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Claudio Domenicali Doesn't Exclude Fielding the Two Andrea AND Lorenzo

In a recent interview, Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali declared that the Italian team cannot exclude altogether retaining both current factory riders, alongside the newest addition to the team, the "alien" Jorge Lorenzo.
Iannone and Dovzioso 1 photo
After Lorenzo announced his move from Movistar Yamaha to Ducati at the end of the 2016 MotoGP Championship, it was clear that one of the two current factory riders would lose his seat. Still, nobody says anything about who might leave.

One of the recent declarations of Ducati Corse boss Gigi Dall'Igna, who happens to have already won two world titles wth Lorenzo in the 250cc class, promises to have an answer by the Catalunya round in Barcelona, the first weekend of June.

Barcelona is the seventh event of the 18-race 2016 season, and in case Ducati waits that long to decide who stays and who leaves, this will cause quite a lot of tensions in the rider market.

Things already became more alert after Rossi changed his mind and inked an early deal for two more seasons with Yamaha, despite having declared that he would wait to see how 2016 unfolds. Then came Bradley Smith, who was let go from Yamaha's satellite team Tech 3 and got a factory seat with KTM, and yesterday Ducati confirmed having signed Lorenzo.

Domenicali and other two Ducati Corse top brass, Gigi Dall'Igna and Paolo Ciabatti, are still not willing to unveil the team's plans for the current riders. "We have not decided yet. First we wanted to ensure the signing of Lorenzo. Now we will wait to decide whether Iannone or Dovizioso stays. The two are exceptional and it will not be an easy choice. We have spoken to both of them and I don’t think the uncertainty over their future will affect them. We spoke with Jorge and does not care which one is his teammate," Ciabatti adds.

The Ducati CEO told motoblog: "It will be a transparent process, we will have both riders evaluated. Both drivers have interesting assets, proving to be competitive. It will be a complicated choice, which will leave us with some regret, because both Iannone Dovi have contributed to the development work. Shame not to have three bikes."

Asked why Ducati won't field three bikes, Domenicali answered that the rules of the sport can't be changed that easily. Still, he admitted, Ducati is considering retaining both, with one of the "demoted" back to the satellite team, in case a decision to have both Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone wearing Borgo Panigale liveries.

Honestly, this sounds like a more sensible idea than simply letting either of the Andreas go. And it would make the rider market an even fuzzier place.


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