fitful, restless sleep?