Event Horizon and The Fifth Element in Ducati's difficult choice

Time has stood still for Domenicali and Dall'Igna, stopped at the edge of a supermassive black hole: the decision on the rider who will join Bagnaia on the Lenovo team in 2025. Data will decide, but even more important will be the key chosen to decrypt it

: Event Horizon and The Fifth Element in Ducati's difficult choice

Ducati has been running so fast in recent years that it has now come close to Gargantua, the supermassive black hole in the Virgo A galaxy.

At this point, very close to the event horizon, for us who observe it from afar, it has stopped. For outside observers such as we are everything flows fast, but at Borgo Panigale, time has stopped.

And this is the reason why the decision on the rider who will join Pecco Bagnaia in the official team of the Rossa, is slow in coming. In fact, all the data necessary for the choice - data, that is, numbers, because it is on these that the decision should be made - are already in their hands. The problem is how to interpret them.

Already because numbers always tell the truth, but how they are taken into account is also important.

Indeed, in recent days Gigi Dall'Igna, in order to justify the wait - we know that looking at it from the outside because of the theory of relativity the Ducati spaceship that arrived at the event horizon is stationary in our eyes - explained that the decision will be made considering all the numbers of the three riders in the running for the investiture. But what does this mean? Because if the figures are those of the results of the last few seasons in Ducati, Jorge Martin would win hands down. If career ones were taken into consideration instead, the decision to keep Marquez would be inevitable. Perhaps only the examination of Bastianini's might take longer, due to the fact that Enea missed most of last season.

So, you see. Numbers matter, but up to a point because in the end you have to figure out what is the key to deciphering them.

Does only sporting performance matter in deciphering? Does media, marketing weight also affect the final grade? How much can a rider influence image or sales?

Eh, guys, it sounds simple, but it's not. And we can also imagine that, having made this decision, Borgo Panigale will want to justify it....

With the looming risk that the rider who passes under the axe, just a third of the way through the championship, may then turn out to be the 2024 world champion. Because at the time of the decision we will be just over a third of the way through the championship. And in motorcycle racing anything, but anything, can happen.

There is only one argument that eases the burden on the scrutineers' shoulders: wherever they go, the excluded ones are unlikely to find a MotoGP as competitive as the Desmosedici. I mean, it would be nice if that were the case, but what might happen if Martin or Marquez, sitting in 2025 on the seat of an Aprilia or a KTM beat the Rossa? Stuff to put to shame the blunder Claudio Domenicali made in 2018 at Mugello when it was decided to do without Jorge Lorenzo.

At this point we want to help out by adding an element, a fifth one, the one that in Greek cosmology was considered incorruptible. Along with the four that materially make up the planet and all living things, there is in fact an overpowering, luminous, most important matter of all: friendship.

Ducati, if you're convinced you're going to keep winning with Pecco Bagnaia as your first rider, and you're satisfied with his image as a quiet guy who doesn't pierce the video screens, perhaps, but does everything right, keep Enea Bastianini on your team. Pecco - mistakenly or not, it doesn't matter - doesn't consider him a rival in the title fight. With him all is quiet, and you all know very well that it will not be the same if on the other side of the box there is Jorge Martin or Marc Marquez.

On the other hand, the temptation to have a Prost-Senna team, is unquestionably strong. Very strong indeed, because very often winning is not enough. You have to over-win. Stomp on your rivals. Make history. But to do it you have to red-heat iron and make swords out of it. And God knows that right now motorcycle racing needs clashes. If not of swords, then of fairings.


Translated by Julian Thomas

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