“Mission Winnow”. This is the slogan of Philip Morris, the company that brought to Neuchatel (Switzerland) the launch of 2019 Ducati Team. Both the rider line-up (Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci) and the livery are new, but the goal is still the same: to become MotoGP World Champion. All of this, in memory of Ducati MotoGP Team Coordinator Silvio Sangalli, who died one month ago.
The first person to speak was Philip Morris Chairman Miroslaw Zielinski: “We’re hosting Ducati Team Launch in our R&D, where we exploit the power of science to create innovative solutions. Our motto, “Mission Winnow”, represents the philosophy we share with Ducati. We’re ready to start a long journey together, with the great passion characterising both us and such important manufacturer.”
Then, it was the turn of Ducati Motor Holding CEO Claudio Domenicali: “For us, it’s wonderful to be here, as we’re in a building full of scientific culture belonging to our main partner. As always, we’re strongly committed in this project and we’ll work in all areas to improve constantly, especially thanks to Gigi Dall’Igna. We’re blessed to have so many customers and to be such a strong company, because it enables us to afford all the expenses we need to face. I say thank you to Philip Morris, but also to Audi Sport, who helps us in a significant way. Since 2003, we’ve had the same passion, the same support and the same people working in the team. We stick together in every situation and so we we can look at the future with huge confidence.”
The third person to speak was Luigi Dall’Igna, Ducati Corse General Manager: “Last year we improved in all areas, including the ones where we used to struggle. The only regret we have is the fact we weren’t able to fight for the title till the end. Now, we must improve and implement the ideas that can help us, like we did during the last test. Technical regulation has been modified again. I don’t expect big changes, compared to the past, but we’ve increased the power of our engine and I think the downforce of our bike has become lower.” Here’s what he said about the Ducati Team riders for 2019: “Previously, each of our riders focused just on himself, but everything has changed now, as the main focus is on the team’s overall performance. Andrea [Dovizioso] has already spent many years with us, he knows how we work and we consider continuity as fundamental. On the other side, Danilo [Petrucci] has been a Ducati rider since 2015; he did some great races and his goal for the first season as a factory rider is to win and be on the podium. The goal we share is still the same: to win the championship.”
Dall’Igna’s talk was followed by those of the main actors: Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci, who unveiled the new 2019 Desmosedici GP machine. The livery is dominated by the red colour, on which we can see the brands of several sponsors, but especially the “Mission Winnow” motto and the logo of Audi Sport.
The first rider say came from Andrea Dovizioso, 2017 and 2018 MotoGP World Championship runner-up: “I really like this year’s bike livery, as there’s more red than in the past. It’s always hard to win, but in the past two years we finished second after some really intense racing. I’m happy with last year’s result, as I finished second despite some mistakes, but I hope we’ll do better this year. We’re ready to fight for the title. The test has made me even more confident and I’m sure that we’ll be in the front since the very beginning of the season. I’m looking forward to starting 2019 campaign.”
Later, the mic was given to Danilo Petrucci, looking very excited ahead of new adventure: “The bike is fast and very good-looking, I’m proud to ride it. I was very excited at Valencia, when I rode it for the first time, but I’m as confident as Andrea Dovizioso. I’ve been working hard to be ready for the new season and I think we can do a good job together. I can learn a lot from Andrea, he’s been an important person for me since when I joined Ducati and to me, it’s a honour to work together with him. My goal is to be happy with this season (laughs). Well, seriously speaking, I find it difficult to set a personal goal now. I just can say that we’re on a mission.”
Then, it was the turn of Paolo Ciabatti, Ducati Corse Sporting Director: “Our bike is competitive and our riders will collaborate to make us win the championship.” An opinion shared by Ducati Team Manager Davide Tardozzi: “Our bike is more red than usual and I really like it, as I consider it as an aggressive colour. We’ve got huge support and great riders and we’re looking forward to the next MotoGP Test.” The last say came from Ducati Test Rider Michele Pirro: “It’s my seventh year with Ducati. I’m still recovering from my shoulder surgery, but I feel better and better and I’ll be back very soon. Every year is full of challenges, but we can’t wait to hit the track. A huge ‘good luck’ to Dovizioso and Petrucci for 2019.”
Translated by Alessandro Palma