No wings for Lorenzo in 2017

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

Du­cati Mo­togp boss Gigi Dall’igna is de­ter­mined to take new sign­ing Jorge Lorenzo to the world Mo­togp ti­tle next year, but in­sists it’s not a case of rip­ping up the Du­cati rule­book and start­ing again.

Revo­lu­tion­is­ing both team and ma­chine since he joined the out­fit from Aprilia at the end of the 2013 sea­son and en­joy­ing two top-class wins in 2016, the Ital­ian says the squad know the di­rec­tion that they want to take the bike in and that the new sign­ing will have min­i­mum in­flu­ence on that.

“The path will be the same. We’ll take into con­sid­er­a­tion the rid­ing style of Jorge, but it was dif­fi­cult to know what he needs be­fore he jumped on the bike. It’s why it was so im­por­tant to have the bike ready for the first test at Va­len­cia.”

How­ever, that’s not to say that the 2017 bike won’t be rad­i­cally dif­fer­ent, at least in ap­pear­ance, from the 2016 model, as new Mo­togp rules mean that the Bologna firm will be forced to ditch the aero­dy­namic wings that have be­come their sig­na­ture in the past years.

Banned, along with a rule pre­vent­ing the fac­tory teams from in­tro­duc­ing any more than two fair­ing de­signs in a move cal­cu­lated to pre­vent teams from build­ing a new one for ev­ery track, it will no doubt present en­gi­neer­ing chal­lenges for the firm. But, with aero­dy­nam­ics work­ing sep­a­rately from the bike’s me­chan­i­cal de­vel­op­ment, Dall’igna says it won’t lead to a whole­sale change in strat­egy for them.

And while the wings may be banned for 2017, that’s not to say that Du­cati’s aero­dy­namic de­vel­op­ment, an area that the firm has pumped money into since Dall’igna’s move to them, will end.

The wily Ital­ian team boss is none- the­less look­ing for­ward to the ar­rival of such an ex­pe­ri­enced rider as Lorenzo. Work­ing with the Spa­niard when he won two 250GP ti­tles for Aprilia a decade ago, the team boss says first im­pres­sions are al­ready ex­cel­lent.

He added: “I’m re­ally happy with the im­pres­sions he has of the bike. I have a clear idea now of what ne needs, and I hope that I can give him some­thing new for the next test. We have to im­prove the turn­ing of the bike, like we know. We’ve worked on that with the 2017 bike.

“He is a cham­pion with a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence, so I’m re­ally happy to work with him again. His im­pres­sion of what he wants from the bike and the set-up is re­ally clear, but we’ve only spent two days with him so far, and we need to spend some more time to learn how he works.”

‘He is a cham­pion and I am look­ing for­ward to work­ing with him again’ GIGI DALL’IGNA

Those wings will be clipped be­fore the start of the sea­son

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