Ducati MotoGP boss admits wins were 'unthinkable' a few months ago

Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali admits its back-to-back MotoGP victories with Andrea Dovizioso "would have been unthinkable" a few months ago

Ducati MotoGP boss admits wins were 'unthinkable' a few months ago

The Italian brand ended a winless streak just short of six years with two victories last season.

It began 2017 hoping to improve its Desmosedici enough to take the challenge to Yamaha and Honda on a more regular basis but had a mixed start.

Before Mugello, Ducati had just two podiums on the board - with Dovizioso in Qatar and new recruit Jorge Lorenzo at Jerez - and no front-row starts from the opening five races.

Dovizioso qualified third and won at Mugello, and then made it back-to-back wins at Barcelona, where Lorenzo started on the front row and finished fourth.

"Being on the top step of the podium once again, just one week after our extraordinary win at Mugello, confirms that we have been working really well," Domenicali said.

"Now we are much closer to first place in the championship.

"Until a few months ago all this would have been unthinkable and so it has been vitally important to keep a cool head even in the difficult moments we have gone through."

Dovizioso is now seven points behind Yamaha's championship leader Maverick Vinales, but has looked to keep a lid on expectations, saying the two wins are "not the reality".

The now-four-time grand prix winner feels the Ducati is still lacking mid-corner, and highlighted that it tested at Mugello and Barcelona in the month before both races.

With Dovizioso having finished seventh at Barcelona 12 months earlier, and more than 40 seconds behind winner Valentino Rossi, general manager Gigi Dall'Igna believes the extra preparation paid off this year.

"We knew that the Montmelo track was a tough one for us," he said.

"Last year we suffered a lot and it was for this reason that recently we did two days' testing which surely helped, seeing as here our bikes were in good shape."

LORENZO GETTING CLOSER

Three-time MotoGP champion Lorenzo led the first five laps at Barcelona, but was then shuffled down to sixth within a lap-and-a-half.

He fell further to eighth, but worked his way back up to fourth in the final seven laps, crossing the line 9.608s behind Dovizioso.

"[It's the] first time I am less than 10s away so a good race but obviously I want to win and fourth place is not where I want to be," Lorenzo said.

"But we are closer and I need a more natural bike to spring my potential.

"Right now I am doing good races but not exceptional races."

shares
comments
Aprilia MotoGP team talking to potential Sam Lowes replacements
Previous article

Aprilia MotoGP team talking to potential Sam Lowes replacements

Next article

KTM MotoGP rider Bradley Smith won't need more surgery on finger

KTM MotoGP rider Bradley Smith won't need more surgery on finger
The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him Plus

The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him

Prior to the summer break, the 2022 MotoGP title looked like it was Fabio Quartararo’s to lose. But a crash at Assen and the consequential penalty he had to serve last weekend at Silverstone stopped him from capitalising on a main rival’s injury woes, while a resurgence from another, plus the rise of a former team-mate, look set to conspire against the Yamaha rider

MotoGP
Aug 8, 2022
Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time Plus

Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time

On the eve of the British Grand Prix, Andrea Dovizioso announced that he will be retiring from MotoGP after September’s San Marino GP. The timing of his departure raised eyebrows, but his reasoning remains sensible and what has happened this year should not diminish a hard-built legacy

MotoGP
Aug 6, 2022
Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge Plus

Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge

Alex Rins’ MotoGP future was plunged into sudden doubt when Suzuki elected to quit the series at the end of 2022. Securing a deal with Honda to join LCR, he will now tread a path that many have fallen off from. But it was a move he felt his status deserved, and it’s a challenge – he tells Autosport - he faces with his eyes wide open…

MotoGP
Jul 27, 2022
How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature Plus

How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature

The hiring of technicians from Formula 1 has clearly contributed to a recent change in the MotoGP landscape, with the role of engineers gaining greater significance relative to the riders. Here's how this shift has come about

MotoGP
Jul 19, 2022
The revolution behind Aprilia's rise from MotoGP tail-ender to pack-leader Plus

The revolution behind Aprilia's rise from MotoGP tail-ender to pack-leader

Coinciding with the arrival of Massimo Rivola as head of its MotoGP division, Aprilia has undergone an internal revolution that has spurred it from occupying last place in the team standings to leading the table in the space of just two years. Those entrenched in the project reveal how the ex-Ferrari F1 chief has achieved the dramatic turnaround

MotoGP
Jul 15, 2022
The battle Yamaha's wayward son is fighting to be fast again in MotoGP Plus

The battle Yamaha's wayward son is fighting to be fast again in MotoGP

Franco Morbidelli was long overdue a promotion to factory machinery when it finally came late last year, having finished runner-up in the 2020 standings on an old Yamaha package. But since then the Italian has been a shadow of his former self as he toils to adapt to the 2022 M1, and recognises that he needs to change his style to be quick on it

MotoGP
Jul 13, 2022
Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era Plus

Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era

The once all-conquering Japanese manufacturers are going through a difficult period in MotoGP this season. With Suzuki quitting, Honda struggling to get near the podium and Yamaha only enjoying success courtesy of Fabio Quartararo, Japanese manufacturers have been left in the dust by their European counterparts. Key paddock figures explain why.

MotoGP
Jun 28, 2022
Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star? Plus

Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star?

Valentino Rossi’s protégés stole the show at Assen as Francesco Bagnaia stormed to victory to arrest a recent barren run. But it was the rider in second, on Bagnaia’s old bike, who had all eyes on him. Securing his and the VR46 team’s first MotoGP podium, Marco Bezzecchi has all the characteristics that made his mentor special

MotoGP
Jun 27, 2022