Ducati Enforces Unwritten Passing Rules for Dovizioso and Iannone

Dovizioso pushing his bike across the finish line in Argentina, 2016 1 photo
Photo: Ducati
Ducati Corse has been talking with both its riders, Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone, about their behavior on the track during the upcoming three Grand Prix rounds. Reportedly, the two Italian riders are to obey certain unwritten passing rules.
Ducati is trying to avoid any further lose-lose situations like the Argentinian GP when a mistake made by Iannone cost the team both the second and the third places on the podium. And the pill was even harder to swallow as the crash that deprived Ducati of a double podium occurred one turn before the race finish.

To avoid losing points, Ducati apparently devised a rule that stipulates that a rider who has been overtaken by his teammate must wait at least until the following lap before making a move. As crazy as this entire thing may sound, it was apparently confirmed by someone at Ducati Corse, if we are to believe sportrider.

The same source reports that one of the rider's managers objected that such rules are not a part of the contract, but that Ducati remained firm in demanding that this "protocol" be respected. No detailed implications of this "gentlemen's agreement" are known, and neither are the solutions Ducati envisages for different scenarios, such as the one that sees an overtaking maneuver taking place during the last lap.

Barcelona is the D-Day for Ducati's riders

It looks like the announcement as to who will be Jorge Lorenzo's teammate in 2017 will arrive at Barcelona, in early June, three GP rounds from now.

Still, Ducati is dead-silent on this matter, with no information or rumor transpiring from beyond the closed doors of Borgo Panigale. With the latest product from the rumor mill being that Yamaha is not willing to pay anywhere near the €5 mil ($5.8 mil) Suzuki allegedly offered Vinales to stay with Hamamatsu, the situation in the rider market is getting, once more, very sophisticated. However, with the Le Mans race this weekend, we'll see if and how Ducati's riders will react to each other's moves.
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