Italian Andrea Dovizioso has signed a new two-year deal to stay with Ducati’s official Factory squad until the end of 2016.
Dovizioso was the highest ranked Ducati rider in a tough 2013 and the former 125GP world champion has been the standout rider on the finicky Desmosedici in the opening half of this year.
He is currently fourth in the overall world championship rankings and ahead of double MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo after nine races of 2014.
Dovizioso has scored podium finishes in Texas and Assen and he also claimed a front row start in Le Mans.
He has scored 37-points more than Andrea Iannone, who is the next best Ducati rider in eighth in the world championship standings.
Dovizioso’s vast experience has been essential in helping new Ducati boss Gigi Dall’Igna work on a radical revamp of the Desmosedici for 2015.
Dall’Igna was desperate to keep hold of Dovizioso but the 28-year-old was strongly linked with a switch to lead Suzuki’s new 1000cc project next season.
But he has committed himself to the Bologna factory until the end of 2016 and in a Ducati statement
The big question mark then remained over the future of Dovizioso’s current teammate Cal Crutchlow.
The British rider had until July 30 to decide if he wants to see out the second year of a two-year deal he signed with Ducati almost one year ago.
During a special press conference at the World Ducati Week extravaganza in Misano though earlier, Crutchlow also confirmed he will be staying with Ducati for 2015.
Ducati has already taken up an option on Pramac rider Iannone for 2015, and now Crutchlow is staying then the Italian’s hopes of securing a switch to the Factory squad have been dashed.
Iannone will continue to get the same treatment as Dovizioso and Ducati is understood to be considering more Factory personnel to work closely with the former 125GP and Moto2 winner.