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Looks Like Ducati Chose to Keep the Right Andrea

Last year, Ducati’s Factory MotoGP team faced a difficult decision when it had to choose between Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone as a teammate to Jorge Lorenzo for 2017. Iannone won a race last year in Austria – ending a six-year drought by taking the first Ducati MotoGP victory since Casey Stoner.

Nevertheless, Ducati chose to hang on to Dovizioso, both older and less aggressive than Iannone, but more consistent. This appears to have been the right choice given the results achieved by each rider in 2017 thus far. Iannone has struggled on his new Suzuki (his best finish is a 7th place, and he has crashed more than once), while Dovizioso is a close second place in the championship after winning the last two MotoGP rounds on his Ducati.

Hindsight is always 20/20, of course, but it looks like Ducati chose to hang on to the better of the two Andreas. Iannone, of course, could still turn things around at Suzuki (where he rides a bike that Maverick Viñales was able to win on last year), but time will tell.


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35 Comments

  1. Gary says:

    Wait until the electric motorcycle manufacturers are capitalized enough to start racing. Some of the electric bikes they have now are quite impressive and I’ve read are extremely close if not able to outperform the ICE bikes now. Range under race conditions is probably the only thing that is holding them back, and that won’t be long until that is remedied. Check out the Energica Motorcycles video on this Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/270923299979915/

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Range under race conditions is probably the only thing that is holding them back”

      not so much, what’s holding them back is the SOUND TRACK.

      in the grandprix context of this thread – which it is (Anton Chigurh response) the concept of “silent but deadly” does not fly for motor bikes. no, what the people show up for (even if they don’t yet realize it) is the double whammy spectacle of noisy AND deadly, can’t they have both…?

      (insert famous clip of Yamaha testing T-Rex’s at Brno)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIyPRViLyrQ&t=77s

      (insert clip of Suter 2-stroke, bloody thing makes for an awesome NAKED)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ksCCfQcfYY

      (BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE…!!! insert clip of Millyard’s 5 cylinder Zed)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hn9LidVa6g

      • Bocker says:

        I’d love to not wear earplugs trackside. People will still show up to watch gladiators battle at high speed regardless of the noise they create. Sure, some of the old farts might stop going because “durr not loud enough” but the younguns and true fans love the sport for the speed, not the future hearing damage.

  2. viktor92 says:

    The comparison is pointless, they are in two totally different bikes, being a new one for Iannone too…

  3. MotoMaster39 says:

    I have no idea if this would affect top level race bikes, but everything I’ve ever read about Ducatis and Suzukis leads me to believe that they are polar opposites, handling wise. From what I understand, Suzukis have really good front end feel on slow corners, and are busy/twitchy at really high speed. I’ve heard Ducatis are super-stable at high speed, but can be harder to muscle around slower corners

    To me A.I. seems like he’s uncomfortable at the limit on the Suzuki because he’s afraid he’ll high side. Dovi looks comfortable on the Duc, and Lorenzo looks like he needs to manhandle the bike more. To me, the Honda looks very middle of the road in all aspects, and the Yamaha looks like the power hits like 90’s Mike Tyson.

    • VLJ says:

      Everything there looks pretty much on the money, except you have the Yamaha and Honda motor characteristics reversed. The Yamaha is known to have the smoother, more rider-friendly power deliver, while the Honda is known to be more of a handful getting on and off the throttle.

      • MotoMaster39 says:

        I’ve noticed the rear end of the Yamaha stepping out under acceleration a lot this year. They keep talking about tire issues, but I’m thinking this year’s engine hits harder when it gets on the pipe as well.

        • mickey says:

          Both Honda and Yamaha riders have been asking for more power since getting walked in the straightaways by the Ducatis last year. The H & Y factories provided more power this year over last year, then this year Duc got an extra dose of power, and H&Y are behind again. Not sure if the H&Y are sliding more is a result of tires, engine power characteristics, or riders getting on the throttle harder earlier trying to keep the Ducs at bay. Lots of parts to the puzzle of making a MotoGP bike go around a race track quicker.

  4. Brian says:

    Do people really think Iannone would have played well with Lorenzo? C’mon…

  5. Vrooom says:

    It doesn’t seem fair to compare Maniac Joe on a Suzuki vs. Dovi on a Ducati. All things being equal, the Ducati is the more competitive mount, not withstanding what Lorenzo might tell you.

    • Joe from Canada says:

      Ducati should have saved their money and kept both of last year’s riders. Lorenzo is taking up way too much time to get anywhere near competitive on the Duc.

  6. BILL says:

    What the heck is NATCORK?

    • Dave says:

      Norm’s theory that is well illustrated in the hyper competitive world of MotoGP:

      No Amount of Talent Can Overcome Recalcitrant Kit

      • Tim C says:

        What’s hilarious is I didn’t realize apparently this really is Norm’s coinage. I thought it was an actual Thing but Google results all point back to here. If that’s the case it really needs to be propagated beyond MD.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “I thought it was an actual Thing but Google results all point back to here.”

          🙂 crazy innit…? lol

    • Norm G. says:

      Q: What the heck is NATCORK?

      A: iron-clad Law.

  7. wjf says:

    Stoner on a Suzuki…..

  8. William Parker says:

    I think in retrospect, Ducati probably made the right (and seemingly less logical) choice. In all fairness, the Ducati looks to be MUCH better this year…

  9. Jeremy in TX says:

    That is hard to say of course. Ianonne was probably the better rider for Ducati last year based on pure display of talent alone.

    I understand that Suzuki is really flustered with Iannone right now as the race data from the most recent race indicated that he was not pushing at full potential. If true, that would definitely demonstrate a breakdown of professionalism and motivation.

    • VLJ says:

      Dovi wasn’t pushing to full potential either last week, neither braking nor accelerating, which he freely admitted afterward. He was only pushing to a safe and prudent full potential, whatever that is, and I suspect it was the same with Iannone, Lorenzo, Vinales, Rossi, etc., all of whom were forced to ride with extreme caution.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        I think they were all pushing as hard as they felt they could manage. But Ianonne upped his pace by 1.5 seconds per lap once he was passed by the other factory Suzuki, repassing and gapping him considerably in the last few laps of the race.

        I fully believe that Iannone is very uncomfortable with the bike. I’m not saying that Iannone stands guilty of what he is accused of, but I don’t blame Suzuki of accusing him of it either.

    • Dave says:

      Re: “a breakdown of professionalism and motivation.”

      Possibly, but he has always been a sword fighter of a rider so it’s hard for me to imagine he’s having a crisis of motivation. I would bet this is strongly driven by a breakdown in confidence in the machine. More afraid of crashing when he doesn’t believe it’s possible to win.

  10. Craig says:

    Bad analogy… I think they had the perfect team for the product. Iannone did himself no favors taking both out last year amongst other things. He now is riding a bike that Vinales won once on, crashed a few times trying hard and usually finished outside of the top 6. So, it’s not so different to be honest. In fact both riders have been tossing it down the road a bit…

    Get that front-end worked out and then let’s see what happens. I think Iannone is a very talented rider that tries too hard sometimes…

  11. Scott says:

    So… Dovi would be winning races this year on the Suzuki? And Iannone wouldn’t be winning on the Ducati? Hmmmm…..

    • Provologna says:

      Unknown and unknowable. OTOH, how’s our three-time Champion Jorge Lorenzo doing v. Dovi, both riders on a factory Duck?

      Two races ago, did you hear one of the announcers say the Duck is rumored to make 280hp? Gadzooks! Hyperbole? The most powerful bike I rode made a mere 160hp and I thought that was crazy.

      My three favorites this year are MV, VR46, and Dovi, probably in descending sequence. My fondness for Pedrosa grows lately, and ditto even, dare I say, MM.

      • Tim C says:

        It certainly is interesting to see how the aliens are handling NATCORK – even add JL to your list of nice-to-see-them-build-character.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “interesting to see how the aliens are handling NATCORK”

          just got a text from Johnny Rea, he says after 8 years not being able to get ARRESTED on the Blade, he loves the Law of NATCORK. (thumbs up emoticon) he honestly doesn’t know what those GP tossers are on about…?

          Jon-Ray, living the dream.

      • Provologna says:

        Note to self: check your growing affection for MM fail if he, God forbid, takes the lead…