There’s lots of buzz surrounding Ducati’s racing efforts these days, but the biggest news is likely that Nicky Hayden won’t be returning to their MotoGP team for 2014.
There have been rumours for a while that Hayden and Ducati were parting ways; at yesterday’s press conference, Hayden said nobody likes getting sacked, but “They chose to go a different way.”
Hayden said he doesn’t know what the future holds, because while his heart is in MotoGP, it’s a tough place to find a ride these days. There have even been rumours he could head to Ducati’s WSBK team.
It could be a rough patch for Hayden, but parting with Ducati could turn out to be a great stroke of luck in the long run, as he hasn’t had great results on their machines lately. He told the press conference that, while his first couple of years with the team went well, “Results haven’t gone as planned over the years.”
Hayden had a third-place podium in 2009, another in 2010, and one in 2011, aboard what’s considered to be the weakest factory bike in MotoGP right now.
In other Ducati MotoGP news, Pramac Racing has announced they won’t field a replacement rider for Andrea Iannone at Laguna Seca. Iannone suffered a shoulder injury while racing at Sachsenring, and won’t be able to compete this weekend.
Finally – Roadracing World is repeating the rumour that Ducati will could make updated GP13 racebikes available next season to private teams, after a bigwig from Bologna made some comments on the MotoGP website.
Some might wonder at the wisdom of leasing or buying (no word on which arrangement Ducati prefers) a year-old design that can’t win, but there’s actually some cunning behind the suggestion.
Apparently, 2013 Ducs would be allowed to run with 24 litres of fuel, instead of the 20 litres prototypes will be limited to, and would be allowed 12 engines to get through the year, instead of the prototype limit of five, as long as the teams used the control Magneti Marelli ECU and software.
Ducati could have as many as four factory riders and four private teams running their machines, if they carried out this arrangement, said Ducati MotoGP Project Director Paolo Ciabatti, who made the comments.