Ducati may have missed out on the all-important MotoGP riders' title once again, but the Italian factory could celebrate a long list of success in 2021, including:

A new Ducati record of 24 podiums (by five different riders,) seven race wins (it's best since Casey Stoner's historic 2007 title), a clean sweep of the podium at the Valencia finale, victory in the constructors' and teams' titles, riders' title runner-up with Francesco Bagnaia, at least one Ducati on the front row at all 18 races, a first satellite Ducati victory by rookie of the year Jorge Martin and Pramac team-mate Johann Zarco being the top independent rider.

It's a big turnaround from when Dall’Igna accepted the role of general manager of Ducati Corse, from Aprilia, at the end of 2013, when the factory had just suffered its only season without a single MotoGP podium.

"Honestly, I'm really happy about the job that we all together did during these years," Dall’Igna said on the eve of this week's Jerez test. "At the beginning Ducati was not so competitive and year-by-year we improved our performance and honestly speaking every one of us is quite happy about the achievement of this season.

"Because in terms of podiums this is the best year for Ducati since the beginning of MotoGP with 24 podiums, it's quite a lot, we had first, second and third in the last race at Valencia that means our bike can fit different riding styles and honestly we were quite competitive during all the season in all the races.

"Year-by-year we improve something on the bike and for sure we did not reach the final destination let me say! But anyway we are really happy about the improvement."

The dark cloud hanging over the Desmosedici for many seasons was a difficulty in turning. Victories at twisty tracks such as Portimao, Valencia, Jerez, Le Mans this season suggest that's a thing of the past, but Dall’Igna admitted there is still work to do.

"The turning of the Ducati was an issue when I arrived in Ducati and step-by-step I think we improved the bike a little bit every year.

"It's really difficult to tell you only one fix. Maybe in the last year we closed more the gap than in the previous ones but every year we made a small modification in order to improve the bike in the corners.

"Still, we have some lack of performance in some places, and some areas. For example, in the entry of the fast corners we had some problems this year," he explained. "For example, in Assen. And also, in Qatar.

"So we would like to improve our bike mainly on this aspect [for 2022].

"Anyway, our competitors are really strong. Above all, Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha did a good job, Honda in the last part of the season was really competitive. So it will be a tough championship next year for sure."

The last two seasons of MotoGP have taken place under a technical freeze, in response to the covid pandemic. That prevented Ducati, Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki from changing their engine design while also reducing aerodynamic upgrades.

Did that mean Ducati moved its resources to areas such as the chassis?

"No. The engine has its specialists, the chassis has different ones," he said. "We simply developed our bike in a proper [normal] way and honestly speaking I'm convinced that also our riders were really fantastic during this season."

With the engine freeze having defrosted, the Factory and Pramac riders will each get to try the latest version of a 'completely new' 2022 Ducati engine at Jerez on Thursday and Friday.

Dall’Igna added that nothing has been formally discussed with Valentino Rossi about trying the Ducati, as test rider Michele Pirro indicated the newly retired nine-time world champion is prepared to do.

Meanwhile, Dall’Igna fears that having Casey Stoner as a rider coach is not logistically possible due to the factory's 2007 world champion being based in Australia.