Ducati to utilise Audi expertise

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Ducati will start utilising Audi’s vast technical expertise immediately to try and improve its Desmosedici project in the MotoGP world championship.

Ducati technical boss Filippo Preziosi said Audi’s acquisition of the Bologna factory in a deal rumoured to be worth over £700m would give Ducati’s engineering group access to a huge pool of knowledge.

The Italian manufacturer is trying to close down the performance gap to rivals Honda and Yamaha and Preziosi confirmed that he and his technical staff will work closely with Audi to exchange information and ideas.

Ducati hasn’t won the MotoGP title since 2007 and it hasn’t won a race since the end of 2010, with Italian legend Valentino Rossi struggling to make the Desmosedici project competitive.

Audi boasts a huge four-wheeled motorsport portfolio and Preziosi said he was looking forward to working closely with the German car giant.

Preziosi told MCN: “Audi is a big company. Our competitors have a racing department, but they are part of a huge company. When you are part of a huge company, you have access to some excellent departments and you can speak with these technicians.

“In the past we were a small company, so we didn’t have that chance and now we have. We can speak with Audi about engines, because they are very good in developing engines and also electronics in terms of both strategies and hardware. We can speak with them about materials and about fault analysis when you break parts.

“They have machining expertise so they can produce prototype parts. I think there are huge opportunities now that we can have. Of course it will require some time to know the right person to do that, but they are very interested, and it is a new opportunity for us for sure.”

Preziosi though said it was too early to understand when Audi’s potential impact on the MotoGP project will start to be witnessed on track.

He added: “It will be step-by-step. The first discussions you will have, maybe we can pick up some ideas and some information. Depending on the idea, maybe you can put it into the next strategies in one month.

“Or if it is a general overview of the engine design, maybe you need a year. You will have different help that will show their potential in different timescales.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt