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Pramac: 2017 MotoGP line-up confirmed, exploring Suzuki for ‘18

Pramac Ducati boss confirms Scott Redding and Danilo Petrucci are certain to continue in team for 2017; admits talks taken place with Suzuki ahead of 2018.
Pramac Ducati team boss Francesco Guidotti has confirmed that both current riders will definitely continue with the squad in MotoGP 2017, but admits the level of machinery available to the team will depend on results in the second half of the season.

Furthermore, as the team's contract with Ducati expires at the close of 2017, the Italian admitted he has explored the possibility of using Suzuki machinery the following year, and spoke of having a 'good response' from the Japanese factory.

At the moment, Pramac riders Scott Redding and Danilo Petrucci are operating on year-old machinery (GP15s) with a significant amount of factory support.

While Petrucci was hopeful of securing GP17 bikes that will be used by both Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso in the factory team, Guidotti remains pragmatic, knowing the Bologna factory's efforts will be very much focussed around the needs of the reigning world champion, who will join the Italian marque at the close of this season after an eight-year spell with Yamaha.

“It depends on Ducati's strategy,” Guidotti told Crash.net when asked about the machinery that will be available to both his riders in 2017.

“It depends how and when the new bike will be ready – if there will be a new bike. The bike from '14 to '15 was completely new. From '15 to '16 it was a big change. I don't know what the plan is for them, or how much they will change for next year.

“Still, it is something we are available to cooperate. It will be decided together and of course the results from now on will be important to move the decision in one way or another. Lorenzo is coming so Ducati will be really focussed on him, first of all.

“I think that programme is here, which we will discuss about our technical treatment shortly. We are not worried. Since 2013 we have been very, very close to the factory so for sure we will find the right way to be competitive.”

On whether the current rider line up will remain for a further season, the Italian was unequivocal: “Everything is confirmed. We are not in the market.”

While Redding and Petrucci's presence at Pramac for a second season as team-mates appears to be set in stone, the team's brand of machinery beyond 2017 remains unknown.

As journalist Matteo Aglio from Italian website GP One reported in June, Guidotti confirmed that he has spoken to Suzuki, to “investigate and consider other solutions” for the future, beyond the running of Pramac's contract with Ducati.

“This is something for 2018. They said that they will put two more bikes available in 2018. We have a contract with Ducati for next year, but for a medium term we have no plan signed. Why not investigate and consider other solutions?

“Everyone here at the right moment has to make their own evaluation for the future. The company do it. The teams too. It's nothing against Ducati for sure. But why not look around?

“We had a good response from Suzuki when we asked. It's something that we can really consider. There is plenty of time to make a decision. It is only June. And we are talking for 2018. It's just having a look at the bigger picture.”

Upon KTM's joining of the class next year, six factories will compete in the MotoGP class from 2017 and series organiser Dorna is keen for each factory to provide bikes for satellite teams as soon as possible.

From Guidotti's comments, it appears Aprilia will be well placed to provide more than two factory bikes in 2018 too.

“I heard that also Aprilia is trying to have a second team on the grid,” he said. “Suzuki is looking around. KTM is maybe too early to consider a second team when they will be rookies next year.

“The ideal situation, as Dorna says, will be six manufacturers with six satellite teams. We will see. It's something that, as I said, we have time to consider, without arguing for anyone. It's looking at the wider scenario and then we can make a decision together.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Petrucci, Redding Dutch MotoGP Race 2016
Smith, Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Petrucci, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Petrucci, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Petrucci, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Petrucci, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Danilo Petrucci at Jerez MotoGP Test (pic: Steve English)
Jorge Lorenzo, Mercedes AMG Petronas, Silverstone [Credit: Monster Energy]
Rossi, Redding, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Dovizioso, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Dovizioso, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Dovizioso, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Dovizioso, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016

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TrueFan

July 05, 2016 3:51 PM

I'd like to see Ducati depart from the "hand-me-down race bike" approach for satellite teams - or at least limit it to one generation behind at worst. Pramac should possibly get the nearest to current factory spec, but Avintia and Aspar should get something much better than two year old junk. They can put in the odd fast lap, but those bikes are much harder to ride fast... Apart from that, any data they produce contributes nothing to the development of the bikes... Ducati's original motivation for having a racing program (back in the days of the late, great Dr Taglioni) was that "racing improves the breed". It only does that if it produces data that is relevant... On a side note, I'm pleased to see that Danilo and Scott have a ride next year... Scott has often disappointed, but his Assen ride was very, very good.

bringBACKthe990s

July 05, 2016 6:00 PM

Ducati is already losing steam after their big post-Rossi push. KTM is no joke. They arent here to fight with Ducati but blow past them. Suzuki looks to be more serious than ever, especially now that they're gonna field a satellite. And Aprilia has quietly scored more points already this year than they did ALL OF LAST YEAR. So their improvements are real, albeit overshadowed by Suzuki. Honda will eventually get their issues sorted. Yamaha isnt gonna go backwards. It just doesnt happen. . . . Ducati better get their act together.



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