While Marc Márquez has been the only man to consistently shine at the handlebars of the Honda in recent years and Fabio Quartararo is now the only man who can win – and even finish in the top 10 – on the Yamaha, Ducati has one to count on rich armada of pilots. Since the start of the season, six of the marque’s eight representatives have been on the podium and a seventh rider, Luca Marini, has won a top five in Germany.
The Italian is impressed with Ducati’s ability to offer a versatile bike that will make riders with diametrically opposed styles and attitudes shine. “I think it’s amazing how well different settings work”underlined Marini. “Because if you compare my bike with Pecco’s [Bagnaia]from Jack [Miller] or John [Zarco], they are completely different. So everyone has their own bike and all bikes are fast, because in the end we are more or less all there on all routes.”
“We’re eight and sometimes five or six of us in the top 10 but that’s what’s amazing about Ducati when the other bikes just seem to work in one direction. The Yamaha is fantastic with Fabio but Dovi, Darryn [Binder] and Frank [Morbidelli] have big problems, maybe because they only focused their development on Fabio. Like in the past Honda who only focused on Marc or Ducati with Stoner in the past. That’s what matters.”
The eight Ducati representatives in 2022
This situation is good for Ducati, who almost certainly have at least one bike to the fore at every event, but can also hurt their own interests as riders are likely to deprive each other of points. Those in charge of the brand assure that they are not thinking of directions at the moment and while Marini is aware that being a clear leader has his advantages, he is happy to know that he too has his chances at every event.
“Maybe having such an amazing bike for everyone is the right choice, but maybe not because if your best rider has a bike that suits him, he can win a lot of races while riding a bike that suits everyone fits, could be harder, I don’t know.”
“But for us it’s fantastic because today the Ducati is a really simple bike with a lot of positive aspects. You have to work hard on the strengths of the Ducati and I think it can be the best bike for the future too.”
Ducati has worked on the agility of its bike
The factory team riders, led by Pecco Bagnaia, obviously have the most impact on development, but after having a bike for a long time Casey Stoner After that, Andrea Dovizioso was able to regularly take the lead, the designer worked a lot on the behavior of his machine. Despite only competing in his second season in MotoGP, Luca Marini has changed his approach in a way that benefits all riders.
“I think Ducati follow Pecco a lot because they believe in him a lot and that’s fine because today he’s the best on the Ducati. But I think it makes the bike fantastic because they’re pushing a lot on that point and making it easy for everyone to ride a bike.”
“Earlier with Dovi or with the test team and [Michele] Pirro had many strengths like straight line speed or strong acceleration, sometimes lighter braking power, while today they try to make the bike rideable for everyone with a lot of agility like with the new fairing. They’re working on different aspects.”
The flexibility of use currently offered by the Ducati is a situation that other manufacturers find difficult to match, but Luca Marini believes that meeting the needs of an individual rider is still necessary to maximize the chances of a title.
“Other manufacturers might be working on other things, like Honda for example has done a lot of work in the past to make the bike faster in a straight line with a more powerful motor, which then makes the bike maybe a little more difficult to ride, and that’s why only Marc could ride it and now Yamaha is doing the same thing, they’re trying to gain speed in a straight line, maybe by sacrificing something in corners, I don’t know.”
“Because it’s difficult to develop everything 100%, you only have to focus on one aspect, because there aren’t enough people or money – nobody has enough, it’s difficult. And then you just have to follow the feedback of your best rider, because you want to win the title, but only one rider can do it, you just have to put your faith in someone and try to make the bike perfect for them. One of us therefore tries to be the best driver of its manufacturer.
With Lena Buffa
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