Fast MotoGP: News Ducati Wants Dovi, Rea Wants a MotoGP Ride, Dorna Wants Slower Bikes

Andrea Dovizioso brings Ducati a podium after 2 years 1 photo
Ahead of the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, which is the 7th round of the 2014 championship, things are again stirring up in the premier class. For starters, Ducati has become very interested in retaining Andrea Dovizioso aboard a factory bike. Ducati Corse boss Gigi Dall’Igna has recently told German magazine Speedweek that the Borgo Panigale team will be extremely happy in case Dovizioso will be at least one more year one of their contracted riders.
Andrea Dovizioso’s contract ends this year, and given the act that he is the best Ducati rider of the moment, it’s easy to understand why Dall’Igna want him to continue on a factory bike. Dovi also brought Ducati the first podium in quite a long time: the last Ducati on the podium was ridden by Valentino Rossi in Misano back in 2012.

Ducati’s recent acquisition Cal Crutchlow has fought with bike failures and injuries this season, and failed to provide the Borgo Panigale team with the results everybody was expecting, constantly finishing behind Dovizioso in the few races he managed to finish. On the other hand, Andrea Iannone the best rider of the satellite Ducati teams has also expressed that he would be interested in a factory seat. Both Dovizioso and Iannone are also hunted down by Suzuki, so it will be interesting to see which livery they will be wearing at the post-race test in Valencia.

Jonathan Rea, currently third in the World Superbike aboard a Pata Honda CBR1000RR is pondering taking a step up to the MotoGP. A Honda rider for all of his career, Jonathan Rea is eyeing a factory ride in MotoGP, but it looks like the chances to see the British aboard RC213V machinery are pretty slim, to say the least. He is also considering riding a production racer, even though Honda’s leased machine turned out to be a huge disappointment, missing power and being noticeably less competitive than NGM Forward Racing’s bikes powered by Yamaha M1 engines.

Honda manager Carlo Fiorani adds that the World Superbike could still spark Rea’s interest as the changes in regulations might turn the WSBK into a much more intense competition. An usual presence in the battles for the top positions in Superbike, Jonathan Rea would have to settle for a battle for the 10th (or so) in the MotoGP. Even so, he will still have to be significantly better than Nicky Hayden, Hiroshi Aoyama and Scott Redding if he wants to stand a chance to transform his factory Honda dreams into reality.

While Honda promised that the new production racer will get pneumatic valves and is expected to produce enough power to rival the Yamaha M1 engine, the new bike (yes, one bike) may come later this year, with the Aragon race in September being the earliest. Until new contracts are signed, there’s plenty of racing to be seen in both WSBK and MotoGP.

Finally, it looks like Andrea Iannone’s recent top speed at Mugello caused more than a raised eyebrow or two, and Dorna apparently started a study aimed at lowering the top speed in the MotoGP. Ducati’s recent top speed at Mugello may have been even higher, some say, given the positioning of the speed cell on the track.

Allegedly, Brembo has found that certain bikes have been travelling as fast as 361 km/h (224 mph), which was reportedly unanimously found as being “too much” by several top riders in the MotoGP including Marc Marquez, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo. Dorna is said to have initiated a study on how to limit the top speed in the premier class. Even though lowering this limit may sound like a bad decision, such a measure is centered on rider safety and as Andrea Dovizioso says, “spectators will most likely not be able to tell the difference between 360 and 330 km/h (224-205 mph).”
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