Ducati ‘has all the cards’ to win 2017 MotoGP title, says CEO

Ducati has “all the cards in our hand” to win the 2017 MotoGP title with its improving package and new recruit Jorge Lorenzo, CEO Claudio Domenicali says.

Three-time champion Lorenzo joins Ducati from Yamaha this season in a high-profile move, after Ducati ended a winless run nearing six years during 2016.

Andreas Dovizioso and Iannone both won a race for Ducati last year, with Dovizioso staying on as Lorenzo’s team-mate.

Only one rider has won a MotoGP title with Ducati, Casey Stoner in 2007, but Domenicali believes the ingredients are there to change that 10 years on.

When asked about Ducati’s objective for the year ahead, he said: “To win the title, it’s clear.

“Now we have all the cards in our hand to do it.

“But clearly, besides ‘Giorgio’ [Lorenzo], there are many other strong riders in the championships – not least of all the reigning champion, Marc Marquez, who starts off as favourite for the title.

“I have no doubt that our potential technically, financially and in terms of human resources, can allow us to fight for the top results.

“But the world of sport is made of big rewards and at times big disappointments.

“It will certainly be a fun year.”

Lorenzo tested with Ducati at Valencia last November, where the Spaniard and Dovizioso started work with its 2017 Desmosedici.

Domenicali believes the way Ducati has regrouped from its nadir earlier this decade was crucial in luring Lorenzo away from Yamaha.

“We had matured enough to take a rider like Giorgio, as we call him,” he said.

“Lorenzo has indisputable riding skills, but he will need to adapt a bit to our bike.

“We have a great team at Bologna which is ready to meet his demands, so we are sure that we will be ready for the Qatar race at the start of the season.

“The idea is to compete and try to win.

“We had a very difficult time in 2011 and 2012, which saw us suffer a lot, but then we started a great recovery; we never surrendered.

“First we got close to the podium, and last year we won some races.”

Ducati will launch its 2017 programme next Friday, before pre-season testing starts at Sepang on January 30.

Source: www.autosport.com

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