Things between Ducati team and Andrea Dovizioso were a bit tensed for the last few weeks over the renewal of Dovi’s contract. Dovi even turned down the first renewed contract that Ducati offered to him. However, now all issues are settled, and it is official that the Ducati-Dovi relationship will continue until the end of 2020.
The news of the renewal of Dovizioso’s contract with Ducati comes at the end of the first free practice session at Le Mans. Dovi set up an astonishing lap time of 1’31.936 which could give him the pole position for the French GP this Sunday. He was the only rider under the 1’32” mark.
Dovizioso came onboard Ducati team in 2013. He is the longest-serving Ducati rider in MotoGP. And with his two years extension, he will be racing with the Ducati team until the end of 2020. It was necessary for both Ducati and Dovi to continue this relationship because there’s a mutual understanding between the two. Yes, there were many disagreements regarding the new contract, especially regarding the pay difference between Dovi and Lorenzo, but we’re glad that things are all sorted out now.
Speaking about the extension of his contract with Ducati, Andrea Dovizioso said, “Today was a really great day for us, because we announced that the marriage with Ducati will continue for the next two years. I believe that together we have done a fantastic job so far, but it’s not enough: we want more and I’m happy that we have reached a deal that allows us to work with peace of mind to obtain better results. We’ve got two and a half seasons ahead of us, all the time we need to try and bring home the world title, which is our aim.”
He continued, “I’m very pleased with the support that I have received from many people over the last few days: I could never have imagined staying so many years in Ducati, and ours is really a great story. Today we started off well, with a clear head and you could see that from the results. We managed to be immediately quick this morning, and then in the afternoon we made a further step forward with the set-up. I was quick both on new tyres and used ones, but we must continue to improve because there are a lot of riders who have a good pace here.”
While Dovi aced at the free practice session at Le Mans, his teammate Jorge Lorenzo was at the 10th position with a lap time of 1’32.576 to end the day just over six-tenths slower than his team-mate. Commenting on his performance, he said, “The first day here at Le Mans was quite positive, and we were able to work calmly and try some interesting solutions. My sensations are good and I think we could have improved our time and also tenth place. With the new tyre we tried one last different setting, but I wasn’t completely at ease with it and was unable to get my time down like everyone else. We surely have room for improvement for tomorrow and it will be very important to get directly into Q2. Today however I also want to congratulate Andrea and Ducati for reaching an agreement for the next two years.”
The last race at Jerez GP ended up being a disaster for Ducati, as both of its riders, Dovi and Lorenzo, were caught up in a crash, which also involved Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, during the final laps. We expect similar action and adrenaline at the French GP in Le Mans this Sunday and wish everyone best of luck.