Midway through the MotoGP 2022 season: Ducati has achieved almost all its goals in the Royal Class

Midway through the MotoGP 2022 season: Ducati has achieved almost all its goals in the Royal Class 1

Ducati Corse sporting director Paolo Ciabatti summed up the first half of the MotoGP 2022 season: despite the loss of Francesco Banya’s realistic chance of a title battle, the factory project feels terrific. No, it really is! They’ve achieved almost all the goals they’ve set for themselves since mid-2021.

The dark streak at the start of the season actually turned out to be not so dark for Ducati: disaster awaited only a couple of the factory riders, while the others got off to a great start. From the factory’s point of view, it’s a small problem. But an issue nonetheless.

Midway through the MotoGP 2022 season: Ducati has achieved almost all its goals in the Royal Class 3
Ducati Corse sporting director Paolo Ciabatti

“Of course, the obvious fact is that Pecco and Jack are soundly behind in the general classification, they’re six or seven positions away from Fabio [Cuartararo] by 91 points. It’s hard to take because they’re our heroes, especially Pecco. But we know it’s not his fault. Nevertheless, a few zero results, especially in Germany – had a fatal effect on his chances to fight for the title. The championship is always our goal, and now the fight for it seems to be an extremely difficult challenge. Well, at least for Pecco and Jack,” says Ciabatti.

“On the other hand, the stability of the Ducati results that we have seen since the beginning of the season overrides many of the negatives. Look at the classifications: our guys have won six of the 11 races that have taken place, have been on pole position in eight races; at least one Ducati has always started from the front line and ended up on the podium, which is why we lead the Manufacturers’ Cup by such a margin.”

Despite some difficulties for Fabio Quartararo, his position now looks assured. Is there a chance to dethrone the Frenchman in the second half of the year?

“We have nine more races ahead of us, and we can earn a lot of points. So far, there’s so much in the draw that we can hope for. But realistically, of course, it’s very difficult. What does it take to battle for the title in the individual standings? The stability of each individual driver. Fabio and Ales [Espargaro] – they’ve earned points in almost every race since the start of the season, that’s the answer as they go towards their goal. We can counter them with our stability, we’re working on that. We can try to win every race, starting with Silverstone, to make up for the loss of points. Joan [Zarco] is still in contact with our main competitors. The one who makes fewer mistakes will win,” Ciabatti replied.

[adinserter block=”7″]

Midway through the MotoGP 2022 season: Ducati has achieved almost all its goals in the Royal Class 5

“The most satisfying thing is the excellent form of the Ducati in the Sachsenring, which has always been one of the most difficult tracks for the factory. Although Pecco made a mistake, we saw two Ducati on the podium, which was hard to imagine a few years ago. Well, and the victory in Assen that we have been striving for so many years – it says a lot, for example, that technically the Desmosedici is now a bike for every track. Regarding the Sachsenring, of course, we can’t be absolutely happy, since Pecco rumbled. We expected there to be a long confrontation with Fabio, but we thought Pecco could squeeze him there. He did everything for it, as usual. Of course, to send him off on vacation with two wins in a row, in Germany and the Netherlands, would have been a tremendous gift to the company. But we achieved a lot of goals, so we should be proud of the work we did.”

The decision on the composition of the factory pilots will be taken in August, Paolo Ciabatti confirmed: it is about three pilots who will receive in addition to the factory contract and prototypes of the model 2023, and direct engineering support – a teammate Bagnai and two Pramac pilots. Team lineups will be announced at one point or the same week.

“The only thing I can say for sure right now is that Joan Zarco will stay at Pramac. Who will be his teammate, Enea or Jorge, will be decided. Concerning the signing of the contract with Alex Marquez, here we decided together with Gresini – 50/50. It is, even more, their decision than ours. Both we and the team knew beforehand which technical package he will have, and we made our choice taking into account the interests of the team,” Paolo said.

The Ducati leads the MotoGP Manufacturers’ Cup 2022 with an incredible 74 points lead over Yamaha and 91 over Aprilia, which has effectively decided the fate of the standings: one Cuartararo and one Espargaro are not able to bring their factories as many points as at least four of the eight Ducati.