Ducati: the Factory are the exceptions, not us
Ducati found itself under the spotlight quite a lot lately, thanks to the improvements shown on track on one hand, because it became the latest target of the Honda’s rage on the other. The Japanese Constructor is making a common front against the Italian Factory, accused of having betrayed the spirit of the Open rules . As if the situation were not intricate enough, Dorna, out of the blue, came out with a disconcerting hypothesis: another (it would be the third option for the same class) set of rules, a Factory 2 new option. In case an Open bike becomes too much competitive and achieves multiple podiums or a victory, it would be considered a “Factory 2” bike and therefore deprived of one litre and half of fuel capacity and of three engines.
Paolo Ciabatti, Ducati MotoGP Project Director, defends the Italian Constructor’s choices. “ We never kept either our decision or our reasons secret – spiega – The actual regulations offer two options and we chose the least restrictive for us considering the work we need to do”.
You have been accused of going against the cutting-costs’ Open aim.
“I don’t want to stir up the controversy, I’ll strictly stick to the facts. I would like to understand in which section of the rule book it is written that the Open should be a 'low cost' option. On the other end I understand the concerns of the Promoter that, with the single software’s rule aims to prevent the Constructors - provided with more technical and financial resources than the privateer teams – skyrocket the costs”.
But Ducati is essentially a Constructor running under the Open rules.
“The rule book went public months ago and, as I said, we respected it. It doesn’t say the Open category is limited to privateer teams. Truth to tell, considering how the rules have been written, it looks more a singularity the Factory option than the Open one. To have the chance to develop their own software, they have to submit to limited engines and fuel”.
They said that, because of Ducati, the Magneti Marelli software is too complex
“This point also was openly debated in all the meetings we held together, and everyone was in agreement. The Open software will be continually developed and anyone will have the chance to ask for updating. It will be upon Dorna to accept or refuse the requests. The only condition is that if the updating requested is not of general use, the extra cost involved will be passed on to the applier and the upgrade will be at everyone’s disposal. There is no surprise, this was common knowledge since the start”.
Which is you position regarding the introduction of a “Factory 2” category? Ezpeleta said you are in agreement with it.
“MSMA has just informed us about this new proposal. We are still evaluating it and so far we cannot yet make any considerations on his eventual impact on the technical aspect”.
All this interest around Ducati means that you opponents are starting to fear you?
“I don’t think they are worried for their Official Teams. They could be for the Open Teams that have leased their bike. In anycase we have been very pleased with our positive results in Malaysia and Australia. Out target is to be competitive again and our riders now are more confident. We know of course that we have unresolved problems with our bike starting with the under-steering”.Translated by Federica De Zottis