It's Official: Casey Stoner signed back with Ducati, after 5 years, the aussie will join the italian icon as a MotoGP tester for Desmosedici and brand ambassador.
As we stated last week, we had serious information from the paddock that Casey will return to Borgo Panigale, and many were scheptical, afterall, all these years there were all kind of speculations everywhere and nothing happened, but now, finally, HE IS BACK - check the press release after the jump.
There were lots of rumors in the past about this move, many 'ducatista' all over the world dreamed about the aussie rider comabeck to Ducati; all these were only shallow rumors - until now.
So, what is it diferent this time? First of all Paolo Ciabatti's words on the subject:
On Day 2 of Sepang testing: Iannone 3rd and Dovizioso 4th - and keep in mind, this is a brand new machine which also has rev limiters to protect the engines.
Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) made further progress today on the second day of pre-season IRTA testing at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia, and after just two days on the new bike both men said that they were very satisfied with the progress being made.
No matter how much I'll be a Ducati fan, I always kept my expectations within a realistic threshold, but what happened yesterday - just blew me away.
And I am sure it wasn't only me the one that got surprised in such way, and actually, the first to be surprised, are Ducati themselves. They got into this race without any knowledge about this bike regarding an 'in race' behavior.
GP15 being a new bike whith such few outings in testing and no one expected to last that mcuh and battle for the win until the very last corner of the race.
After many years of struggle, DesmoDovi brought up the heart beat rate for the Ducati fans in the opening round of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship – the Grand Prix of Qatar – held under floodlights at the Losail International Circuit on the outskirts of Doha.
Dovizioso, who started from pole position, powered away into the lead during the opening lap, before engaging in a terrific battle with Jorge Lorenzo until lap 18, when he moved into the lead once again, this time followed by Valentino Rossi. On the twenty-first and penultimate lap Rossi was able to slip past and Dovizioso tried to attack him for the win, but had to settle for an excellent second place, just 0.174 seconds away from the top slot.
Iannone started from row 2 and crossed the line at the end of lap 1 in third place. He then kept that position until lap 12, when he was passed by Rossi. The man from Vasto remained in fourth place until lap 19, when he managed to get past Lorenzo, and he eventually finished the race in third place just over two seconds down on the winner. Today’s result for Iannone was his first-ever MotoGP career podium.
The Grand Prix of Qatar saw an exceptional race debut for the new Ducati Desmosedici GP15, which made its track debut just over one month ago in the Sepang 2 tests.
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team #04) – 2nd
“This is a special result for Ducati and for me, after everything we have been through in the last few years, and it rewards the work that we have done together to arrive at this point. I never expected to be so competitive in the first race, and it really is an extraordinary result. I want to thank all the engineers and the people in Bologna, who managed to get the bike ready in time for the Sepang 2 tests, the mechanics who have worked so hard this weekend and all the guys in Ducati Corse for the commitment they have demonstrated with this project. Iannone and I managed to get two podiums for Ducati and that’s a great result, but above all now I believe that this is only a starting-point for the future.”
ANDREA IANNONE (Ducati Team #29) – 3rd
“I am very pleased with this result: it is my first podium in MotoGP and it’s really incredible to have done it on my debut race as a factory Ducati rider. Dovi and I finished second and third with the new GP15 bikes, and I didn’t expect to be so competitive so soon in the first race, so it really is a fantastic sensation. Back home the guys in Ducati Corse have done a great job this winter, and I owe a lot to them. Since 2013 I have had the support of this great company, which has helped me to improve and which has taught me a lot of things, and so I would like to dedicate my first podium to all of them. A big thanks to everyone in Ducati, to Gigi Dall’Igna, to Claudio Domenicali and all the people who work with me.”
LUIGI DALL'IGNA (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“For sure it’s a great emotion to have two riders on the podium with the new GP15, and for this reason I am really pleased, especially for all the guys in Ducati Corse who have done a great job back home in planning, designing and building the new bike in such a short period of time over the last few months. Probably today we could have even come away with a victory and not having done so actually leaves me with a tinge of disappointment, but today’s result in any case is fantastic and I am sure that we will manage to achieve our aim in the next few races.”
Ducati Team now returns home satisfied with the results and after a positive conclusion to the scheduled work programme.
Three days spent at the IRTA tests at Sepang; Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone focussed mainly on fine-tuning work on the chassis and the electronics set-ups of their Desmosedici GP14.3, and both riders said they were pleased with the results obtained.