Ducati Confirms MotoGP Team with Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso

Dovizioso with Ducati in 2017 and 2018 1 photo
Another day, another move on the rider market in the premier class. Ducati confirms having signed a two-year contract extension with one of their current riders, Andrea Dovizioso. This way, Ducati heads into the future with a team comprising their long-time employee Dovizioso and the new star, the 2015 MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo.
Now, this move will most likely stir things up a bit in the market, as no Ducati official has revealed (so far) the real reasons for the choice that was made. There are a lot of rumors around the MotoGP paddock regarding the decision to retain Dovizioso instead of Iannone, but the truth is somewhere in the middle.

On the one hand, as we reported yesterday, with Lorenzo becoming now the leading rider in Ducati's factory team, Borgo Panigale needs a second man who can play second fiddle, yet not feel frustrated with this. As team Tech 3 boss Herve Poncharal said, Dovizioso is a bit older and more experienced than Iannone, and it will be easier for him to assess his role in the new team from 2017 onwards.

Even more, he already has a lot of expertise in developing the Desmosedici machines, even from the dark days before Gigi Dall'Igna was brought over from Aprilia. Together with Lorenzo's excellent riding skills, Dovizioso is part of a duo that can help Dall'Igna and the rest of the team improve the Desmosedici GP motorcycle and better the odds of Ducati winning another title.

Iannone is also credited to be in line for a contract with Suzuki, provided that Maverick Vinales turns down Hamamatsu's offer and chooses to become Valentino Rossi's teammate at Yamaha.

In the first place, Ducati top brass declared that an official choice will be announced ahead of the Catalunya round, but with the situation precipitating in such a way, we can definitely expect things to evolve quite rapidly these days.

Andrea Iannone: “Obviously I am sorry that my time with Ducati will draw to a close at the end of this season, but I am grateful to the Bologna manufacturer for the opportunity it has given me in the last few years. I made my MotoGP debut with Ducati and I have grown up with them, always succeeding in improving my level of performance. In the remaining races I will give my all, as I always do, because I am convinced that thanks to the competitiveness of the Desmosedici GP we can achieve some great results.

Luigi Dall’Igna: “It’s never easy to take a decision like this one, especially when you have two great riders like the two Andreas in your team. We are very happy that Dovizioso has agreed to stay with us for the next two years, and together with him we can continue the successful work we began four years ago in order to reach the ambitious aims we have set for ourselves. We are sorry for Andrea Iannone, who at the end of the season will no longer be a part of the team. Andrea has carried out an important job in these years and has made a significant contribution to the development of the Ducati Desmosedici GP. For this reason we would like to thank him and we will provide him with our maximum commitment in the next rounds of the championship, in order to obtain the prestigious results that are for sure within his reach.”
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