Ducati coy on radical 2014 switch

Ducati coy on radical 2014 switch

Bikes

Ducati coy on radical 2014 switch

By

Ducati officials refused to be comment speculation that it could radically change its strategy and run in MotoGP’s new Open class from 2014.

New general manager Luigi Dall’Igna indicated last month that the team’s future could lie in the Open regulations, saying that Ducati needed to start work “immediately.”

Open class entries have to run spec ECUs and software, but in return can use an extra four litres of fuel and softer Bridgestone compounds. They can also develop engines throughout the year, and are permitted to run 12 engines across the season.

Factory entries are only permitted to run five engines during 2014, when a new engine freeze means modifications during the season are not permitted.

Ducati is expected to make a final call on its 2014 strategy following the first major pre-season test of 2014 at Sepang, Malaysia, on Feb. 4-6. Reports in Italy have suggested Ducati could conduct comparative tests between a factory spec bike and one run to Open class configurations.

Ducati, which will already run Pramac satellite man Yonny Hernandez in the secondary class, admitted it was evaluating the potential of the category but insisted nothing had been decided.

“Ducati thinks that it is important to explore the potential of the new ‘Open’ regulations, also because this should be the future technical direction of the MotoGP championship,” the team said in a statement. “For this reason has decided to enter one GP13 bike with Yonny Hernandez for Pramac Racing Team this year under these rules.

“Currently there are no further plans regarding the ‘Open’ option. All the other Ducati GP riders will conduct back-to-back tests comparing the GP13 and GP14 ‘Factory’ bikes in the first Sepang test.”

More RACER