autosport.com
Search:
Find out more about our subscriptions
  AUTOSPORT+ LOGIN AUTOSPORT Plus  
Username:
Password:
MOTOGP NEWS 

Ducati owners want MotoGP title challenge from 2015

Nicky Hayden Ducati MotoGP test Valencia 2012

Ducati's new owner is not expecting the Italian squad to be back in a position to fight for the MotoGP world championship until 2015.

Audi acquired Ducati earlier this year, taking on a MotoGP team in the middle of a prolonged slump in form.

Casey Stoner's 2007 title remains Ducati's sole MotoGP championship success, and the team has not won a race since Stoner's 2010 Australian Grand Prix triumph.

Stoner's replacement Valentino Rossi and team-mate Nicky Hayden managed just four podiums between them in the two seasons since.

Wolfgang Durheimer, Audi's head of research and development and chief of motorsport for the parent Volkswagen group, believes Ducati's return to the top will have to be a gradual process.

"I'm still in my first 100 days, I need time to understand what I've seen and learnt," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I will contribute with everything I know with regards to experience, organisation, races and exchange of information between the Volkswagen Group marques, in order to make Ducati competitive again and win titles.

"I'm sure we'll make important progress over the winter and that we'll be closer to the frontrunners in 2013.

"In 2014 I want to win races and aim for the title in 2015."

Rossi has now left Ducati to return to Yamaha. Andrea Dovizioso, who spent three years with the factory Honda team before racing for Tech 3Yamaha in 2011 and '12, will take his place.

Durheimer admitted he had tried his utmost to persuade Rossi to stick with Ducati.

"At Mugello I spent a long time with Valentino to convince him that Ducati was a good choice," said Durheimer.

"I fought for him to stay. I offered him to meet with me in August too, when I was on holiday, but I think he had already made his choice and didn't feel he needed to talk to me.

"Unfortunately, we'll have to become world champions without him."

  More news  
    advertisement
  RELATED LINKS
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the autosport.com shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Full MotoGP coverage on autosport.com
Read Toby Moody's latest 'Out of the box' column
Haymarket