Ducati won't repeat 'extraordinary' contracts for MotoGP riders

Ducati will not offer its MotoGP riders a repeat of the "extraordinary" contract that helped it lure Jorge Lorenzo from Yamaha, says CEO Claudio Domenicali

Ducati won't repeat 'extraordinary' contracts for MotoGP riders

Like the majority of the field, Lorenzo and team-mate Andrea Dovizioso are out of contract at the end of the 2018 season, with Dovizioso's strong 2017 form in particular expected to make him a key player in silly season rumours.

The Italian is likely to command a higher salary than he is currently on in light of the six race victories he scored, especially as big-money signing Lorenzo failed to win during a mixed first season for the team.

But Domenicali said there will be no repeat of the €12million per year retainer that Lorenzo currently earns, highlighting how much more competitive the bike is now than it was two years ago.

"We made an extraordinary effort to get Jorge, but we must not forget he came with five world titles in his pocket," said Domenicali. "This was an extraordinary one-off effort.

"In future there will be more balance when it comes to signing riders.

"We can offer a bike that has shown itself to be extremely competitive, because Dovizioso did very well.

"When we negotiated with the two of them [Dovizioso and Lorenzo] in early 2016, we were offering a bike that hadn't won a race in five years.

"Since then we've won two races in 2016 and then six in 2017, so the competitiveness of the bike is different. This will be an important factor in discussing the renewals of both riders."

Asked if Ducati was prepared to make sacrifices to keep Dovizioso amid potential interest from rival teams, Domenicali replied: "We will do everything possible to keep Andrea with us, because we believe his potential on our bike is very high.

"The Dovizioso we have today is not the same one as two years ago.

"When we signed Lorenzo, we took into account his five world titles. Dovi won six races in 2017.

"It's clear our goal is to keep both riders. But on the other hand the conditions have changed considerably and we will have to try and find a point of balance."

Ducati sporting director Paolo Ciabatti said discussions with both riders would begin before the Qatar season opener in March.

"We need to start exploring the situation in the next weeks," he said.

"I don't think [about] making a firm decision too early, but [it's good] to have a clear picture of the situation.

"Quite early means probably between the second half of February, first half of March, [then] I think we should know a little bit more what is the clear possibility for us in 2019 and '20.

"We will have already a clear idea of the situation with both Andrea and Jorge early in March, and then depending on what the situation is we will move forward."

shares
comments
Ducati's Lorenzo: My MotoGP rider market value not as high after 2017
Previous article

Ducati's Lorenzo: My MotoGP rider market value not as high after 2017

Next article

MotoGP could benefit from a transfer window, says KTM's Smith

MotoGP could benefit from a transfer window, says KTM's Smith
Load comments
Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Plus

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Autosport’s pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Plus

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Plus

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Plus

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Plus

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence Plus

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021
The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression Plus

The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression

The pressure shouldered by young riders is at the root of the increased on-track aggression seen in lower categories of late, which motorcycling's governing bodies want to curb with new rules. But will stopping under-18s from racing in the world championship and capping grid sizes prevent the often desperate acts of youths pursuing their MotoGP dreams?

MotoGP
Nov 2, 2021
The three factors that crowned MotoGP’s newest champion at Misano Plus

The three factors that crowned MotoGP’s newest champion at Misano

The prospect of Fabio Quartararo clinching the 2021 MotoGP world championship title at Misano appeared small after struggling to 15th in qualifying, while main rival Francesco Bagnaia took pole. Here's how the Yamaha rider turned it around, with help from an ill-fated Bagnaia tyre choice, to secure the crown with two races to spare

MotoGP
Oct 25, 2021