Ducati has signed Andrea Dovizioso to a two-year contract extension that will see him continue to race on the Desmosedici through the 2020 MotoGP season.
Dovizioso has been with Ducati since 2013, making him the longest tenured factory rider in the manufacturer’s history in MotoGP. Dovizioso is coming off a career-best season in 2017 where he scored six wins and eight total podiums while finishing second to Honda’s Marc Marquez for the championship. As Bruce Allen noted, Dovizioso held a lot of leverage in contract talks with his recent success, long history with the team and the relatively poor performance of teammate Jorge Lorenzo.
The 32-year-old Italian currently sits fifth overall in the 2018 MotoGP standings with a win in the season opener in Qatar. The contract announcement was confirmed on the first day of the Le Mans round after Dovizioso nabbed the provisional pole by being the only racer to lap in under 1:32.
Begin Press Release:
Andrea Dovizioso celebrates new two-year agreement with Ducati Team for 2019 and 2020 seasons with provisional pole in French GP at Le Mans. Tenth place for Jorge Lorenzo after two free practice sessions
After the first day of French GP free practice at Le Mans, which ended with Andrea Dovizioso in provisional pole with a time of 1’31.936, the only man under the 1’32” mark, Ducati announced the renewal of the agreement with the Italian rider for the next two years. Dovizioso, who is already the longest-serving Ducati rider in MotoGP after joining the Bologna-based manufacturer in 2013, at the end of 2020 will have raced a Ducati continuously for eight years, thus establishing another significant record.
Tenth place went to Jorge Lorenzo, who set a time of 1’32.576 to end the day just over six-tenths slower than his team-mate.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1st (1’31.936)
“Today was a really great day for us, because we announced that the marriage with Ducati will continue for the next two years. I believe that together we have done a fantastic job so far, but it’s not enough: we want more and I’m happy that we have reached a deal that allows us to work with peace of mind to obtain better results. We’ve got two and a half seasons ahead of us, all the time we need to try and bring home the world title, which is our aim. I’m very pleased with the support that I have received from many people over the last few days: I could never have imagined staying so many years in Ducati, and ours is really a great story. Today we started off well, with a clear head and you could see that from the results. We managed to be immediately quick this morning, and then in the afternoon we made a further step forward with the set-up. I was quick both on new tyres and used ones, but we must continue to improve because there are a lot of riders who have a good pace here.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 10th (1’32.576)
“The first day here at Le Mans was quite positive, and we were able to work calmly and try some interesting solutions. My sensations are good and I think we could have improved our time and also tenth place. With the new tyre we tried one last different setting, but I wasn’t completely at ease with it and was unable to get my time down like everyone else. We surely have room for improvement for tomorrow and it will be very important to get directly into Q2. Today however I also want to congratulate Andrea and Ducati for reaching an agreement for the next two years.”
Ducati Signs Dovizioso to Two-Year Contract Extension appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.