Ducati confirms decision to race in MotoGP Open class

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Italian manufacturer opts to focus on engine development in 2014

Ducati has confirmed that this year’s MotoGP World Championship will see the Italian manufacturer competing in the newly introduced Open Class that will be introduced this year after series owner Dorna decided to make it more affordable for teams to compete by putting restrictions on ultra expensive electronics.

While all teams will now use a Dorna supplied ECU, the Open class also restricts teams to universal software but allows engine development throughout the year and a new softer Bridgestone rear tire while the Factory teams will also use the Dorna supplied ECU but their own software and will not be allowed develop their engines throughout the season and will be restricted to 20 liters of fuel per race. The Open class teams will also have an allowance of four extra liters of fuel per race.

Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team

Photo by: Ducati Corse

Rumours had been circulating for a long time that Ducati was considering the Open option and the manufacturer made no secrets that it was looking at all its options for the upcoming season. With senior management in Bologna focusing on overhauling it’s troublesome Desmosedici GP machine the decision to race in the Open category and its advantageous rules towards engine development, the decision looked the to be the logical one it the end.

“Ducati, after carefully considering the two options, has decided that the most suitable one for the current needs of the Bologna-based manufacturer is the Open one, which gives the possibility to the race department to continue the development of the bike and the engine throughout the entire season,” the team press statement reads.

The recent pre-season test at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia saw both the Ducati team and Pramac Racing team test the new Open ECU and software and while reports from the riders who tested the software was that the Ducati in-house software was better, the rest of the comments were positive. The sight of Aleix Espargaro on the Open class NGM Mobile Forward Racing Yamaha consistently running at the top on each day of the Sepang test will also be a positive sign to Ducati.

Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team

Photo by: Ducati Corse

Speaking about the decision to opt for the Open class, Luigi Dall'Igna, Ducati Corse General Manager, commented: "We have carefully studied the new technical regulations and have concluded that the Open option is the most interesting for Ducati, in the current situation. This year we have to keep developing our bikes throughout the season to improve our competitiveness, and the Factory option appears to be too restrictive for our needs. We are confident that the electronics package provided by Magneti Marelli and DORNA has very good quality and will allow the correct management of all the main functions of the bikes.”

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About this article
Series MOTOGP
Article type Breaking news
Tags dorna, ducati, hatch, pramac, sepang