The Ducati MotoGP team has unveiled its challenger for the 2018 MotoGP season in a presentation at the manufacturer’s base in Bologna.
The Italian marque finished runner-up in the riders’ standings courtesy of Andrea Dovizioso, who took six victories aboard his Desmosedici to keep his title hopes alive until the finale in Valencia.
A winless campaign for Ducati rookie Jorge Lorenzo – the Spaniard ending up seventh in the standings – meant Ducati slipped to third in the manufacturers’ championship behind Yamaha and Honda.
The new bike bears a similar resemblance to last year’s, the livery featuring an added grey stripe on the side of the fairing. The ‘salad box’ at the rear of the bike remains, while the machine’s aero fairing is not the final 2018 version.
The team’s general manager Gigi Dall’Igna revealed the new fairing will not appear until the final pre-season test in Qatar, and said extracting more horsepower from the bike’s engine along with chassis development has been the main focus over the winter.
“Throughout the winter months we stayed very focused,” he said.
“We talked about the main features of our bike and we came up with new ideas that we will be testing in Sepang, especially in Sepang and the very first testing part of the season.
“So it goes without saying we have to revise the engineering of the bike, we also worked on new engines.
“For 2018 we have added some HP to the power of our engine, I’m sure the ‘rideability’ will be easier. We also worked on many other technical points to improve the bike, and again in terms of the different air penetration coefficient we are now defining the very last details.
“You won’t see the final model in Sepang, Malaysia. We will keep you waiting till the second or third test.”
Team boss Davide Tardozzi believes Ducati has a “perfect mix” of riders in Dovizioso and Lorenzo, and is confident both will show respect to each other as they pursue the 2018 world championship.
“I am ready to repeat all of the (great emotions of 2017) this year because we have two great champions,” began Tardozzi.
“I’m sure they will be able to fight again, same level. Now, at first, you’re number one (rival) is your team-mate, I know.
“But we are lucky enough to have two great champions and two incredible personalities, they really respect each other and they have something to learn from each other and they know.
“So we have a perfect mix.”