Live: Ducati launch 2019 MotoGP campaign
Ducati will launch their 2019 MotoGP effort this evening in Switzerland, with Andrea Dovizioso and new signing Danilo Petrucci travelling to sponsor Phillip Morris' research base on the shores of Lake Geneva for the event.
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While the factory livery has remained constant for a number of years now, there has been increasing rumours that the rise of tobacco alternatives could well mean that the bikes look quite different when the Italian duo pull the covers off them later today.
You can watch the launch event live on MCN from 5pm UK time, with the event expected to take about 45 minutes, as well as reading all about it in next Wednesday 23 January's Motorcycle News.
Petrucci finished eighth overall in the 2018 MotoGP standings with a best result of second place at Le Mans. He was also the third placed non-factory rider for the season, with only Johann Zarco (Tech 3 Yamaha in 2018) and Britain’s Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) ahead of him.
The new factory Ducati man topped the time sheets for the first day's testing at Jerez in November 2018, followed closely by teammate Dovizioso.
He said at the time, "I’m very pleased with the way things went today, because it’s always good to finish the day in first place, but in particular I really like the feeling with the used tyre."
Are you ready?— Andrea Dovizioso (@AndreaDovizioso) 18 January 2019
Discover #Dovi new 2019 #Ducati today at 18.00 live streaming on his official website https://t.co/GdDvKB1nq4
Scoprite la nuova Ducati 2019 di Dovi oggi alle 18 streaming sul sito ufficiale https://t.co/GdDvKB1nq4#dovi04 #desmodovi #AD04pic.twitter.com/7SL0Yddk7B
When Dovizioso put together a title challenge for Ducati in 2017, some thought that it was a one-off performance from the Italian. But he backed it up in 2018 with another impressive season, taking four wins en route to another second-place finish in the championship.
And while he built up momentum in 2017 to be strong in the second half of the year, in 2018 he came out of the gates blazing, taking a win at the first race in Qatar and going on to be a consistent threat throughout the year.
A bad run of form in the first third of the year meant that he wasn’t able to push Marc Marquez to the final round in Valencia like he did in 2017.
Despite that though, he still managed eight podium finishes from the last 10 races of the season – an impressive record that shows that as the Ducati Desmosedici continues to improve, Dovi will just continue to get faster in 2019.