Yamaha 2 - Ducati 0. If it is as it seems, Jorge Lorenzo will also arrive in Iwata as a test rider, perhaps already starting with the Sepang tests, on February 2nd. It'll then be an incontrovertible 3-0.
And when a team gets three wins without fighting back, it has lost badly and has either put the wrong players on the field or has completely changed its game tactics.
There are no excuses. On the market, which everyone knew was going to start well in advance, the team from Bologna botched it. Seriously.
On the contrary, Yamaha, which was greatly criticized in recent months, got a full loot by presenting a solid team for 2020 and on paper, for a two-year long term, 2021-2022.
At the same time, Ducati is in a situation of extreme weakness, also with regard to its current riders, Dovizioso and Petrucci. In fact, both will be able to claim their rewards and, if it's true that Andrea and Danilo don't miss having the most competitive bike of the lot in their hands - even more than Honda, since what Claudio Domenicali says about the results of several riders, and not only one, is true - both are now on the market.
For Dovi, in fact, knowing that he's not going to want to race forever, there could be viable alternatives, certainly with less expectations of a victory, but certainly less stressful ones. And, after all, 2020 for him is probably the last attempt, as far as the race for the title is concerned.
For Petrucci, on the other hand, Aprilia is ready and, as of February 4th, with the results of the Iannone deal, it could present him with a rich offer.
Who knows why this reminds us of the end of 2006 when, only after Sete Gibernau's refusal, pushed by financial reasons and, initially, Marco Melandri - who was optioned by the Gresini team - Ducati decided to take on the almost unknown Casey Stoner.
A rider who, to quote Paolo Ciabatti, when he spoke about Fabio Quartararo recently: "He still hasn't won a Grand Prix".
We all know how it ended. In 2007, Rolling Stoner won the only title that the Ducati can boast so far. It was not a forward-thinking decision. If we may, it was a great stroke of luck, also helped by the decision of its Project Leader and Team Manager at the time, Livio Suppo, to team up with Bridgestone.
That's why Ducati, a company run entirely by engineers, must understand and realize that (technical) firepower helps a lot in motorcycling, but that's not enough. Because when Honda lost Valentino Rossi in late 2003, it had to wait for Nicky Hayden's well-deserved but lucky 2006 to win the title, then followed by Casey Stoner in 2011. And we all can agree that - Yamaha title of 2015 aside, controversy or not - from then on, the championship was dominated by Marc Marquez along with Honda, by the rider, while remembering that he has won the past three seasonss, working hard in 2018 with an RC213-V that was certainly inferior to the Desmosedici GP18.
Hence, the axiom that, even in "electronified" motorcycling, the rider counts more than the bike.
That' s why today's 2-0, rather than tomorrow's 3-0, is serious business for Ducati. If things go well, they'll end up playing with the same team for the next three championships.
Unless, of course, a young unknown Messi, who still hasn't started scoring, pops up somewhere.
But it will take some intuition, and it would be a risk taking him on. Quality and propensity that, right now, we unfortunately don't see in Ducati.