Wayne Gardner tips Ducati to surprise in 2016 MotoGP season

Ducati could surprise in MotoGP this year as it looks to end its five-season victory drought, feels 1987 500cc world champion Wayne Gardner

Wayne Gardner tips Ducati to surprise in 2016 MotoGP season

Ducati last won a race with Casey Stoner in Australia in October 2010, and went four years without a pole position until Andrea Dovizioso topped qualifying in Japan in '14.

Dovizioso and team-mate Andrea Iannone claimed one pole position each last year, with Dovizioso taking five podiums and Iannone three.

Gardner feels the pair could take the next step this year, to challenge Yamaha and Honda riders on a more-regular basis.

"It'll be interesting to see, you're still going to get the top three or four guys, but I'm expecting a few surprises from Ducati," Gardner told Autosport.

"I know Ducati has a new chassis and new bike, a smaller engine.

"They are starting to make progress, and they have some good riders right now, really good riders.

"And this could be the year they shine."

Ducati started 2015 with dispensation to use 24 litres of fuel in each race compared to the leading works teams' 22, and the scope to use softer tyres.

It lost the increased fuel allowance during the season as its form improved, while it will work with the same tyre compounds this year.

Gardner says those changes will not necessarily outweigh the Italian manufacturer's potential.

"They're going to have to step up to work within that framework and I think it could be good for them, to move that next step up," he added.

"They're well-funded, well-budgeted, have clever people at the Volkswagen Audi Group, and should be very competitive pretty soon."

shares
comments
Bradley Smith targets early-season scalps in 2016 MotoGP season
Previous article

Bradley Smith targets early-season scalps in 2016 MotoGP season

Next article

Cal Crutchlow: Don't expect shocks in 2016 MotoGP season

Cal Crutchlow: Don't expect shocks in 2016 MotoGP season
The talent-outweighing ambition that will kill Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP title hopes Plus

The talent-outweighing ambition that will kill Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP title hopes

OPINION: For the fourth time in 2022, Francesco Bagnaia has made a costly error while battling other riders. Crashing while chasing one point at the Japanese Grand Prix has lost him eight to a struggling Fabio Quartararo. With just four rounds remaining and a history of errors in high-pressure situations, Bagnaia and Ducati need a serious rethink to stop its best opportunity of a title in 15 years slipping away

MotoGP
Sep 26, 2022
The unique advantage Ducati must now use to win the 2022 MotoGP title Plus

The unique advantage Ducati must now use to win the 2022 MotoGP title

Ducati has littered the grid with eight strong motorcycles that has ensured it has had at least one rider stand on the podium at every grand prix in 2022. The drama of the Aragon Grand Prix has thrust Francesco Bagnaia well and truly into title contention with five races to go, and Ducati must now consider utilising a unique strength it has so far been reticent to embrace

MotoGP
Sep 19, 2022
How KTM failed one of its brightest MotoGP prospects Plus

How KTM failed one of its brightest MotoGP prospects

Reigning Moto2 champion Remy Gardner’s career has been derailed by KTM’s decision not to retain him at Tech3 for 2023. Amid difficult circumstances, Gardner hasn’t shamed himself. But KTM’s apparent reasoning for dropping him raises questions about its handling of its young riders and the unrealistic expectations placed on them

MotoGP
Sep 6, 2022
Why it won’t just be Marquez’s speed that saves Honda in MotoGP Plus

Why it won’t just be Marquez’s speed that saves Honda in MotoGP

OPINION: Honda is in the midst of a second winless season in the space of three years. The absence of the injured Marc Marquez has been a major contributing factor, but HRC’s inability to alter its own approach has seen it slide down the order. Marquez returned to the MotoGP paddock in Austria and provided a rallying cry Honda needed to hear.

MotoGP
Aug 22, 2022
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