Ducati expects benefit from smaller MotoGP satellite roster

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Ducati expects benefit from smaller MotoGP satellite roster
Valentin Khorounzhiy
By: Valentin Khorounzhiy
Jan 1, 2019, 10:56 AM

Ducati MotoGP technical chief Gigi Dall'Igna believes the Italian manufacturer will benefit from the “simplification” that will come with fielding fewer satellite bikes in 2019.

Six privateer Desmosedicis competed alongside the works Ducatis this season, with Nieto and Avintia both running 2016-spec bikes in addition to the year-old GP17s.

Nieto will vanish from the grid in 2019, replaced by Yamaha's new Petronas-backed satellite team, while Avintia will move two GP18 entries for Karel Abraham and Tito Rabat.

Coupled with Pramac's works-spec entry for Jack Miller and year-old GP18 for rookie Francesco Bagnaia, this means only two different iterations of the Desmosedici will be represented in MotoGP next year.

“Next year we have two bikes less, this for sure is a shame in terms of money because for sure teams help us in terms of economics,” Dall'Igna admitted.

“But at the end, you know, we simplify the system because until 2018 we have three specs on the grid and this is not easy to manage.

“For the next season we have three riders with 2018 bikes, another three riders with 2019 bikes.

“So for sure we gain less money, but in terms of simplification this is a step forward and I always see the glass half full.”

Bagnaia, who graduates to MotoGP as the reigning Moto2 champion and impressed in his first tests with Pramac in Valencia and Jerez, has been paired up with crew chief Cristian Gabarrini – who had previously worked with Jorge Lorenzo.

Danilo Petrucci, promoted from Pramac to the works team as Honda-bound Lorenzo's replacement, has continued working with crew chief Daniele Romagnoli.

Dall'Igna said the similarities between Bagnaia's and Lorenzo's riding styles were a factor in the crew chief moves, but insisted this was part of a more general approach by Ducati.

“I would like to underline that we approach the new riders in a different way in comparison with the other manufacturers, because we rotate the technician between the two teams, Pramac and factory Ducati team, in order to have the continuity for the riders,” he said.

“So we did this with Danilo, he continue with his chief technician and his electronics [engineer, Cristian Battaglia] also for the next season, and we'll do the same with Bagnaia.

“So Bagnaia will have in his team the chief engineer [Gabarrini] and electronics engineer [Tommaso Pagano] of Jorge Lorenzo.

“I think this is important to understand how important it is for Ducati, the development of the new riders.”

Francesco Bagnaia, Pramac Racing

Francesco Bagnaia, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

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