MotoGP: Ducati officially unveils its 2021 livery and rider line-up
The factory Ducati MotoGP team has unveiled its new livery ahead of the 2021 MotoGP season.
The new-look design was revealed by Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia in a virtual event hosted on the official Ducati website and via their YouTube channel. The team were unable to host a traditional launch event due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
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With regards to the livery, Ducati has continued to make subtle, yet effective, changes to the design. The 2021 bikes will be much redder compared to last season, whilst new title sponsor Lenovo has a much bigger presence this year. Lenovo, atechnology leader in PCs, smart devices, data center, services and software solutions, has signed a three-year title sponsorship deal with the team.
Both Miller and Bagnaia have been promoted to the factory team from the Pramac Racing satellite squad. Andrea Dovizioso has chosen to take a sabbatical from the sport, whilst Danilo Petrucci has moved to Tech3 KTM.
Miller ended his 2020 campaign strongly with two podiums (2nds) in the final two races. The Aussie finished seventh in the standings but was only seven points behind Alex Rins in third spot, and only three behind Dovizioso. The 26-year-old came close to winning at both Austria and Valencia last year and will be keen to secure a maiden dry victory in MotoGP this season.
"The emotions I felt seeing my all-red Desmosedici and wearing my new suit for the first time were incredible," Miller said. "I still have to realize that I'll be part of the official Ducati Team this year.
"It's taken a long way to get this far, and finally being "in red" gives me a great sense of satisfaction, but also the right motivation to continue working with commitment and dedication towards my future goals. I am looking forward to this new adventure and will try to get some important results this season."
Meanwhile, it was an up and down campaign for Bagnaia last season. The Italian made a positive start to the year with seventh at Jerez and was on course for a maiden podium at the same circuit the following week when an engine problem cost him a comfortable second place.
A broken leg at Brno ruled him out of three races, however Bagnaia performed heroically to secure his first podium in his first race back at Misano 1. A week later, at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, he was seven laps away from victory when he crashed at turn six.
A sixth followed at Barcelona but the remaining races proved to be difficult for the VR46 Academy member, with Bagnaia suffering four DNFs in the final six races.
"This will be a significant season for me because for the first time I'll be wearing the colours of an official team," Bagnaia said. "I'm proud to have achieved this first goal, and this year I will set my sight on even greater results. It has always been my dream to become part of the official Ducati Team. I will try my best not to disappoint any expectations. I'm sure I have all that I need to be competitive right from the start and aim high."
Ducati won two races last season, with Dovizioso winning in Austria and Petrucci mastering the wet conditions at Le Mans. The manufacturer also clinched the Constructor's Championship for the first time in 13 years.
"The start of a new season is always a special and exciting moment, and this year even more, as we have a completely new team," Luigi Dall'Igna, General Manager of Ducati Corse, added. "We have two new riders with us, Jack Miller and Pecco Bagnaia. Both are extraordinarily talented, they're young, but they have already a lot of experience on our bike. Jack and Pecco have great potential, and I think that together we can fight not only to defend the Constructors' Title won in 2020, but we can also aim for the Riders' Title.
"As per this year's regulations, we cannot modify some of the bike's components. Still, during winter, we have been able to work on many other aspects, such as the aerodynamics, to improve our bike's competitiveness and be ready to start the new season."
The 2021 MotoGP season, as it stands, will get underway at Qatar on March 28. The Losail International Circuit will also hold round two the following weekend and will be known as Grand Prix of Qatar.