Just over one week to go now before the official announcement of the contract renewal between Jack Miller and Ducati which, as we had already anticipated, will take place at Mugello. The Australian rider has fully deserved it with two successive victories at Jerez and Le Mans.
With the ring on his finger also for 2022 – so to speak - the official Ducati team is now complete, given that Pecco Bagnaia already had a two-year deal.
The next step will be the confirmation of the Pramac satellite team, of Johann Zarco and Jorge Martin and, given that the sixth Grand Prix of the year will be held in Tuscany, there could be nothing easier than, in addition to Jackass, Ducati also confirms Paolo Campinoti’s Pramac team with a three-year agreement.
These are the latest items of news, practically certain, in our possession. For the rest, at the moment the Borgo Panigale manufacturer, on the strength of its successes in the championship, is now moving 360°, so much so that it will be in a position to field eight bikes in 2022!
"Yes it's true, we're thinking about it - Paolo Ciabatti confirmed - the eight bike option is on the table. We also did this relatively recently when, in addition to Pramac, we also had the Avintia and Aspar teams. We think we can handle it. And this would allow us to have a good number of young riders on the Ducati ”.
Aprilia is not happy: it risks not finding customers for its RS-GP
Ducati's expansionist aims in terms of young rider policy were evident immediately after the divorce from Dovizioso. The team appeared revitalized and this year’s successes have done nothing else but confirm it. As a manager of Alberto Vergani's experience rightly says, both the team and the rider need to blindly believe in each other. And this, as far as the Gigi Dall’Igna-Andrea Dovizioso pairing is concerned, was no longer true.
Of course, not everyone likes this expansionist policy, especially Aprilia. In fact, Ducati is known to be negotiating with the VR46 and the Gresini team at the same time. Moreover, they are the only ones to have guaranteed places to race in MotoGP.
Dorna is, of course, aware of these negotiations, and as far as we know it has no objection. Carmelo Ezpeleta knows that the two teams are evaluating the offers, the type of service, the material and the price. As they say: if they are happy, everyone is happy.
For the moment, however, despite both negotiations being at an advanced stage, there is no signature, not even on a pre-contract. Which doesn't mean there won't be, of course.
Ducati wants to corner the young rider market ... and it is succeeding
The fact is that if Aprilia has loosened its grip, as confirmed by Massimo Rivola, who said that the Noale manufacturer is not yet ready - despite the excellent results obtained in this very first phase of the world championship with the RS-GP ridden by Aleix Espargarò - Yamaha may still have some ambitions. After all, while it is true that VR46 is a separate entity from Valentino Rossi, it is also undeniable that it thrives on reflected light. And the man from Pesaro is the image of the Iwata manufacturer.
War - because this is a war - is being fought out over the young rider market. Ducati would like to keep all its current ones because it is convinced that both Luca Marini and Enea Bastianini deserve, after their debut year, to continue their MotoGP adventure on the Desmosedici.
In the case of eight bikes, the current six would be joined by Fabio di Giannantonio, who with the Gresini team already has a signed contract for the move to MotoGP ... and there would still be another seat free!
Here too, as far as we know, things will be sorted out pretty soon: Ducati's options with its riders will expire at the end of June. So in just over a month’s time in Borgo Panigale they will also have to know what to offer to this merry bunch of young guys. And while for the internal team and the Pramac team we are talking about GP22 bikes, obviously, most likely for the other two teams there will probably be an official Desmosedici and one from the year before. But about this in Via Antonio Cavalieri Ducati 3, in Borgo Panigale, they are still talking....