Andrea Dovizioso extends Ducati MotoGP deal
|Saturday, July 19th 2014, 13:30 GMT|
Andrea Dovizioso has extended his Ducati MotoGP deal for two more seasons, while team-mate Cal Crutchlow insists he will honour the second year of his contract.
Both riders had been linked to seats with the returning Suzuki factory squad for 2015.
But during the 'World Ducati Week' event at Misano on Saturday, Dovizioso announced a contract extension, and Crutchlow denied suggestions that he was seeking an early release from his current two-year deal.
Dovizioso joined Ducati to replace Yamaha returnee Valentino Rossi at the start of 2013. Although the Italian team has still not won a race since Casey Stoner's 2010 Australian Grand Prix victory, Dovizioso said he was encouraged that the changes being instigated by new project chief Gigi Dall'Igna would pay off in time.
"We've reached an agreement and this is because it's an interesting project which is beginning to bear fruit with the arrival of Dall'Igna," said Dovizioso.
"We've had two podiums already this season and we are fourth in the world championship.
"The current situation is really exciting, especially with the plans for 2015 in mind."
Crutchlow has struggled since joining Ducati from Tech 3 Yamaha this season and is currently only 14th in the championship, but during the press conference at Misano he insisted there were no doubts about him continuing with the team.
Pramac Ducati rider Andrea Iannone - who has regularly upstaged his factory counterparts this season - was mooted as a replacement in the works line-up if either Dovizioso or Crutchlow left.