MotoGP Jerez test: speed is the center of attention for Ducati after podium record | MotoGP

Ducati may still have missed out on the all-important MotoGP riders’ title, but the Italian factory could celebrate a long list of successes in 2021, including:

A new Ducati record of 24 podiums (by five different riders), seven race victories (this is the best since Casey Stoner’s historic title in 2007), a clear podium in the Valencia final, a victory in the constructors and teams titles, drivers’ vice-champion of the title with Francesco Bagnaia, at least one Ducati in the front row in the 18 races, a first Ducati satellite victory by the rookie of the year Jorge Martin and his teammate Pramac Johann Zarco being the best independent pilot.

It’s a big turning point since Dall’Igna accepted the role of general manager of Ducati Corse, of Aprilia, at the end of 2013, when the factory had just suffered its only season without a single MotoGP podium.

“Honestly, I’m really happy with the work we’ve all done together over these years,” said Dall’Igna on the eve of this week’s Jerez tests. “At the beginning Ducati was not that competitive and year after year we have improved our performance and honestly all of us are very happy with the success of this season.

“Because in terms of podiums, it’s the best year for Ducati since the start of MotoGP with 24 podiums, that’s a lot, we had the first, second and third places in the last race in Valencia, this which means our bike can adapt to different riding styles and honestly we have been pretty competitive all season in all races.

“Year after year we are improving something on the bike and we certainly haven’t reached the final destination, let me say! But anyway, we’re really happy with the improvement.

The dark cloud that hung over the Desmosedici for many seasons was a difficulty to turn. The victories on winding tracks such as Portimao, Valencia, Jerez, Le Mans this season suggest it is a thing of the past, but Dall’Igna admitted there was still work to be done.

“The Ducati’s cornering was a problem when I got to Ducati and little by little I think we’ve improved the bike a bit every year.

“It’s really hard to tell you a single solution. Maybe last year we narrowed the gap more than the previous ones, but every year we made a little change to improve the bike in the turns.

“Nevertheless, we have a lack of performance in certain places and in certain areas. For example, entering the fast corners, we had some problems this year, ”he explained. “For example, in Assen. And also, in Qatar.

“We would therefore like to improve our bike mainly on this aspect [for 2022].

“Anyway, our competition is really strong. Mostly, Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha did a good job, Honda in the latter part of the season was really competitive. So it will be a tough championship next year for sure. “

The last two seasons of MotoGP have been held under technical freeze, in response to the covid pandemic. This prevented Ducati, Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki from modifying their engine design while reducing aerodynamic improvements.

Does this mean that Ducati has moved its resources to areas such as the chassis?

“No. The engine has its specialists, the chassis has different,” he said. “We simply developed our bike into a [normal] way and honestly I have no doubts that our riders have been really fantastic this season as well. “

With the engine frozen out, Factory and Pramac riders will each be able to try out the latest version of a “brand new” Ducati 2022 engine in Jerez on Thursday and Friday.

Dall’Igna added that nothing was formally discussed with Valentino Rossi on testing the Ducati, as test rider Michele Pirro has indicated that the new retired nine-time world champion is ready to do.

Meanwhile, Dall’Igna fears that having Casey Stoner as a rider trainer is not logistically possible due to the fact that the 2007 world champion of the factory is based in Australia.

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