When will the World Championship get underway again? Who will be the Ducati riders for 2021? These are some of the issues that Sky recently analysed in a video interview with Paolo Ciabatti. In the last few hours, the Ducati sporting director has in fact been talking about how Dorna is managing a difficult situation like the one linked to the spread of COVID-19, but at the same time also about the rider market.
This latter aspect, which is of particular interest to Borgo Panigale after hopes of signing Vinales and Quartararo and now also Alex Rins, have faded. Waiting to understand what the fate of Petrucci (today with us in LIVE on Facebook and YouTube at 18:00) and Dovizioso will be, in the past weeks Francesco Guidotti has declared that he would be ready to take back Andrea Iannone in the Pramac team.
It’s an idea that is also shared by the manager from Turin: “Andrea Iannone has many merits and some flaws, every now and then he behaves in a way that can be perplexing - he told Sky - even in this period of reclusion we have been in touch with messages on our respective Instagram accounts, there is a relationship of friendship and affection that has never come to an end. It is clear that on the one hand the main task of the Pramac team is to help promote promising young riders and act as a nursery, as it was for Iannone, Petrucci, Miller and Bagnaia. From this point of view, Andrea Iannone is 30 years old, he would not be in a perfect position in such a program. Having said that, why not? Never say never, I believe that Iannone has great talent, he is an extremely fast rider, but he lost his way a bit for many reasons; I think he realizes perfectly that he made mistakes in his career in decisive moments. He is currently serving a disqualification, that I do not really wish to talk about, but which is in any case very heavy, considering the accusations that have been made against him. He is a rider who has always proved to be among the fastest around at the moment, he was one of the riders who fought with Marquez in Moto2 and sometimes won, so why not? "
A few opening words therefore from Ciabatti towards The Maniac at a time when Dovizioso still hasn't renewed his contract: “In Qatar I said that we had the best riders without a contract for 2021 - Ciabatti recalled - it is early to say, but it could happen that things remain the same for 2021, given that the 2020 championship will at best be in a reduced format, considering the number of races. These are considerations that we are not making at the moment, we have other priorities with this crisis ".
And regarding the crisis, the one that is keeping the whole World Championship and Dorna in check, since it is not known when the curtain will rise: “We have given Dorna some input, we have been reading about Formula 1, the most optimistic and likely possibility is that it will start in Austria in August, and if Formula 1 can do it behind closed doors, MotoGP can do it too” explained the Ducati sporting director. “The aim is to hold a dozen races this year, irrespective of the minimum number stipulated by the regulations, which has now become outdated due to the exceptional situation ".
Ciabatti then went into details: "The World Championship is valid even if the number of races is 10 or 8, Dorna's aim is to see as soon as possible which countries will be able to host MotoGP races and, if the number is limited, maybe even consider holding two Grands Prix on the same circuit in two successive weekends. We will have to take all the suitable measures with masks, gloves, swabs, and serological tests. We hope from August to September to be able to kick off a championship in a reduced form that would still be valid".
Finally, there was a comment about having only one bike inside the garage: “There are a number of problems that we will have to face, including a limited number of people who will be able to travel, a problem that we will also have in the future” he concluded. “Besides this, managing a single motorcycle despite having a motorcycle almost ready in the truck in terms of spare parts, means making significant savings, considering that for Ducati this would also apply to satellite teams such as Pramac and Avintia. The other teams, except for Aprilia, do not agree but we continue to think that in the coming years there will be fewer resources and that this type of reasoning will have to be made. It is true that with a single bike it is not possible to do the flag to flag, but it is not such an insurmountable problem as the fear of not being able to race because you didn’t have the time to repair the bike in the event of an accident ".