Ducati will wait another month before deciding who will be Pecco Bagnaia's teammate in the internal team. In the meantime, however, it is moving on the market, even if not directly and precisely through the Gresini team which will confirm Di Giannantonio in the coming days.
The big news, after the start of talks with Raul Fernandez, who however has a difficult agreement with KTM to get out of, is that the Italian team is talking to Alex Marquez who, you will remember, in the past also had a meeting with the Pramac team.
"We have said that we will decide at the end of August who will be the teammate of Pecco at the factory team, and the other rider, either Enea or Jorge, will be in the Pramac team with Johann Zarco - Ciabatti replied - We are discussing the final details of his renewal and they will have 2023 bikes, so equal treatment in terms of technical package. Concerning the discussions between Alex Marquez and Gresini, we know that it is an ongoing discussion, but it is something more managed by the team than by Ducati. "
Not to put too fine a point on it, but Ducati will not pay the contract of Marc's brother. The arrival of the Spaniard, however, would be brought about by the sponsor Estrella Galicia, who could also be the main sponsor of the team, given that 'The Next' is just an evocative logo covering a main sponsor that does not yet exist.
After 10 Grands Prix, at the halfway point of the championship, Ducati is still only half happy.
"I think consistency is what matters today - admitted Ciabatti - If you look at the standings, and if you look at Fabio and Aleix, they score points in every single Grand Prix, they are among a few without any zeroes, and they are doing an amazing job. For us, obviously on one side as a manufacturer, we are happy with the results because we have won five out of ten races, we have been on pole seven times out of ten races, there is always a Ducati in the front row, always a Ducati on the podium, and we are leading the manufacturers' championship. But obviously we are behind in the riders’ standings, especially with Pecco and Jack, because they are sixth and seventh, 91 points behind Fabio, and this is heavy, because obviously the zeroes that especially Pecco had recently - one was not his fault, but it's still a zero - are affecting his chances to fight for the Championship, which is always our goal, and it looks like a difficult challenge for the season now on. "
Is the world championship now lost? Ciabatti is not convinced, even if obviously the title is now extremely difficult to achieve.
"Well, it's still possible, obviously, because there are still 10 races and we can score many points, but realistically it's going to be very difficult. As you can see, Fabio and Aleix are consistently on the top and make very few mistakes, so we just have to do our best, as you can imagine, trying to win where we can. We were very pleased in a way to see many Ducatis competitive at Sachsenring, which traditionally has never been a very favourable track for us, but obviously then there was a mistake. We had two bikes on the podium, but obviously Pecco was supposed to be challenging Fabio for the race win, because of his form, because of his pole position, but crashed. So, we can't be completely happy, but we have to try our best until the end. It’s the only thing we can do".