Ducati's general manager Luigi Dall'Igna says the cooperation between its MotoGP and World Superbike efforts has been vital to improve its competitiveness in both series and expects that process to continue into 2017.
The Italian manufacturer has seen a steady upturn in its results in both MotoGP and World Superbikes with Andrea Iannone's win in Austria last year its first MotoGP victory since Casey Stoner's triumph at Phillip Island in 2010, while Chaz Davies dominated the production-based series at the end of 2016 winning seven out of the final eight races.
Ducati is confident it can build on that success, with two superstar signings as Jorge Lorenzo joins its MotoGP squad while welcomes Marco Melandri joins its World Superbikes effort, and Dall'Igna says a development push has continued over the winter.
The Ducati boss sees his team's 'synergy' between MotoGP and World Superbikes as a key move for its progress and has confidence 2017 updates on the Panigale R will ensure the team competes for world titles again this year.
“In the last few seasons the Panigale R has constantly improved from a competitive point of view and, thanks to the synergy between the MotoGP and SBK projects, we have had a lot of success,” Dall'Igna said. “However development never stops: in the winter tests we brought several innovations to the engine, chassis and electronics, and now we want to express our full potential and win the riders' and manufacturers' titles.
“We know that our rivals are going to be tough to beat, but we can count on two riders of undisputed worth such as Chaz and Marco as well as an extremely competent and close-knit team, so we are looking forward to the challenge that awaits us with confidence.”
Despite the lines between the two series clearly drawn out, Ducati's move to integrate development in its MotoGP and World Superbike divisions echoes Red Bull Honda's latest signing Stefan Bradl who feels the introduction of the standard ECU in MotoGP has made the transition between the two series smoother.
The 2017 World Superbike championship gets underway at Phillip Island on the 24-26 February just days after the final pre-season test at the Australian track.