Ducati Corse general manager Gigi Dall’Igna hits back at the appeal against his team over the legality of its device mounted underneath the swingarm and has singled out Honda’s part in the protest.

The FIM confirmed the Ducati appeal will be heard at the MotoGP Court of Appeal before the next race in Argentina (March 29-31) following the joint protest by Aprilia, KTM, Honda and Suzuki.

The device under scrutiny was used by both factory Ducati riders Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci plus Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller during the 2019 opening round in Qatar. Dovizioso won the race ahead of Respol Honda’s Marc Marquez, with Petrucci finishing in sixth place while Miller retired due to a seat problem.

Speaking to MotoGP.com, Dall’Igna has defended Ducati’s device and feels his team has not broken rules regarding devices used as part of the swingarm. The Ducati chief felt the issue should have been discussed and decided privately in MotoGP’s Motorcycle Sports Manufacturers’ Association and was surprised to hear about the initial protest appeal.

“Every time there was a problem it was gutted and analysed in what we, as Ducati, consider to be the offices prepared to do so, the MSMA rather than the MSMA plus the technical director of the championship. Nothing has changed for us,” Dall’Igna said.

“If we had faced such a question we would have done it as we did in the past, discussing it within the MSMA.”

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Dall’Igna singled out Honda as a particularly surprising member of the protest given its historical technical discussions around MotoGP rules.

“Obviously these four manufacturers have decided to change their approach and what surprises us is that above all Honda, together with us and Yamaha, is one of the founding fathers of the championship,” he said. “Because they have always participated from the beginning they decided to change the rules, challenging the Federation.

“We were a bit perplexed. Before the race in Qatar, all the various disputes, and there were so many, have always been resolved either within the MSMA or involving the Technical Director in MSMA.

“This is the first time that any team decides to make a complaint against someone else based on a technical doubt. This marks a clear difference from the past, a negative difference.

“Having questioned the Federation's Technical Director, who is the only one by regulation who can decide whether something mounted on the bike is legal or not, there is the risk of becoming like a far west town in which the sheriff has also been killed. You risk having recourse to every race.”

The basis of the appeal focused on the aerodynamic gains Ducati is accused of producing which would be against current technical regulations. Due to the appeal process, the result of the Qatar MotoGP remains subject to the decision of the MotoGP Court of Appeal.

It is believed the hearing has been pushed for in order to clarify the regulations and understand what manufacturers are permitted to develop in this area.

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