Losing MotoGP tyre bonus could help in 2016, Ducati boss reckons

The Ducati MotoGP team thinks losing its dispensation to use softer tyres than Honda and Yamaha in 2016 might actually prove beneficial

Losing MotoGP tyre bonus could help in 2016, Ducati boss reckons

A package of measures to help the struggling Italian squad - which was later adapted into the rules as an ongoing set of dispensations for less successful manufacturers - included permission to use the softer Bridgestone tyre compounds that were available to the Open class privateers but not the other top works teams.

Ducati reaped the rewards of that allowance over 2014 and '15, taking 15 front row starts across the two campaigns and three poles.

But keeping up that pace in races proved harder as the tyres faded, and it could not convert those qualifying positions into any victories.

The team's general manager Gigi Dall'Igna therefore believes being back to the same tyre choices as Yamaha and Honda in 2016 could turn out to be a bonus, with Ducati losing its dispensations under the regulations that remove the rules breaks as certain success criteria are reached.

"The softer tyre that we could use this year and not anymore next year helped us, above all in qualifying," he said.

"But for sure during the races it was not an advantage.

"Maybe sometimes we could not use the best tyre.

"I cannot be sure because we could not test it, but if all or most of the [leading] factory riders were using the hardest solution, maybe this was the best choice for the race? And we could not use it.

"Maybe the future could be better than the past."

Under the tyre dispensation, Ducati was able to use the softest of the two options available to Yamaha and Honda as well as the 'extra-soft' choice barred to them, but it could not take whatever compound was the hardest choice available each weekend.

Ducati also had more freedom for engine development and was able to use 24 litres of fuel per race rather than rivals' 22 - a dispensation it lost during the course of 2015 when it hit three 'concession points' for its podium finishes.

But Dall'Igna does not think Ducati - which has had the strongest straightline performance of the leading teams all season - will be at any disadvantage from beginning 2016 on the same litres-per-race fuel allocation as its main rivals.

"We are using 22 litres at the moment so we still have the same quantity next year and we don't have to develop the bike in this direction," he said.

"Frankly speaking, I think we can still have an advantage in terms of engine performance at the beginning of next year."

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