Ducati feels late MotoGP bike can still win in 2015

Ducati expects to fight for MotoGP wins in 2015 even though its new bike will hit the track several months after rivals' machines

Ducati feels late MotoGP bike can still win in 2015

While Honda and Yamaha's 2015 machines first ran during last year's summer tests, the new-spec Ducati will not appear until the Sepang test in February.

But the firm's motorsport chief Paolo Ciabatti believes this approach is more likely to get Ducati back to the front in 2015.

"The new bike is a little bit late," he said.

"We admitted that it's going to be seen only at Sepang, but we preferred to maybe start a little bit late instead of rushing the debut of a new bike and then having to fix several things.

"It looks like we are putting things in the right direction, and we are very confident of being able to challenge for race wins [in 2015].

"It's a risk we decided to take to do the right things at the right time.

"The bike is completely new, including the engine, so it's a lot of work to do."

Ducati has not won in MotoGP since Casey Stoner's victory in the 2010 Australian Grand Prix, but it closed the gap to the frontrunners in '14 - helped by performance breaks earned through switching to Open class specification.

Ciabatti confirmed that the next generation GP15 will only go to works team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone, with satellite squads Pramac and new addition Avintia making do with the GP14 and GP14.2 used in 2014.

He believes that plan will suit the customer teams and that Ducati can get enough mileage on the new bike with its own line-up.

"I think the GP14 is proving to be a decently competitive bike," he said.

"We saw Hector Barbera with a GP14 winning the Open class twice. I think it's a sufficiently competitive bike for the target that the [Avintia] team has, which is to be best in the Open class.

"On Pramac's side, Yonny [Hernandez] will have a GP14.2 and Danilo [Petrucci] will start with a GP14.

"Our focus on the GP15 will be done with the two Andreas and we still have the possibility to go testing with them because the concessions we have will still apply. We are comfortable with that."


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