On paper, the result of the first GP at Misano could not have been better for Ducati. Bagnaia got on the podium on a track that looked like a Yamaha fiefdom, Dovizioso is leading the championship. However, not all that glitters is gold, because Andrea, Borgo Panigale’s championship challenger, suffered more than expected and the leadership was a gift from Quartararo, who crashed.
Gigi Dall'Igna, the man in charge of the Rossa, is the right man to talk about things with and he did so in an exclusive interview with us. Above you can see the video of the chat with the Ducati Corse General Manager, here below you can read it.
Gigi, Dovizioso is leading the World Championship, but it was Bagnaia who went fast at Misano. What were your impressions?
“First of all I always like to look at the glass half full and I am happy with Pecco's race. He had an extraordinary race, also and above all considering that he was back from a month's break due to a major knee injury. In my opinion he did almost a masterpiece, especially in his maturity because he started calmly on Friday, progressed on Saturday and on Sunday he managed to do the race he did. I congratulate him, I didn't expect him to succeed in that way”.
"Misunderstandings between me and Dovizioso, but now we need collaboration to win the title"
Now let's move on to Dovizioso.
“We are leading the championship. It is true that Dovi encountered a few more difficulties, but it is also true that we will have a test and the data of a rider who went fast with the Ducati to study to improve the bike and the way to ride it, because obviously it will be a combination of the two. I am particularly pleased to be at the top of the riders’ standings, I think it is something important that must make us find the right motivations together to achieve the right harmony within the garage that will allow us to bring home the best result. "
Speaking of the climate in the garage, what is the situation like today after Dovizioso's farewell?
“As we have already said, I don't want to talk so much about our current situation. Certainly, there have been some misunderstandings between us, but we are both professionals who know we have an important goal in front of us and that is now perhaps more achievable than many other times. So we need to do this last part of the year together with the utmost collaboration and synergy ".
If Dovizioso were to win the world championship, would it be bad to see him go away taking the desired number 1 with him?
“I sincerely wish that he wins and leaves like this. I hope to be able to help him achieve this goal ”.
"Bagnaia has taken a step towards the factory team, but we will wait before deciding"
Speaking of next year, the way you described Bagnaia before seems to be that of a factory team rider ...
“(Laughs) For sure he had an important race and that goes in that direction. We would like to wait two more races before deciding because it seems right for both riders. It seemed right to wait for Pecco after his wonderful race at Jerez 2, which was hampered by one of our problems, to evaluate him in the best possible way and we want to continue to do so. He certainly took a step in the right direction, but we will wait after the Barcelona GP to decide ”.
"Disappointed at not seeing Marquez on track, but now a lot of riders can fight for the win"
This is a strange World Championship, Dovizioso leads the championship with only 76 points after 6 races and this has never happened in the last twenty years. Has Marquez's absence made the championship good or bad?
“It would seem almost unsportsmanlike to say that it has been a good thing, because we are definitely talking about the benchmark of the championship. I must also say that the races are certainly really great and spectacular, they see many different brands fighting for the win and many riders who can achieve important results: this is certainly good for all manufacturers and the championship. Honestly, not seeing Marquez, not seeing certain sporting gestures that only he could do, from the point of view of the pure enthusiast, I'm disappointed ”.
It's a championship of young riders, it's the direction that Ducati has also taken for its future. Where did this change come from?
“For sure, the new rear tyre brought by Michelin is much better suited to those riders who have just finished racing in Moto2, because it requires a similar riding style. The riders with that recent experience have an advantage ”.
Next year Leopard could take over from Avintia, so there would also be room for Luca Marini…
"We are in the field of pure hypotheses, albeit interesting ones; for the moment we have a contract with Avintia also for 2021. There are rumours about it, and they are not speculations, we will follow what will happen to find the best possible solution also from the point of view of the riders as well as the teams ”.
"Our inventions? I’ve never had a huge budget, I learned lateral thinking"
In the last three years you have come close to the World Championship title, you have not won it, but you have certainly been the most copied. The spoon, the wings, the lowering device ... when do you think of certain inventions?
“I am the General Manager of Ducati Corse, but this does not mean that all the ideas that come about and that are applied to the bikes come from me. I believe I have the ability to be able to stimulate all the people who make up my group to produce innovative ideas, I push them to find solutions that are not trivial, let's call them lateral solutions. This is because in all my experience in the racing world I have never had to deal with really massive budgets, I have learned to find different solutions, push myself on different grounds to be able to bring home important results ".
Dovizioso joked that these bikes have too much electronics. You can't develop the engine due to regulation constraints, but is this an impetus to push with other aspects?
"I'm a technician, so I'd like to have the opportunity to work on all areas of the bike. But you have to be objective and understand what you can do and what you can't do in life. The world has changed a lot this year and what you could do before, it won’t be possible to do again for some time. So I believe that the compromise found in freezing some components of the bike is what has allowed this championship to survive and has also allowed many independent teams to negotiate decent contracts with the manufacturers, in order to have bikes that are still competitive and which allow us to have an exciting championship like this. Having said that, it is clear that we have some areas left in which we can and must develop and they are important parts of the bike. Remember that a manufacturer, especially one like Ducati, races not only to showcase its technology, but also to then apply this technology to series production motorcycles in the following years. This is an important goal that Ducati Corse and Ducati itself have. A lot of technology developed by us has been used in road bikes that everyone can use and buy in dealerships ”.
Would winning a world title with a satellite team like Pramac have the same value for you as winning it with the factory team?
"For me, the important thing is that a Ducati wins the world championship. Then it is clear that we have sponsors to whom we are very attached and on which we are in a certain way dependent. So it is clear that we would like more to be able to give important satisfaction to these partners who help us to do this difficult job ".
Do you think this year’s calendar works, or would it have been better to have fewer races, more spaced out?
"I believe that this calendar was the only possible solution. As always, things must be looked at from all sides. If one looks only at the sporting aspect, it is certainly true that riders who may have physical problems with this calendar risk being more at a disadvantage. On the other hand, we must also think about the effort that Dorna is making to help the independent teams, which are the weakest part of the system and which thanks to the fact that we enter a large number of races are able to have important contributions from the organizer. I believe that without these contributions several teams would not be able to survive and that Dorna has done an excellent job in managing the championship ”.
"Lorenzo tester? We’re happy with Pirro, we could hardly find anyone better than him"
The man who we now call the ghost - Jorge Lorenzo - is missing in this world championship. At this point can we exorcise him or could he be a great tester?
“I would say that we can’t exorcise Jorge (laughs, Ed.). We have decided to go ahead along a line dedicated to young riders and I think this is more in our style and also more reasonable. We are happy with Michele Pirro, who is doing an excellent job from many points of view both in MotoGP and in SBK, also as an aid to our riders. We could hardly find a better test rider than him ”.
Today there are the tests at Misano.
"They will certainly be important because they will be the only ones with the regular riders for the whole year".
And radio communications with the pilots will be tested. What do you think about that?
“It won’t be us who will speak to the riders, but the Race Direction to communicate any problems on the track, like a red flag. From this point of view, I consider it something in favour of safety and so it’s the right thing ".
It will be difficult to choose the right moment to deliver the message without disturbing them…
“But you have to keep in mind that red flags can sometimes not be seen or be seen late, it seems to me an extra help for the rider in managing a situation that can be difficult or dangerous ”.
Would you also like to speak directly with the riders, as happens in Formula 1?
“I see this as difficult; we are still a long way away from being able to do that”.