No wings for Lorenzo in 2017
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