Ducati could run e-cig branding in 2018 MotoGP season

The factory Ducati MotoGP bikes could feature prominent e-cigarette branding in the 2018 season, Autosport understands

Ducati could run e-cig branding in 2018 MotoGP season

Although Ducati has not had Marlboro as an official title sponsor since 2010, it has maintained a close relationship with parent company Philip Morris, which also retains ties with the Ferrari Formula 1 team.

Now the tobacco giant is poised to market its IQOS brand of smokeless cigarettes in MotoGP this year, with a deal with Ducati expected to be finalised in the coming weeks.

Ducati revealed a new livery for 2018 at its launch event on Monday, featuring grey sections that have been added to the traditional red-and-white design.

It is believed the change is designed to accommodate IQOS logos that are set to appear on the factory GP18s of Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso ahead of the first grand prix of the season in Qatar.

Philip Morris hopes the product can circumvent the advertising ban on traditional tobacco products, as the IQOS device does not produce smoke or ash because it only heats up the tobacco instead of burning it.

The move comes in the wake of long-time Ducati partner TIM ending its sponsorship deal at the end of last year.

This season will mark the first since Ducati's debut MotoGP season in 2003 that its bikes will not carry the Italian telecom company's branding.

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