Andrea Dovizioso has delivered a clear and blunt message on the continuing and alarming decline in Ducati’s MotoGP program.
Speaking in advance of Sunday’s Aragon Grand Prix a calm and measured Dovizioso reflected the increasing frustration surrounding the embarrassing under-performance of the Desmosedici GP13.
“Who works on the bike didn’t fix the problem and that’s the problem. We don’t have to speak about more things. They have an idea but still they didn’t fix it,” Dovizioso said. “This is the key point and I have spoken about this from the beginning of the season. The key point is not the bike. If until now we didn’t fix the bike it means that this is a consequence of the problem. So we have to fix a different point and that is why nothing is fixed.”
Increasingly patience is in short supply at Ducati with Dovizioso expressing the difficulty in maintaining motivation in the absence of performance solutions.
It is now nine months since Ducati owners Audi, the German car giant, installed German Bernhard Gobmeier as boss of Ducati Corse. But the Desmosedici continues to under-perform and fall further behind the development progress made by Honda and Yamaha.
When asked when Ducati would deliver a fix to their problems Dovizioso said: “This is a question I have had from the beginning of the season and still nobody realises the point and I have no answer.”
Both Honda and Yamaha have begun European testing of their 2014 prototypes with both bikes set fast times at last week’s Misano test in Italy.
Gobmeier has warned that further delays with an all-new Desmosedici for next season are on the cards. The prototype of the 2014 Desmosedici racer will not appear until February and the pre-season test at Sepang in Malaysia.
Dovizioso’s comments add weight to the admission by new Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali that a major restructure of the racing department is on his agenda. Ducati is now deep into their third season without a race win with management now conceding that victories are out of the question this year. Ducati’s last MotoGP win was by Casey Stoner in October 2010.
“Sure we have to be worried because the reality is in front of everybody,” Dovizioso said. “I can’t speak about 2014 because the details are not clear and we are in a difficult situation.”
Recently promoted Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali says that he will personally oversee a re-structure of the race department with the addition of engineers and technical staff. Ducati sources say they hope that a part of this plan will be the appointment of a Technical Director who can lead Ducati Corse with authority and vision.
“We cannot claim to be happy with the current results and our goal remains to bridge the gap that separates us from the leaders,” Domenicali said. “There will be a new Desmosedici for 2014 but I don’t believe in miracles. To make a step up we have do things in a better way than before and will not give up. There is no doubt some of the choices we made were not the right choices over the past 36 months.”