MotoGP

Ducati promises ‘answer’ on Dovizioso MotoGP contract talks by June – MotoGP

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Ducati MotoGP general manager Gigi Dall’Igna says he expects a “definitive answer” on whether Andrea Dovizioso plans to stay with the team by next month’s Mugello race.

Dovizioso’s 2017 success has greatly increased his value on the rider market, and the Italian rejected Ducati’s initial offer to stay as negotiations continue.

Although it is highly likely the two parties will eventually agree terms, Dovizioso has also held discussions with Honda and Suzuki in a bid to pressure Ducati into rewarding him for taking six race wins and mounting a strong challenge to champion Marc Marquez last year.

Dall’Igna said he is keen that negotiations do not go on for much longer, and he wants the matter resolved before Ducati’s home race takes place on June 3.

“We must resolve this problem as soon as possible,” said Dall’Igna during last weekend’s World Superbike round at Imola.

“It’s not an easy negotiation and it takes time. Definitely by Mugello we will have the definitive answer.

“At the moment our focus is to come to an agreement with Dovizioso. After this we will start to think about other riders.”

Dovizioso’s team-mate Jorge Lorenzo sampled a new type of chassis in a private test at Mugello last week, but Dall’Igna admitted the Spaniard was only trying the same frame Dovizioso has used since winter testing.

“Honestly, it wasn’t really a new chassis,” he revealed. “It was the chassis that Dovizioso has used since the start of the year.

“The difference between the two chassis is not so big and we decided not to use it with Lorenzo until he was in a position to properly evaluate it, and after Jerez we thought it was the right moment to try it.”

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