Michele Masini, sporting director of the new Gresini-Ducati MotoGP project, is targeting a return to Gresini's glory years as the 'reference' satellite team in the premier-class.

Gresini finished title runner-up in the 2003, 2004 and 2005 MotoGP World championship with riders Sete Gibernau (twice) and Marco Melandri as a satellite Honda team.

The team won a total of 14 premier-class races with the RCV before the change to 800cc engines saw all satellite entries suffer relative to official factory teams.

Nevertheless Melandri, Toni Elias, Alex de Angelis, Marco Simoncelli and finally Alvaro Bautista all stood on the rostrum for Gresini during the 800cc era. But Gresini has been absent from the MotoGP podium since 2014, its final season with Honda.

A new partnership as Aprilia's factory entry began the following year, however a top five has so far proved elusive and the two parties will go their separate ways in 2022, when Aprilia gets its own grid places and Gresini returns to full Independent status as a satellite Ducati team.

"It was Fausto’s dream and perhaps this is the base: the extra motivation he gave us to make sure Gresini Racing could return to past glory," said Masini, who has been a Gresini team member since 2008. "The goal is to make sure the team positions itself again as the reference point among the MotoGP satellite teams.

"We’re working side-by-side with Ducati on all fronts; the goal is to have a team with a high technical level but at the same time a young and ambitious one: it will be a mix of trusted Gresini Racing people with some new entries who have an important amount of experience with Ducati.

"The team will consist of around 25-26 people. 20 of them from Gresini Racing and five people from Ducati Corse: a track engineer and an electronic engineer for each rider and a spare parts manager.

"We’ve been working for a year in order to find a top-level structure for what concerns hospitality and team trucks. During the next weeks we will have a clearer idea about the graphics, which is overseen by Drudi Performance. The goal is to get to November with a winter test graphic which will resemble our 2022 image."

Enea Bastianini, currently spending his rookie MotoGP season with Avintia Ducati, and Gresini Moto2 rider Fabio di Giannantonio will headline the new MotoGP team, using GP21-based machines.

While the initial Gresini-Ducati agreement is for two seasons, compared to three years for VR46 and Pramac, Masini aims to establish the squad as a valued part of the rider development ladder for the Italian factory.

"We want the best synergy with Ducati because we are aiming at being the reference point of Borgo Panigale as a sort of Junior team, where riders can develop and grow," he said. "We want to work well together and with a team spirit, because we are and always will be the #GresiniFamily."

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