Ducati have unveiled their 2014 MotoGP contender in an impressive ceremony at parent company Audi’s showrooms inside Munich Airport in the presence of a host of top names and vehicles from the German car company.
The new machine, which Coventry rider Cal Crutchlow and Italian Andrea Dovizioso will open the season on in less than two weeks, reverts to a simpler design than in recent years, with the traditional Ducati red highlighted with the Italian tricolore flag.
Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali, speaking at the event: “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. 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.”
Brit Crutchlow added: “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. 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% in the race.”
Italian teammate Dovizioso concluded: “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. 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.”
For eight pages of coverage from the final pre-season tests, see this Wednesday’s Motorcycle News.