Gresini has officially launched its new satellite Ducati era, as the team returns to full Independent status following seven-years as Aprilia's Factory MotoGP team.

Riders Enea Bastianini, who starred with two podiums at Avintia last season, and rookie Fabio di Giannantonio unveiled Gresini's 2022 livery during a ceremony in Faenza.

Gresini initially expected to have MotoGP title sponsorship from Flex-Box but that failed to materialise and the bikes were dressed in distinctive red and light-blue colours, designed by Aldo Drudi (best known for Valentino Rossi's helmets).

"We wanted to mix the Ducati and Gresini colours. We took a risk because it's not the usual colours, but I think it will be unique on the grid. 'The Next' [means] the next chapter, next challenge," Drudi said.

Bastianini and di Giannantonio will use last year's GP21-spec machines, which won seven races in the hands of Francesco Bagnaia, Jack Miller and Jorge Martin.

"Now Gresini is part of the Ducati family so for sure we will help them during the season and during the years they stay with us, from the technical and also the human aspect," said Ducati Corse general manager Gigi Dall’Igna.

"For sure Gresini will have full Ducati support. Gresini is really important for us.

"Enea has to continue to grow in MotoGP. He did very well in his rookie season. He was able to reach a couple of podiums. I expect for sure he continues on this path and grows with his talent. I think he could be a real protagonist during the season.

"For Digia, it's his first season in MotoGP so I think he has to do something like Enea in his first season… No pressure!"

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Bastianini, whose run of four top-six finishes in the closing stages of last season took him to eleventh in the world championship, said:

"The new colours of the bike are very particular, when I saw it first it appears a little strange to me, but now that I see it live I can say it is amazing. Such a great bike can’t be but fast!

"My expectation is to be near the front in all the races. We can do this. The team is incredible. We tried [the bike] for the first time in Jerez and were fast from the start. Nadia has a lot of expectations for me and Fabio and I want to do my maximum."

di Giannantonio made a strong start to his MotoGP career by being the fastest rookie in the official Jerez test last November.

"The bike is spectacular, maybe the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. With that unique main colour it looks like a bike of the '70s, retro style, on track we’ll be recognisable for sure.

"I've always used number 21 but this year I couldn't use it because Morbidelli has it. I will use the 49 because after research I don’t think it's ever been used in MotoGP, so I will try to make some history with this number!

"I can't wait to go to Malaysia to ride this beast! My baby. And be on the grid in Qatar. We did the first test in Jerez and it was super cool. I'm a bit nervous because it's a dream come true to ride for this team, that believed in me from the start."

Today's launch, the first by a MotoGP team in 2022, comes less than a year after the shock of losing team boss and former world champion Fausto Gresini due to Covid complications.

Gresini was the dominant satellite team in the early part the four-stroke MotoGP era, winning races with Sete Gibernau (8), Marco Melandri (5) and Elias (1) on Honda machinery.

Title runner-up on three occasions during that period, Gresini remains the most successful satellite team since 2002 despite a podium drought from 2015, when the team began a new chapter with Aprilia, until Aleix Espargaro's third place at Silverstone last season.

Gresini, now headed by Fausto's wife Nadia Padovani, has withdrawn from Moto3 to focus on the MotoGP project this year, but will also continue to compete in Moto2, with Filip Salac and Andrea Zaccone.

As a MotoGP rookie, di Giannantonio is eligable to take part in the Sepang Shakedown test, which starts on January 31, shortly before the Official test.

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