Ducati Corse general manager Gigi Dall’Igna doesn't expect a lot of MotoGP riders to switch teams for the 2021 season.

But he is predicting that the best will put pen-to-paper early in 2020.

Of the 22 riders on next year's grid, all but Tito Rabat have contracts that expire at the end of next season, paving the way for what could be a major shake-up of the entry list for 2021.

However reigning champion Marc Marquez has already started discussions for an extension to his Honda contract, showing he intends to stay put.

And while a quick Marquez deal would be a no-brainer for Honda, Dall’Igna signalled that all factories will need to make early decisions on their key signings to avoid being left out.

"I don’t think that a lot of riders will change in 2021," said Dall’Igna, during an exclusive interview with Crash.net.

"But some, yes. And it's a simple fact that the rider contracts will be signed quite early [next] season and I don’t know why.

"For sure, this is not the best way to do things. But if you want to catch the best riders, sometimes you have to move quite fast."

Shell, Ducati extend 20-year partnership

Having transformed Ducati's MotoGP fortunes since his arrival from Aprilia at the end of 2013 there have been rumours that Dall’Igna might himself be a target for other brands, such as KTM.

So what is Dall’Igna's own contract situation?

"I'm just an employee of Ducati, so I do have not [the same terms as a rider] in my contract," he said. "Honestly, at the moment I'm really happy about the situation at Ducati. I'm comfortable with my colleagues and so why change?"

Ducati has taken 18 MotoGP wins under Dall’Igna's leadership, finishing title runner-up with Andrea Dovizioso for the past three seasons.

The factory also heads to this weekend's Valencia finale holding a narrow two-point advantage over Repsol Honda in the teams' world championship, which is the only title yet to be decided.

"For sure it's not the most important title!" Dall’Igna smiled. "But anyway, it can say that your riders and your technicians are among the best in the championship and we will fight to catch this title."

Ducati will support an unchanged line-up of Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci at its official team, Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia at Pramac, plus Rabat and Karel Abraham at Avintia next season. 

Dovizioso, Petrucci, Miller and Bagnaia will have the latest Desmosedici GP20 machines, while the Avintia riders get GP19s.

Dall’Igna confirmed that improved turning is the top priority for the new GP20: "We have some ideas [forthe turning] and for sure I hope that during the tests in Valencia and Jerez we can make a step."

The Valencia test takes place next Tuesday and Wednesday followed by Jerez at the end of the month, just before the start of the winter testing ban.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...