The 2014 Ducati MotoGP squad was officially unveiled to the worlds press in Munich today. Ducati launches historically take place in the mountains of Madonna di Campiglio, but in 2014, Ducati owners Audi made their presence felt with the event taking place at the Audi Forum at Munich Airport.
The event saw factory riders Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso joined on stage by Ducati Corse Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti and Ducati Corse General Manager Gigi Dall’Igna. There was also short speeches by Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali and Audi’s board member for Technical Development Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg.
Given the recent news that Ducati would be competing in the Open class in MotoGP in 2014 and the subsequent new rules from Dorna introducing the new Factory 2 class, a large part of the open Q&A at the end of the official press conference focussed on this with the majority of questions directed at Dall’Igna.
He said: “We made the clear decision to enter the Open class and if this makes some people unhappy this is not our intention. We need to develop the bike and under the factory rules this is not an option. It became quite clear that we had to enter the Open class and for sure this is the future of MotoGP. This option will reduce the cost of racing in MotoGP.”
Speaking specifically about the introduction of the new Factory 2 regulations that will see any Open class bike have their fuel capacity reduced from 24 to 22.5 litres and their engine allowance reduced from 12 to nine should they secure either a win, two seconds or three thirds during the season in dry races, Dall’Igna added.
“For sure this new rule is something against us, because the organisers are trying to limit the possibility of Ducati in MotoGP, but we live in the real world and the real world is not an ideal world. I understand why the organisers want to introduce this rule change.”
The 2014 MotoGP season kicks off in Qatar in ten days’ time where the world will get to see the true potential of the factory Ducati’s on track with additional fuel and the softer compound Bridgestone tyre compared to their factory Honda and Yamaha rivals.
For full insight into the new technical regulations see MCN out Wednesday 12th March.