Confirming what everyone essentially already knew, Ducati Corse has announced that it has signed Andrea Dovizioso to its factory MotoGP team for the 2013 & 2014 seasons. Dovizioso will take the vacated seat of Valentino Rossi at Ducati Corse, a move that holds a bit of symmetry, since Rossi basically took Dovi’s planned spot at the factory Yamaha team just a few weeks ago.
Joining Nicky Hayden for at least next season, the American made it clear at the Indianapolis that both riders would auditioning for the #1 spot in the team this next season, though both are expected to aid in developing the Ducati Desmosedici into a more rideable race bike. Many suspect Ducati picked Dovizioso for his more traditional riding style, a sign the Italian company is now trying to mold its bike to the riders, and not the other way around.
Talking to Asphalt & Rubber after the Indy GP, Dovizoso explained an announcement would not come forth until all the clauses in the contract were understood — referring to the guarantees the Ducati has made to the young Italian about its development pace and rider-input acceptance. With Audi AG heavily involved in Ducati’s negotiations with Valentino Rossi, one can expect that Dovizioso wanted similar statements of support from the German automaker in regards to its Italian motorcycle racing team.
A bold move for Dovizioso, the Ducati Desmosedici is widely known in the MotoGP paddock to be a career killer, with Valentino Rossi’s scalp just the freshest from a long-line of victims in the sport. Realizing, perhaps too late, that it needs to change the direction of its program, Ducati’s CEO Gabriele del Torchio makes an interesting statement in the press release when he says that Ducati will work “to obtain the results and rewards that will repay our efforts and the faith that our partners, sponsors and fans have never failed to demonstrate.” The full press release is below:
Andrea Dovizioso and Ducati together beginning in 2013
Borgo Panigale (Bologna) 22 August 2012 – Ducati and Andrea Dovizioso have reached an agreement that will see the Italian wearing the colours of the Ducati Team in 2013 and 2014.
Andrea Dovizioso, who currently sits in fourth place overall in the MotoGP championship standings, will join Nicky Hayden on the team. The pair will face next season together, working on development of the Desmosedici and the MotoGP project for the championship in which Ducati has played an important role since 2003.
“The agreement reached with Andrea Dovizioso confirms the company’s primary interest in racing, which is an active and strategic part of Ducati’s DNA and heritage,” said President Gabriele Del Torchio. “It is with great pleasure that I welcome Andrea, as we marshal our best efforts in confronting the MotoGP World Championship. Along with Nicky Hayden, with whom we have renewed a working agreement, we are confident that we will be able to proceed with our development program, to compete, and to obtain the results and rewards that will repay our efforts and the faith that our partners, sponsors and fans have never failed to demonstrate.”
“Andrea’s technical sensibility and test-riding abilities are of great value, as are his talent and determination,” added Filippo Preziosi, General Manager of Ducati Corse. “The knowledge that we will have him on our team and be able to count on his collaboration serves as an additional incentive to continue with the growth and development of our MotoGP project. I’m pleased that he has chosen to be a part of our team. He is aware of the work to be done, and he approaches it with enthusiasm and confidence, which are fundamental requirements for achieving success and for competing in this challenging championship.”
Source: Ducati Corse; Photo: © 2012 Jules Cisek / Popmonkey – All Rights Reserved