Ducati boss Gigi Dall’Igna says he had the unanimous backing of Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow when steering the Bologna factory into the new MotoGP class in 2014.
Ducati’s desperate need to develop its factory Desmosedici has seen Dall’Igna implement the huge strategy change, with Ducati announcing it would race in the Open category last Friday.
A key factor in Dall’Igna’s decision was the fact that in the Open class there is much more freedom to develop the GP14, which is still struggling to match the speed of Honda and Yamaha.
Had Ducati remained as a factory entry, it could have only run five engines and been banned from any in-season development.
Open class entries can use 12 engines, as well as having access to softer tyres and four litres of fuel more than the factory prototypes.
When asked by MCN what reaction his decision got from Italian Dovizioso and 28-year-old Briton Crutchlow, Dall’Igna said: “I think both of them believe in the technical staff and so I think that they trust in us and they follow our decision. The important thing is to develop the bike.”
There had been late speculation in Sepang that Ducati would split its four riders between a mix of Open and factory machinery.
It’s original plan for 2014 was to run Yonny Hernandez on a GP13 in Open class spec and then Dovizioso, Crutchlow and Andrea Iannone on a factory spec Desmosedici.
But Dovizioso, Crutchlow and Iannone will all run Open-spec GP14 machinery and Dall’Igna said: “I spend all my life in racing and the most important thing is to not only follow one rider and one direction. Statistics in this job is really important, so I prefer to have three riders with the possibility to develop the bike instead of only one.”
For more news on Ducati’s strategy switch to the Open class, see the March 5 issue of MCN.