A shortfall of funds could force the Pramac Ducati team to scale down their efforts to just one bike for Mika Kallio in 2009, with Niccolo Canepa being quickly transferred over to the Onde 2000 team instead.
Spanish publication AS
is reporting that Italian telecommunications company Alice has decided to pull its sponsorship of the satellite Ducati team, leaving them with only enough money to run a single bike for 250GP graduate Kallio.
Another blow to the series in the week that saw Kawasaki poised to withdraw their manufacturer effort, Ducati have nonetheless moved quickly to maintain their five-strong effort in 2009.
Indeed, despite the threat of being frozen out, Ducati test rider Canepa will continue to make his MotoGP debut this year after being shifted over to the sister GFH-run Onde 2000 team alongside series returnee Sete Gibernau.
Onde 2000 were apparently already considering a second bike alongside Gibernau, but reports claim it was originally being earmarked for Suzuki World Superbike exile Fonsi Nieto, relative of GFH owners Pablo and Gelete Nieto.
Nonetheless, it is Canepa who is set to assume the bike, which is getting its title sponsorship from a large Spanish property development company, to keep the official entry at 19, pending Kawasaki's expected announcement.