The team manager of Pramac Ducati speaks about the decision to sign Australian Jack Miller for 2018, Danilo Petrucci’s recent upturn in form, and the reasoning behind not extending Scott Redding’s stay in the squad.
You will have a new rider for 2018.

Francesco Guidotti:
Next year is pretty far from now. OK, we’re happy to fix the two seats but now we must be focused on the current season. There are still eight races to go. It’s not finished, the season. We worked to fix and make a plan for next year, but let’s focus on this one.
Can you tell us a little about Jack’s deal, and what machinery he will have available next year?

Francesco Guidotti:
Exactly the same [situation as Scott has now]. Danilo will keep the factory status and the factory bike. He will move to the 2018 bike. Of course, at the beginning of next season it will be like this year; winter tests and the first races maybe there will be some development to do. Jack will have the 2017 bike. This is all clear. Nothing more to say.
What made you decide that Jack would be suitable for Pramac Ducati?

Francesco Guidotti:
He showed us that he would like to come. A rider that’s doing practice and races, they have the chance to study each other. Maybe he saw something in the Ducati that maybe he is missing. I’m pretty sure that his potential is much better than what he gets until now. Ducati supports the idea. Mainly, we’ve been attracted to his talent. Let’s try to show something together.

It was the same with Scott. To be honest, it was a very nice start to last season. The winter tests were crazy and the first part of the season was absolutely good. Then we started to have some bad luck, or not good results in the second half of the season. Also, the beginning of this season was pretty good, but not as good as we expected. We, I mean, the team and him. When we talked about the future, we were all on the same level. You were not really happy about the situation. I can say that he made some mistakes, we made some mistakes, but it’s something that didn’t work together. So, he agrees. He’s not angry with anyone. We are not angry with him. We are still pushing to get something better. It was a ‘common divorce’. We will look for something better and we’ll try to end well. Someone told me he is going to Aprilia. I just asked him to keep focused on this season. I think he is professional enough to push until Valencia 100 percent.
With a bit more support what do you think Jack can achieve?

Francesco Guidotti:
You know, when you see a lack of results the failure is not always on one side. For sure, there is something that doesn’t work. I have difficulties to understand what is wrong with us and Scott. To be honest, I have no idea what’s going on with Jack and Honda. Sometimes it’s difficult to find a solution inside your team. I just hope that if you completely change the environment, the bike, and with new motivation will help him to go faster because the goal is to go fast!
You said it was difficult to understand why Scott has struggled for consistency this year. Why do you think that is?

Francesco Guidotti:
It’s pretty strange, because the winter tests were completely different from last year. We were always on top [before the ’16 season] and this year we were always in the middle way, toward the bottom. But once the race season started he didn’t do so bad. He was the top ten, the top 15. When he had a technical problem in Le Mans. Even if during the practice was, let’s say, normal or pretty good, during the race always something happened. We tried. It didn’t work like both of us expected. Before it’s too late, it’s better to split. I mean, personally there is nothing to say. He’s a great guy. It’s incredible. From a personal point of view, he’s good. We spent a weekend off together even after we talked about the future and we understood our ways were going to be different. We still kept in touch, and spent some days together with mini-bikes and so on. This is professional life. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. If not, it’s not a good reason to argue. I still want to be focused on this season.
Danilo will stay with the team for another year in 2018. What do you put his recent form down to? Was he just becoming more accustomed to the GP17?

Francesco Guidotti:
Probably. There’s no one reason. Little things, that all together made a difference. In Mugello he did a crazy race, he was fantastic. The first row in Barcelona and then again in Assen and the Sachsenring. Another podium in Assen with some rain, where it helped us a lot. Otherwise, I don’t know if he could have got the podium, because there was Dovi coming very quickly. With eight laps to go he was already struggling with the rear tyre. So the rain helped us to slow down the rhythm of the race. In the last four or five races there were some circumstances that helped. And there were some circumstances that he used really well for himself. For sure, mental-wise, he’s much stronger. He’s able to keep calm even when the circumstances are weird and difficult. For sure, the factory bike helps him to be on top.
Is Ducati happy with his role?

Francesco Guidotti:
It’s important that Ducati shows potential with different riders, no? We know that Ducati is a particular bike. Only Stoner had won. At this part of the season, Dovi has won two races and Danilo got two podiums. Also, for Lorenzo is helpful. With that bike, two riders get the podium consistently, it can make a sudden motivation. I think, for Ducati, it’s a good thing.



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