Like Eldorado, the perfect MotoGP bike doesn’t exist, but that doesn’t mean Gigi Dall’Igna can stop searching.
Since his arrival in Ducati Corse in November 2013, the bearded engineer has powered Ducati’s rise from a top-ten MotoGP team to consistent title challengers. His secret? Thinking out of the box.
Andrea Dovizioso finished twice second overall to Honda’s Marc Marquez in 2017 and 2018. This year he is still second but things have been more complicated because Yamaha and Suzuki are more competitive, reducing the Desmosedici’s advantages and highlighting its main disadvantage: mid-corner turning.
Ducati has always built a MotoGP bike around its engine. “Over the years we’ve improved not only acceleration but also mid-corner speed. The reality is that to improve the bike you need ideas and I would like to develop the bike in the area where the rider complains the most. But if I have an idea for another area, I have to implement that idea as well”.
Studying the rules
A careful study of the regulations has always led Ducati and Dall’Igna to take brave decisions, like the choice to race in the Open class in 2014 to speed up the process of the machine development, and to innovate (Ducati was the first to introduce the wings). “In a battle for a thousand of a second, we need to push the limits constantly, this means also to study the grey areas of the regulations to explore different paths from our competitors, remaining within the rules”.
The real revolution started from a simple but very important thing like the communication between the race department in Borgo Panigale and the team at the races. “A company is made of people. At Ducati I found a very high technical and human level. In a meeting you can discuss about things but, once a decision is taken, everybody respects it.”
“You have to make a compromise between what you need and what you can have. The task of the engineers is to try to fix the problem the rider has, without losing anything else in other areas”.