The Ducati team will take to the Le Mans track with pristine fairings, without the Mission Winnow brand. In recent months, we wrote that in France, due to very restrictive policies regarding tobacco consumption, there was a risk that the squad wouldn't be able to use its new logo.
As was the case for Ferrari in Formula 1 in Australia, the red bikes will have to do without their title sponsor at the Le Mans round. Mission Winnow, an initiative linked to Phillip Morris, will therefore miss this particular GP.
In France, Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci will have the opportunity to run personalised fairings, heading out with dedicated graphics.
UPDATE: Phillip Morris International has published the following statement, which we report in full:
Philip Morris International (PMI) and Ducati Corse will celebrate the unique talent and individuality of the team’s riders by giving them the opportunity to personalise their bikes for the French Grand Prix in Le Mans.
Exceptionally, for the duration of the MotoGP event in France on May 17-19, the bikes of the two Ducati factory riders, Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci, will feature their own personal design on the fairing.
PMI President Science and Innovation Miroslaw Zielinski said: “MotoGP is one of the most exciting and exhilarating sports in the world, with the riders requiring extraordinary talent, motivation and endurance to race these hi-tech motorbikes.”
“We decided several months ago to offer those spaces, usually featuring Mission Winnow, to the two Ducati Corse riders as a way of recognising their feats and thanking them for their relentless commitment,” Mr Zielinski added.
Andrea Dovizioso said he was excited to be able to personalise his bike. “It’s nice to put my name that big on the fairing and to be able to make my own logo. It’s something we haven’t done before, and I’m looking forward to see how it will look on my Desmosedici GP in Le Mans,” he added.
Danilo Petrucci said this opportunity would make him really proud. “Imagine all the photos with my name on a red Desmosedici GP. To ride a Ducati with my name on it in MotoGP is simply fantastic. I would have never dreamed about this.”
Mr Zielinski added: “We are delighted to take this opportunity to show our appreciation for Andrea and Danilo by offering the space to them to enhance their personal visibility. We wish both riders every success as they constantly strive for better in every race, mirroring our own resolute determination to improve constantly in everything we do.”
Mission Winnow will remain the title partner of Ducati Corse in 2019 and will return for the next MotoGP race in Mugello, Italy.