Andrea Dovizioso renewed criticism of Ducati’s struggling MotoGP project in Spain today on the eve of the Italian’s 200th world championship appearance at the Motorland Aragon.
The former 125GP world champion has failed to stop Ducati’s slide into mid-pack mediocrity in 2013 and in 13 appearances on the factory Desmosedici he has only finished inside the top six twice.
Constant complaints about understeer and Ducati’s continuing failure to find a solution have echoed the past grievances expressed by the likes of Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner.
No end to Ducati’s barren spell appears in sight and while Honda and Yamaha are well advanced with development of their 2014 prototype machinery, Ducati’s new Desmosedici won’t be rolled out in anger until the first Sepang test next February in Malaysia.
Asked by MCN if the fact that Ducati was already lagging behind Honda and Yamaha for next season was a worry, Dovizioso said: “Sure we have to be worried because the reality is in front of everybody. But in this moment the future is not fixed from what I know, so unfortunately to speak about 2014 it is too early.
I can’t speak about 2014 because the details are not clear and we are in a difficult situation. We know the problems we have we can’t fix now and we can’t expect anything special. All we can do is push at 100% and try to get the maximum out of our bike. The maximum we do is to put the bike on the limit.”
Dovizioso said one frustrating aspect of his difficult Ducati career was that he didn’t when the Desmosedici would be upgraded and improved.
He said: “This is a question I have had from the beginning of the season and still nobody realises the point and I have no answer.”
Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali and race boss Bernhard Gobmeier both told MCN recently that a re-structuring of the MotoGP project will be undertaken in the coming months in Bologna.
Ducati has been without a clear technical figurehead since the departure of Filippo Preziosi at the end of last season.
And Gobmeier recently denied speculation that Ducati had launched a bid to tempt Aprilia technical guru Gig Dall’Igna to join the Bologna factory.
Dovizioso hinted that a change in key personnel or the recruitment of new staff was fundamental to helping dragging Ducati out of its current slump and he added: “This is the key point and I have spoken about this from the beginning of the season.
The key point is not the bike. If until now we didn’t fix the problem it means that is a consequence of the problem. So we have to fix a different point and that is why nothing is fixed. Who worked on the bike didn’t fix the problem and that’s the problem. We don’t have to speak about more things. They have an idea but still they didn’t fix it. I don’t think anybody really knows how to fix that and like I always say there is not one big problem and that’s it.
One big problem is the turning but that is not the only reason we take such a big gap to the top. We can speak about many possibilities and I have no answer about that and nobody can in this moment.”