Cal Crutchlow and team-mate Andrea Dovizioso will campaign their existing Desmosedici GP14 throughout the 2014 season with no all new bike expected until the 2015 season.
Speaking at the official Ducati MotoGP press conference in Munch Ducati Corse General Manager Gigi Dall’Igna said: “I would like to design a completely new bike, but before we do this it is important that we have all the information. I would like to understand the existing bike and to do that I need two or three months. Only one time in my life have I had the opportunity to develop a bike from the drawing board, normally it is a case of developing, developing, developing.”
While the news that Crutchlow and Dovizioso will be racing the current bike during the season is disappointing, Ducati have already made significant steps in improving their existing bike. Although the inherent turning and understeer problems remain, Dovizioso who campaigned the bike in 2013 has been significantly faster in winter testing – finishing the final Sepang test third fastest just 0.068s behind joint fastest men Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa.
Dovizioso said: “At the end of the 2013 season the gap to the front was too big, but over the winter something has changed. I am a hard braker and the performance and the stability is now very good and it gives me the opportunity to brake late and play on the brakes which will be important when battling with other riders.”
Despite his impressive Sepang pace and belief that the bike has improved, Dovizioso refused to be drawn on whether he could finish on the podium in 2014 saying that the gap to the top four men in the championship remains too big.