I think that at this point in the course no one doubts that Ducati is at a crossroads that can decide your immediate future in MotoGP. When everything seemed to indicate that they were going to continue to green the laurels that Casey Stoner had left them, Ducati seems more lost than ever and needs a strategy to face the 2013 season of the MotoGP World Championship with some hope.
So hardly anyone has been very much missed by the statements by Alessandro Cicognani, the Ducati boss. With the intention of having a competitive motorcycle, they are thinking of relying on a satellite team that helps achieve more efficient results faster for the factory team. Take it now! And what better example than the Yamaha Tech3 team, which at the moment we could classify as the best satellite team of the season. Even ahead of the Honda Gresini. But the idea of the Italians goes a step further when talking about motorcycles with factory specifications.
The two best placed teams in this pool are the Pramac Racing and the Marc VDS (currently in Moto2 with Scott Redding and Mika Kallio). What happens is that Pramac is having a very difficult time this season due to the bankruptcy of its main sponsor, although it counts in its favor that they already know the material and have a pilot like Héctor Barberá who also knows the category. But Italians prefer to have a team with two drivers in the category, so much so that they would even be able to pay the salary themselves if Pramac couldn't afford the expense. Expenditure that they do not seem to be able to face in the Marc VDS either, who has declared that he prefers to win in Moto2 to go up to MotoGP and be some fillers-grills.
The one that doesn't seem to count anything for the 2013 season is Karel Abraham, who could be left without MotoGP next year because of the poor results this season. Another detail learned the hard way in the Borgo Panigale brand. Money does not always guarantee results if the pilot is not top of the line (and not even then).
But what about those quality riders who guarantee results while trying new things? Well, Cicognani does not cite any specific name, but he does say that you only have to look at the stars who are currently shining in Moto2 and who are eager to move up in category. The icing on the cake is the tests done this week by Scott Redding and Andrea Iannone. Another warning for sailors is the phrase in which it says that they cannot have two different motorcycles because that does not help development.
At this point we can summarize the idea of the Ducati Junior Team is that they want a satellite team, directly supported by the factory, with two young but leading riders who will help them develop the bike in parallel. This would give the official team a free hand to focus on racing the bike without having to try their experiments at the factory. What they do not explain is whether those experiments are requested by one of the first team pilots who will test them.
Of course, while we were writing this article, the news that Valentino Rossi would have already signed a contract with Yamaha for two years that would include racing in Superbikes with the brand of tuning forks in 2015. Although there is no official confirmation, they have seen the Italian rider at the Yamaha headquarters in Amsterdam. It seems that this way everyone would be happy, Ducati could make the team and the bike that they wanted without having to attend to the wishes of a leading rider. And that driver would go to a team (yet to be defined) that provides him with top-of-the-line equipment according to his way of driving. We will see how this evolves in the next installments of this long soap opera.