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MotoGP, Dall'Igna: "in F1 they would never have dreamed of penalizing Red Bull or Mercedes"

"MotoGP is the only motorsport championship in which these things happen. It's fine for the show and we're here for the show, but from a sporting point of view it's certainly unfair. The organizer will grant bonuses to the other manufacturers"

MotoGP: Dall'Igna:

This is going to be a difficult season for Gigi Dall'Igna. Putting probably the best Desmosedici ever, the GP24, onto the track will not help him because Ducati is now under attack from multiple fronts. For its technical superiority, for the fact of having four teams and eight riders and, last but not least, for having to face this season knowing that Dorna and the FIM, more Dorna than the FIM, have given hefty concessions to its opponents who will be able to recover quickly during the season and even find themselves ahead in the following ones before 2026 sees the end of this regulation in favour of the new one which will reduce the displacement to 850 cc and will probably bring an end to the aerodynamic impetus of today.

As if that weren't enough for the opening day of the 2024 world championship, Pecco Bagnaia didn't go particularly well, while KTM and Aprilia emerged forcefully. And overall the best Ducati rider in the field - fourth in FP1, best time in the wet session - was Marc Marquez who might become a real thorn in the side of the factory team over the course of the season. In fact, what would happen if, with the official riders continuing to repeat that the GP24 is a decisive step forward, something that Gigi himself confirms, 'Magic Marc' managed to rub their noses into it? Would it be possible to keep the eight-time world champion under control and in an inferior condition until the end of the season? Would Dorna like that?

Gigi is not calm, in fact he even appeared annoyed to us during the interview with Sandro Donato Grosso from Sky TV. In fact, despite having said "The fact of having signed with Pecco gives us a certain amount of tranquillity and now we can wait a little further on in the championship to evaluate the second rider, so that we are in the right position to do everything calmly", immediately afterwards adding: “There is the possibility for Honda and Yamaha to develop the engine and more aerodynamics. They will evolve more, so it will be important to start off on the right foot."

Dall'Igna was obviously referring to the delicate case of the concessions, an advantage over its opponents that the engineer from the Veneto considers too substantial and, perhaps, capable of quickly eroding the advantage that Ducati has accumulated over years of sacrifices.

“Concessions are always something particular, it's true that they give those who are behind the opportunity to improve, and it's important that the championship is a good one and that we're all happy about it. From a technical point of view, however, it is certainly unfair. This is the only motorsport championship in which these things happen: in F1 Red Bull has been winning for some time, and Mercedes did it before it and no one ever dreamed of introducing this system to rebalance the values on the track. It's good for the show and we're here for the show, but from a sporting point of view it's definitely unfair."

Is the concept clear to you? It is true, however, that the Bologna-based Red team were able to exploit an advantage in the recent past when it decided to compete in the so-called 'Open' category, which was easier in terms of development and litres of fuel.

For this year, however, the GP24 is still the bike to beat.

“I believe - said Gigi - that the GP24 is a fairly big step compared to the 23. There are times you need to make a revolution and other times just simple evolutions. Between now and 2026, when the regulations will change... there will be more evolutions than revolutions in Ducati. We have consolidated an important base, but the others are pushing hard and the regulations give them the possibility to do so. We will have to be careful."

The attack on Ducati, as we were saying, will come from multiple fronts and perhaps the technical one is not the most important. Ducati today has four teams because it offered the satellite teams the best bike of the lot, but politics is making sure that this never happens again. But how? Dall'Igna doesn't mince his words.

“Other manufacturers are pushing hard, and have the possibility of making significant discounts, the organizer will grant them bonuses, for us it will be very complicated to continue with four teams, but we will try until the end. However, I believe that it will be difficult to maintain all four teams next year,” he concluded.

But what does it mean? Simply, that Yamaha might even be able to almost afford to give away its official bikes, and which team could give up on such a gift?

Ducati, however, has a strong team... but is it cohesive? In fact, it is difficult for us to understand why it has had so many of its men poached away over the last few years. All of them are valuable technicians, however, who have not had any 'gardening' period, i.e. one of inactivity, imposed on them, as happens in F1, so as not to take too many technical secrets to the opponents. Sterlacchini started the ball rolling by moving to KTM and now it is the turn of Max Bartolini, Yamaha's latest signing. But not only that: track engineers Giribuola and Pupulin have also joined the competition and even an expert team manager like Francesco Guidotti.

There must have been some turmoil within the walls of Borgo Panigale if even Paolo Ciabatti decided to move to the newly formed motocross team. Of course, the latter is just a supposition, but it is also true that the politician par excellence of the Ducati team did not like, and was not at all keen on, Marquez's move to Gresini. If it had been up to him, it wouldn't have happened, but the decision was obviously made by Gigi Dall'Igna who, on the contrary, felt proud that the eight-time world champion renounced on 25 million Euros to get on his creation.

“Marquez did things intelligently, he never pushed hard, he crashed only once and considering how much he has crashed in recent years this is already an indication. He approached the bike well, and before long we'll see what he can do..."


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