Ex-Ducati boss understands Open class appeal

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Former factory Ducati boss Livio Suppo says he fully understands why the Bologna factory is seriously considering entering this year’s MotoGP world championship in the new Open class.

It has been widely expected for weeks now that Ducati will enter Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso as an Open entry, which will allow new technical boss Gigi Dall’Igna more freedom to develop and improve the struggling Desmosedici project.

By entering the Open category, Ducati will be able to test more and crucially they will not be part of the new engine freeze for factory entries like Honda and Yamaha.
A factory entry will be limited to five engines for the season but no in-season development is permitted.

An Open entry can use 12 engines but it is the possibility to develop that is essential for Ducati and a key reason for its decision to move to the Open class, which is expected to be officially confirmed imminently.

Ducati didn’t come close to scoring a single podium in 2013 and British star Crutchlow has found his switch to the unforgiving Desmosedici a tough one, having not finished inside the top 10 in two testing appearances in Valencia and Sepang.

Suppo, who is now a leading management figure at Honda after a long stint with Ducati, told MCN: “Like it or not but the target of a factory is to be as competitive as possible and at this moment Ducati is not in an easy situation. Last year’s performance was the worst for Ducati since their debut in 2003. I understand they are desperately trying to improve and the opportunity to use the Open class to increase their potential is understandable.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt