Ducati has decided how its four teams will be split up among its MotoGP bikes for the 2023 season.

The factory assistance for independent-class teams will be reduced by half in 2023, from three to two new Ducati motorcycles, according to Ducati MotoGP boss Davide Tardozzi.

The Italian manufacturer now fields eight motorcycles between its factory team, Pramac Racing, Gresini Racing, and the VR46 Racing team, dominating the MotoGP grid.

Since 2016, Ducati hasn’t had this much power over the grid as it does now. There are currently three Ducati bike specifications on the grid for 2022.

Tardozzi confirmed a reduced allocation of works-spec Desmosedicis for the upcoming season, with only the Pramac team’s Jorge Martin and Johann Zarco set to receive the same bikes as factory riders Francesco Bagnaia and Enea Bastianini. This decision could help the factory better focus its efforts while also potentially resolving the issue of treating VR46 and Gresini riders equally.

There is a case to be made for Luca Marini, who is currently the fifth rider to receive a 2022 bike this season outside of the factory and Pramac teams, to once again receive top-tier equipment as he did this year. However, with Marco Bezzecchi of the VR46 Ducati team already placing on the podium as a rookie this season, he too has a compelling case.

There are several challengers but only a limited number of resources, an issue that Ducati has overcome by insulting no one with a favored status. Additionally, with Fabio Di Giannantonio progressing at Gresini Racing and new for 2023 teammate Alex Marquez is likely to start next season strongly.

“Both VR46 and Gresini will be on 2022 spec and only Pramac will have exactly the same as our bikes, the factory bikes,” Tardozzi said.

“It’s because we think it is better to let the other two satellite teams concentrate on what is a well-known bike with a lot of data and to let the young riders in some ways grow in a better way.”

At least one of the aforementioned young riders won’t be too upset by that decision either, as Marini admitted before the weekend’s racing at Motorland Aragon got underway that he’s not too concerned about what kind of machine he gets.

This is especially true in light of Bastianini’s successful start to 2022 after getting three race victories aboard a well-developed 2021 machine.

“I would like to have the top, of course, the full package, but now the performance is close… I don’t know if there are many differences now, because no one has tried both of them to understand the potential,” Marini said. “All the bikes have the potential to win races.”

The machinery that the riders will use in 2023 was decided upon after a meeting that took place on Thursday night between Ducati and the executives of Gresini and VR46.

Bagnaia and teammate Bastianini from the factory squad, as well as Pramac’s Martin and Zarco, will race the complete 2023-spec bike. Di Giannantonio and Alex Marquez at Gresini will both ride bikes built to 2022 specifications, as well as Marini and Bezzecchi at VR46.

Ducati has had a strong start to the second half of the 2022 season, and Bagnaia is now riding a winning streak of four straight races. With only six races remaining, this has brought him back into the running for the championship after a fourth DNF of the year in Germany dropped him from 91 points behind to only 30 points behind leader Fabio Quartararo.

If Ducati beats Yamaha by 15 points this weekend at Aragon, it will win the constructors’ title for the third consecutive year. Yamaha has three victories with Quartararo, compared to Ducati’s nine victories between Bagnaia and Bastianini.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: