Ducati is wrapping up its Wrooom event high in the snowy Trentino Dolomites, and has unveiled all four factory Ducatis that will campaign the 2013 MotoGP championship.
With distinct livery for the two Ducati Team riders Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso, as well as the Pramac Racing Team consisting of riders Andrea Iannone and Ben Spies, Ducati seems to be entering the 2013 campaign with great determination. All four riders will have access to full factory-supported Desmosedici GP13 bikes, pictured here in the livery of each team.
A new German boss takes the helm of Ducati Corse, and this will undoubtedly facilitate communication with German parent Audi. Bernhard Gobmeier most recently spearheaded BMW’s WSB effort, but he has experience with four wheelers, as well. Speaking during a press conference at Wrooom, Gobmeier described his new environment and challenges thusly:
“I’m very satisfied,” declared Gobmeier. “Firstly, the way the company welcomed me was overwhelming and I felt like being introduced to a big family. The first impressions on the human side were exceptional and this will of course will help to create a good motivational basis for working together, allowing us to dedicate all of our resources towards the brand, the company and the project.
“The challenge that lies ahead is a big one and everybody is curious as to what we are going to do to close the gap to our rivals. We must work in a lot of different areas where we can make the difference. We have already made some positive changes to the team structure, and we have some ideas for the development of the bike. I prefer to speak about evolution rather than revolution and with this in mind first we want to evaluate the material developed in the second half of last year. I think that with this approach we can improve the performance of the bike in the short term but we are also working on new solutions which down the road in 2013 will be implemented into the race bike.
“We also have a second squad, the factory-supported Pramac Racing Team with two additional riders, which will help us to gather more information and input for development. Michele Pirro is our new test rider and he will have wild-card rides in three races. So overall I think we are well settled in terms of personnel and the technology we have, so I am confident about the future.
“It is of course too early to think about results. We have to wait for the first tests where we are going to try new things and give the riders the chance to get comfortable with the bike. I am sure that with the additional information from our riders and the know-how that we have within the personnel and engineering staff in Ducati, we will improve quite quickly. Our aim this year is to once again fight for podiums.”
Ducati has struggled a long time in MotoGP, and it is hard to describe the recent efforts of Valentino Rossi and his crew as fruitful. Nevertheless, with four factory bikes on the grid next year, and five very fast riders (including test rider Michele Pirro, who will also take the grid in three races), Ducati might be in a position to push the development of its bike very rapidly. Perhaps the Italian/German mix in place will shake things up in a good way. Time will tell, but Ducati’s strong presence next year will make MotoGP all the more interesting to watch.