2016 Silly Season is moving at full-throttle far earlier than anyone expected – so we’ve got a LOT to talk about on the show this week! Just a day after Honda confirmed Dani Pedrosa would be back for two more season with the Honda factory, now Ducati confirms yet another poorly-kept secret – that they’ve made their decision in the battle of the Andreas – choosing Dovizioso over Iannone to be Jorge Lorenzo’s teammate next season.
The interesting part here is that this is a two-year deal – meaning Ducati doesn’t have their eye on a youngster to develop alongside Lorenzo. Not yet, at least.
So what’s next? Rumor is that Maverick Vinales will be officially introduced as Yamaha’s newest rider Thursday at Mugello. That still leaves plenty of slots open – both Suzuki seats have yet to be announced (the safe money there is in Iannone and Aleix Espargaro), and there are still question marks at KTM and Tech 3 – tune in Wednesday and we’ll talk about all the latest announcements and rumors!
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Here is Ducati’s official Team Announcement on the Dovizioso signing:
Andrea Dovizioso confirmed in Ducati Team for 2017 and 2018
Ducati wishes to announce that it has reached an agreement with Andrea Dovizioso for the 2017 and 2018 MotoGP seasons. The Romagna-born rider, who has been with Ducati since 2013, will team up with Jorge Lorenzo for the next two seasons aboard the Ducati Team’s Desmosedici GP bike.
Andrea Dovizioso: “I am very satisfied to have reached this agreement with Ducati and to be able to continue the adventure begun back with them in 2013. In the last few years we have worked with a lot of commitment and we have succeeded in taking the Desmosedici GP to an excellent competitive level, and so I am convinced that soon we will obtain the satisfaction that we deserve.”
The 2016 championship will therefore be Andrea Iannone’s final season with the Ducati Team. The Abruzzo-born rider, after two years in the “factory-supported” Pramac Racing outfit, moved to the factory team in 2015, immediately showing his great talent and pace, and he will undoubtedly give his utmost in the remaining rounds of the season in order to conclude his experience in Ducati in the best possible way.
Andrea Iannone: “Obviously I am sorry that my time with Ducati will draw to a close at the end of this season, but I am grateful to the Bologna manufacturer for the opportunity it has given me in the last few years. I made my MotoGP debut with Ducati and I have grown up with them, always succeeding in improving my level of performance. In the remaining races I will give my all, as I always do, because I am convinced that thanks to the competitiveness of the Desmosedici GP we can achieve some great results.”
Luigi Dall’Igna: “It’s never easy to take a decision like this one, especially when you have two great riders like the two Andreas in your team. We are very happy that Dovizioso has agreed to stay with us for the next two years, and together with him we can continue the successful work we began four years ago in order to reach the ambitious aims we have set for ourselves. We are sorry for Andrea Iannone, who at the end of the season will no longer be a part of the team. Andrea has carried out an important job in these years and has made a significant contribution to the development of the Ducati Desmosedici GP. For this reason we would like to thank him and we will provide him with our maximum commitment in the next rounds of the championship, in order to obtain the prestigious results that are for sure within his reach.”