Ducati boss Gigi Dall’Igna has admitted it was essential for the Bologna factory to have persuaded Andrea Dovizioso to sign a new two-year contract.
The Italian was the outstanding star for Ducati in 2014 and the former 125GP world champion claimed podium finishes in Austin and Assen on his way to finishing fifth in the overall rankings behind elite quartet Marc Marquez, Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa. And he scored the Bologna factory’s first premier class pole position in four years at Twin Ring Motegi back in October.
Dovizioso also had nine other top six finishes in 2014 and his vast experience was instrumental in helping Dall’Igna develop this year’s Desmosedici, which included the upgraded GP14.2 that arrived in September for the Motorland Aragon race.
Dovizioso has also played a pivotal in the radically redesigned GP15 that will break cover next February when testing resumes at the Sepang track in Malaysia. The former Repsol Honda rider attracted big interest from Suzuki ahead of the Japanese factory’s return to premier class competition in 2015.
But Dall’Igna said it was hugely important that Dovizioso committed his future to Ducati and the Italian race boss told MCN: “It was really important for me that Dovi stayed. The reason I discussed a lot with him was because I really wanted him to continue with us. The talent of Dovi and his approach on the development is one of the key points for the future.”
Ducati will field an all-Italian line-up for the first time in its MotoGP history next season, with Andrea Iannone joining Dovizioso following Cal Crutchlow’s departure to LCR Honda.