Ducati confirm move from factory to open class

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Ducati have finally announced that they will make the move from factory to open class in 2014, with the team ditching their own electronics software in return for extra fuel, tyres and engine development.

The Bologna factory has been experimenting with the option for a number of months, and rumours are circulating the paddock that it was an open class machine not a full MotoGP spec bike that took Andrea Dovizioso to third on the final day at Sepang, after the team confirmed that he was riding back-to-back tests on both specs of machine.

The move to open class means that Dovi and teammate Cal Crutchlow will have an extra four litres of fuel, something that could potentially allow the Ducatis a significant advantage on power over their factory rivals, who have been forced to develop leaner and less powerful maps in recent years to stretch the 20 litres they are allowed.

The team will also have access to the softest specification of Bridgestone tyres and will be allowed to develop their engines through the season.

Luigi Dall’Igna, Ducati Corse General Manager, commented: “We have carefully studied the new technical regulations and have concluded that the Open option is the most interesting for Ducati, in the current situation. This year we have to keep developing our bikes throughout the season to improve our competitiveness, and the Factory option appears to be too restrictive for our needs. We are confident that the electronics package provided by Magneti Marelli and Dorna has very good quality and will allow the correct management of all the main functions of the bikes”.

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer