Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali says Jorge Lorenzo’s maiden win for the Italian manufacturer last week at Mugello is a historic moment but is sad that the Spaniard “took such a long time to find the right feeling with our bike.”

Lorenzo has made the surprise move to the factory Honda squad, after signing a two-year deal with HRC, which will see the three-time MotoGP world champion leave Ducati after just two seasons together.

Having struggled to deliver to expectations during his first year adapting to the Ducati, after previously spending his entire MotoGP career with Yamaha, Lorenzo repeated his sentiments that he was confident of  being competitive if Ducati made modifications he demanded to the GP18.

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The changes, including a new frame which arrived at Jerez and a new fuel tank which was delivered at Mugello, have appeared to come too late as Lorenzo stormed to a first Ducati win last weekend at Mugello but immediately confirmed after the victory he would be on a ‘different bike for the next two years’.

With Lorenzo heading for Honda from next year, Ducati chief Domenicali has thanked the Spaniard for his efforts but is disappointed by the outcome having signed Lorenzo with the goal of securing a first world title for the Italian manufacturer since Casey Stoner clinched the 2007 MotoGP world title.

“I’d like to thank Jorge Lorenzo for all the efforts and commitment that he has made during his time as a Ducati rider and in particular for his outstanding victory last Sunday at Mugello,” Domenicali said. “It will go down in history as one of our company’s legendary racing achievements.

“Jorge is a great champion, capable of incredible feats, and even though it is sad that he took such a long time to find the right feeling with our bike, we will continue to do everything possible to put him in a position to achieve further victories in the remaining rounds of the season and fight for the world title together with his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.”

Dovizioso, who signed a new two-year deal with Ducati at the French round, will be joined by Danilo Petrucci at the factory team from 2019 as he steps up from the satellite Pramac Ducati squad.

Lorenzo replaces Dani Pedrosa at the Repsol Honda squad alongside Marc Marquez from 2019.

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