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Ducati Looking to Take Simoncelli Away from Honda for 2012?

More than one European press source indicates Ducati may be interested in hiring Marco Simoncelli to ride for it in MotoGP in 2012.  Since Ducati factory riders Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden are already signed for next year, Simoncelli would likely ride on a satellite team, but with full factory support for his bike on a par with Rossi and Hayden (similar to his deal with Honda this year).

Simoncelli is reportedly interested in staying with Honda, but has not been offered a contract extension at this point.  That could change, but Honda is effectively supporting four factory level racers now, and this could pose budget issues going forward.  Additionally, Simoncelli has not helped his cause with all of his crashes/DNFs this year (he currently lies 8th in the points, and has never found the podium in two years at the MotoGP level).  There is no doubt he is fast (he has two pole positions in MotoGP so far), but he has not shown consistency.  Even when he stays on the bike for the entire race lately, he is battling with riders for position outside the top three podium spots (lately, the domain of Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa).


  1. Joey Wilson says:

    It’s a win/win no-brainer: Honda would dump him in a heartbeat after almost killing Pedrosa, and Ducati could then blame MS instead of having to admit that the GP11 IS a Widowmaker.

  2. Hot Dog says:

    How about a ride on the Tech 3 team, when you know who, goes hunting?

  3. Jack Meoph says:

    The question is: How many Ducati’s can Super Sic destroy in a season?

  4. Norm G. says:

    re: “Simoncelli would likely ride on a satellite team, but with full factory support for his bike on a par with Rossi and Hayden”

    looks good on paper. in practice however ducati has never been able to fully support any more than one rider at the gp level. the sat bikes have been ne’er do wells since like…? forever…? and this was BEFORE brand VR46 was on the payroll. sure hope he’s not deluded himself into thinking that this condition is going to magically change now…? simo, pray for a honda contract to slide under your door.

    • Gary says:

      More to the point … Stoner is the only one who has ever won on the bike. Now that he is on a competitive team, he appears virtually unstoppable.

      • Rod G. says:

        Stoner is not the only rider to win on the Ducati, Troy Bayliss won on it first time out. Perhaps it is only Australians who can ride it!!

        • CMoses says:

          Troy won on the 990. I believe Gary is correct that Stoner is the only rider to have won on a Ducati riding on an 800.

  5. Gary says:

    Simoncelli did not do his prospects at Honda any good when he squid-punched Pedrosa, removing him from title contention. I personally think Marco will be a champ one day, after he matures a bit. He has huge talent and drive.

  6. Vrooom says:

    To be fair everyone is riding outside the podium group except for Stoner, Pedrosa and Lorenzo. If that was the criteria no one else would have a contract (well maybe Dovi). Are they taking Melandri from WSB or are you talking about Simoncelli or talking about both? Hard to figure out?

  7. agent55 says:

    MD played the name game… and failed horribly 😛

  8. John A. Kuzmenko says:

    Oops! 🙂

  9. BPT says:

    I think they mean Simoncelli, not Melandri.

  10. AndrewF says:

    I doubt either Melandri or Ducati would be interested – Melandri already had a MotoGP season with Ducati (2008, I think) and it was an unmitigated disaster.

  11. Brian says:

    Um, Milandri is in WSBK riding for Yamaha, not Honda (and not MotoGP) as your article implies.

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