MotoGP: Crutchlow, Dovizioso, & Iannone To Stay at Ducati Corse — Will Ride Radically New Desmosedici GP15

07/19/2014 @ 2:39 pm, by David Emmett13 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Crutchlow, Dovizioso, & Iannone To Stay at Ducati Corse    Will Ride Radically New Desmosedici GP15 living the dream mugello tony goldsmith 13 635x422

After all the speculation of massive changes in Ducati’s MotoGP team, all is to remain the same. During the World Ducati Week event held for fans of the Italian marque at Misano, both Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow announced that they would be remaining with Ducati for 2015.

The news means Crutchlow chose not to exercise his option to leave, and Dovizioso was persuaded to sign-on for two more years. In addition, it means that Ducati has exercised its option to extend the contract with Andrea Iannone, with Iannone to be given factory support.

The decisions by all three riders are a both a show of confidence in the ability of Ducati Corse boss Gigi Dall’Igna to build a more competitive MotoGP machine, as well as a lack of alternatives elsewhere.

The only other factory rides available are the two seats at Suzuki, but given the slow pace of the bike during testing and the amount of development work needed, that was a bigger risk than staying at Ducati.

Crutchlow’s decision was perhaps the easiest to make: the option to stay or leave was in his hands alone, and although the relationship between the Englishman and Ducati is far from ideal, neither party had much of a choice. After a very strong season in 2013, Crutchlow has suffered a terrible slump in his form since joining Ducati.

Twelve months ago, the question in the press room was when Crutchlow would win his first MotoGP race. This year, the question has been whether he would elect to stay or not. Crutchlow had options with Suzuki and interest from Honda, but they would have meant a reduction of wages without a guarantee of a competitive bike.

Dovizioso had also been high on Suzuki’s target list of riders, but Ducati had worked very hard to keep the Italian on board. After a tough first year on the Ducati – a seemingly universal experience – Dovizioso is coming into his own this season, using the strengths of the Desmosedici GP14 to his advantage, and bagging two podiums along the way.

Ducati Corse and Gigi Dall’Igna have praised Dovizioso’s technical input, and believed it to be crucial for next year, when the Desmosedici is due to change so radically.

With Dovizioso and Crutchlow staying where they are, that leaves no room in the factory Ducati team for Andrea Iannone. Iannone had been pushing hard for promotion to the factory squad, and his results had certainly merited such a move.

But Iannone, too, looks set to remain with Ducati, although in what form remains to be seen. Iannone is on the payroll of Ducati Corse, and it is possible that Iannone will be moved into a separate team with the joint colors of Pramac and Ducati Corse, according to reports on GPOne.com. Iannone, too, was high on the list of candidates for Suzuki.

The reason the three men have decided to remain with Ducati for the 2015 season is the promise of a radically revised machine for next year. At Misano, Gigi Dall’Igna reaffirmed earlier statements he had made about building a completely new machine for next season.

The bike will have a new engine, although it will remain a 90° V4 and will continue to use desmodromic valve gear. The engine dimensions will be radically changed, however, the motor being lighter and shorter than the current powerplant.

The revised power unit will allow greatly changed geometry and bike layout. That, in turn, should cure the chronic understeer which has plagued the Desmosedici since the advent of the spec tire.

The retention of Dovizioso, Crutchlow and Iannone leaves no room for Aleix Espargaro, who was rumored in the Spanish media to be close to a deal with Ducati. Espargaro is desperate to get on to a factory option bike, in the hope of being able to compete at the front.

His only hope at Ducati is that they make space in the Pramac team and offer him identical support to Iannone, though there are no signs that Ducati has either the budget or the intention to do that.

That puts Espargaro at the top of Suzuki’s target list, as the fastest of the riders still available – with the proviso that Espargaro would need to be bought out of his contract.

With the Ducati seats tied up, the remainder of the open seats should soon start to fall into place. News is expected soon of Maverick Viñales’ future, and whether he will ride for Suzuki, and whether Jack Miller will make the leap up to MotoGP, and slot in at the LCR Honda squad.

Source: Ducati, GPOne, & MCN; Photo: © 2014 Tony Goldsmith / TGF Photos – All Rights Reserved

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Comment:

  1. L2C says:

    Viñales and Miller entering MotoGP next year is absurd. Doubly absurd for Miller. Miller doesn’t even know how to count his pennies yet and he wants to race in the premiere class before he has even begun to know his business? I tell you, somebody is taking advantage of him big time.

    As for Viñales, he would be better off entering the MotoGP class when it has been “reset to zero”. Start fresh just like everybody else, but with the advantage of not spending a season learning to ride a bike to obsolete regulations. Arguably the MotoGP machines will be more Moto2-like in 2016, so that should suit him better.

    All the rest, Ducati whatever, predictable. Cal was not going to say yes to less dough. Dovi was not going to say yes to uncertain ground-zero development all over again. Iannone is Ducati’s flavor of the month, why wouldn’t he just ask for a raise and stick it out like the other two factory men. Besides, he could boot Cal into oblivion next year anyway — which is probably on the down-low hush-hush pst pst with Dall’Igna and other Ducati Sith Lords.

  2. Kev71 says:

    Crutchlow staying was a no-brainer decision; stay for the $ and complain about the bike being inferior, not his riding ability. I am glad Iannone is staying, he may be their best long term shot respectability. Hopefully Tech3 will sign AE and have the brothers battle out for the eventual Factory Yamaha ride.

  3. Kev71 says:

    @ L2C,

    Agree with everything you said.

  4. crshnbrn says:

    @L2C

    re: “Miller entering MotoGP next year is absurd.” “I tell you, somebody is taking advantage of him big time.”

    The only conclusion that I can come to, is that someone in Miller’s group doesn’t think that he is, ever will be, or will be for any length of time, the real deal. They’re pushing for him to get a big contract before anyone else figures it out. They’re going to take their slice of the pie and be gone.

  5. irksome says:

    So Silly Season in 2014 is notable only for being singularly un-silly and, as for a season, it reminds of Spring here in New England; usually a Tuesday from 1:30 to 5:00pm.

    I recall reading earlier about Dorna being all hot to trot for an Aussie in MotoGP; I’d ask how the organizer can possibly hold any sway over contracts if I was an idiot.

  6. Jw says:

    Complaining:

    There is a wise old saying that says when you Complain you give your power away to the very thing you complain about. In this case Cal has become powerless with Ducati because of his complaining and can now only suck the salary tit till his contract is up. Who can respect Cal ?

    I liken this to a few who continually write in and complain about this sport, they have as a result become powerless slaves unto it. And have no respect.

    Dovi on the other hand goes to work and does his best (maintains his power) he respects the bike (because he respects himself) and actually gets a few good results.

    I am happy for Dovi

  7. MikeD says:

    ” for the 2015 season is the promise of a radically revised machine for next year. At Misano, Gigi Dall’Igna reaffirmed earlier statements he had made about building a completely new machine for next season.

    The bike will have a new engine, although it will remain a 90° V4 and will continue to use desmodromic valve gear. The engine dimensions will be radically changed, however, the motor being lighter and shorter than the current powerplant.

    The revised power unit will allow greatly changed geometry and bike layout. That, in turn, should cure the chronic understeer which has plagued the Desmosedici since the advent of the spec tire. ”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    All i wanted to hear . . . (fingers crossed).

  8. Nick says:

    Dovi has had some good races and is making the best of the circumstances with a positive attitude. However, Cal hasn’t even managed to place ahead of his teammate. Concerning the bike, nobody would be surprised if the “radically new” GP15 Ducati is the same as this year’s bike!

  9. article dan says:

    Wow so much hate for crutchlow. I’m not a particular fan of his but he was never gonna get a factory ride with Yamaha so ducati was really his only choice last yr. Pretty much everyone has crashed the Ducati alot in their 1st year with ducati apart from dovi and he’s had a lot of technical issues which aren’t his fault. There are many good reasons to stay with them for next and I don’t think money has much to do with it more the promise of a much better bike and I hope it will be. Even if Suzuki offered him a massive contract I don’t think he would take it, he just wants to be at the front.
    Also so what if he’s complaining it’s nice to hear what a rider is actually feeling rather than the usual PR bull.

  10. Frank says:

    @crshnbrn … Interesting take. There definitely is something strange about this whole Miller scenario. He is certainly a character and beloved by some. He’s made some immature moves on the track this year that have cost him and other riders decent race finishes. There were the rumors that it was all about Dorna’s desire to land an Australian TV deal asap. But I would be surprised if HRC were naive enough to lock him down for 3 years.

    David Emmett mentioned something I thought was interesting. There seems to be a power struggle between the managers of Miller (Ajo) and Alzamora who manages the Marquez brothers. Why would HRC want to rock the boat with Marc by putting Miller on the path to the Honda factory seat. Regardless of whether it would pan out – that locks up a feeder seat in Honda’s camp. And with what they’ve invested in Scott Redding who has future potential that doesn’t leave a vacancy in the next couple years. David pointed out that Yamaha might be the only option available for Alex to come up to GP. How would that sit with Marc?

    Personally I think Alex will be better. He’s nearly there now, competing with the front pack in every race and winning a couple in impressive fashion. He’s a year younger than Miller, has accomplished more at a younger age than his older brother (at least as of last season) and Marc says he is better (will be better) than himself. Now, that might just be brotherly love but if Marc Marquez says something about moto racing I would listen. I mean, Alex hangs out with a world champion every day of his life and that family and managing team is clearly doing something right and keeping these guys out of trouble. I think that time will tell obviously, but I’d be willing to bet Alex Marquez > Jack Miller. That being said, I’d love for Jack to proove me wrong. I want to like him. He would be a welcome addition to the personality of the grid.

  11. Westward says:

    Anyone considering Miller for MotoGP should get their head checked and opt for Redding instead. Redding would fair far better at LCR or any other near factory bike than the one he is currently piloting.

    I seriously doubt Miller has the skills or talent to match any of the top 15 in MotoGP.

  12. Lucy Loves Shopping says:

    I really like Crutchlow. He’s honest, humble, and speaks his mind. I think he made the right move (financially and otherwise) to stay with Ducati. Hopefully, with new better handling hardware next year, he will become competitive again. I’ll be cheering for him!

  13. Frank says:

    @Westward – Redding is set with a factory supported satellite bike at Gresini. He is taking Bautista’s seat as part of his contract. He should be well supported next season.