After assessing its position during the two Sepang tests, Ducati Corse has decided to enter the 2014 MotoGP Championship under the “Open Class” rules, which means the factory Ducati team will have more fuel, more engines, and more importantly no engine development freeze for the 2014 season.

In exchange for those advantages, Ducati Corse will be forced to use the Magneti Marelli ECU package supplied by Dorna, rather than the company’s factory-developed electronics.

Explaining its decision, Ducati says that “after carefully considering the two options, [Ducati] has decided that the most suitable one for the current needs of the Bologna-based manufacturer is the Open one, which gives the possibility to the race department to continue the development of the bike and the engine throughout the entire season.”

The move has been one in the making for some time now, and heavily rumored and tipped in the paddock, despite Ducati’s attempts to suggest otherwise.

Ducati had until today, February 28th, to determine which rules package it would enter under for the 2014 season, and after feedback from Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow, Gigi Dall’Igna and his team believe the Open option is the best way forward.

“We have carefully studied the new technical regulations and have concluded that the Open option is the most interesting for Ducati, in the current situation,” said Dall’Igna. “This year we have to keep developing our bikes throughout the season to improve our competitiveness, and the Factory option appears to be too restrictive for our needs.

“We are confident that the electronics package provided by Magneti Marelli and DORNA has very good quality and will allow the correct management of all the main functions of the bikes,” he continued.

Pramac Ducati rider Andrea Iannone will also enter the 2014 season with an Open Class Desmosedici GP14, as was originally planned and communicated.

Source: Ducati Corse

  • Conrice

    It’s the right move for them. Gigi knows what he’s doing. They’ll actually be able to develop the bike now. And if everyone is going to be on the Open ECU next year – who cares if they go a year early?

  • 2nd best decision Ducati made recently after hiring Gigi.

  • Westward

    Not only that, but it is my understanding that Ducati’s collected data will be contributed to the Open spec ECU as well. It’s an all around favorable situation for Ducati…

  • tony

    all above comments correct. still wont be faster than my beloved yamahas- open class or any others! norm? any bets?!

  • Norm G.

    so this is how liberty dies… with thunderous applause. (Padme Amidala voice)

  • @ Tony… no bets yet but this is the first step to being competitive every week. By being able to work on the bike throughout the season will only help fine tune the issues the GP13 has. Dovi has been faster this year so far hopefully this is a start to a turn around. Ducati seems a lot more focus this year in GP and WSBK.

  • Jimbo

    Think this is the best outcome for Ducati. They need to sort the bike before they worry about the electrics, and they will need the unlimited testing for that. I am sure there will have been traditionalists both in the actual team as well as fans who probably see this as a travesty but I think this is the best decision for Ducati in the long run.

  • Westward

    @ tony

    I’ll wager for chest pounding rights. While Ducati is a manufacturer that will be developing their bike through-out, your Open Class Yamaha will have to rely on scraps, not to mention that they are hardly the priority. So over the course of the season, I would think Ducati will come out ahead of the OC Yamaha…

  • Norm G.

    re: “Ducati seems a lot more focus this year in GP and WSBK”

    it was clear Ducati’s intent was to get in bed with “Ez/Dorn” the year they hired VR46, while simultaneously cancelling Christmas on Team Xerox.

    re: “Think this is the best outcome for Ducati…”

    …and worst case scenario for any team who ponied up MILLIONS thinking they’d finally found “Sanctuary” in the OC.

    (hard core Logan’s Run reference this. no relation to Lorne Greene’s BG, nor any SyFy channel series)

    re: “They need to sort the bike”

    they NEED to play by the rules and have 2 entries running under “FACTORY” designation, and 2 entries running under “OPEN” designation. ya know, same as any other manufacturer who enjoys a revenue stream exempt from Dorna’s freaky ass controls and manipulations. see entry for Honda, see entry for Yamaha.

  • L2C

    “they NEED to play by the rules and have 2 entries running under “FACTORY” designation, and 2 entries running under “OPEN” designation. ya know, same as any other manufacturer who enjoys a revenue stream exempt from Dorna’s freaky ass controls and manipulations. see entry for Honda, see entry for Yamaha.”

    Competition is competition, but it’s pretty much bullsh-t that Ducati is able to have it both ways.

    Ducati-Marlboro-Audi: The big fish in a little pond.

    Does anybody actually believe that Ducati is on the same level financially as Forward Racing? If anything, the Open class teams should formally lodge a protest against Ducati to Dorna. Now that they get the chance to beat Ducati’s factory effort fair and square, Ducati bails on Factory classification and says, “Hey, IODA Racing, we’re the same as you!”

    Rules are rules, but what Ducati have done is not only not in the spirit of the rules, it makes a mockery of the rules. If Honda had supplied factory RC213Vs to Drive M7 Aspar, would things be all hunky-dory in the paddock with the Open class? How about with Dorna?

    The last thing one would hear is that Honda was being smart by staying ahead of the competition. Instead what is heard now is that Honda is being left behind by MSMA member Ducati, the factory Open class team.

    It’s a joke. And it’s also a joke because it’s like saying that Honda doesn’t possess the technical ability to get to grips with the championship software.

    What else is clear is that Dorna expected Yamaha/Ducati to exploit the rules as Ducati has. Honda has been clear about using it’s factory software for its factory bikes, so the Open class rules were written against the team. It’s telling that Honda would cave on using their own ECU hardware.

    Honda loves to go racing, true, but they may actually pull the plug if their RCXXXVs are required to use Ducati’s software. To me, that is plenty enough reason for Honda to retire from MotoGP. It’s no different than Dorna requiring Honda to use Ducati trellis frames or Ducati-whatever-else on Honda’s bikes.

    Even I praised Dall’Igna’s nerve. He inherited a particularly intractable situation, and so he had to use whatever options that were available to him to turn Ducati Corse’s MotoGP effort around. I don’t blame him at all.

    In hindsight, however, it’s obvious that Dorna made the rules with gaping holes so large that Ducati would basically fall right through them to its benefit. The rules for the Open class feature many carrots that Ducati’s horses desperately needed and the MSMA would suffer a blow in the process.

    So much for the constructors championship having any real value now.

  • L2C

    “so this is how liberty dies… with thunderous applause.” (Padme Amidala voice)

    Supreme Dorna Chancellor Carmelo Ezpeleta: I know what’s been troubling you, Ducati. Listen to me. Don’t continue to a be a pawn of the MSMA Jedi Council! Ever since I’ve known you, you have been seeking a life of great significance, far more than any Jedi.