Ducati have confirmed that they will compete in the 2014 MotoGP world championship under the ‘Open’ option. Speculation has been rife all winter that the Bologna squad may go this route and the decision leaves Yamaha and Honda as the only manufacturers racing to ‘factory’ rules in the upcoming season.
All motorcycles must run the standard Magneti Marelli ECU in 2014 but the ‘open’ rules also designate that bikes must use the standard Dorna software. However, open class machines will be allowed to use 24 litres of fuel in a race as opposed to 20 for the factory bikes and crucially, will have greater scope for engine development with the powerplants not subjected to homologation. Open class entrants are also permitted twelve engines over the course of the season, seven more than the factory entrants.
After this week’s test in Malaysia was completed, Ducati’s decision was made and Luigi Dall’Igna, Ducati Corse General Manager, explained the reasons behind it.
“We have carefully studied the new technical regulations and have concluded that the Open option is the most interesting for Ducati, in the current situation. This year we have to keep developing our bikes throughout the season to improve our competitiveness, and the Factory option appears to be too restrictive for our needs. We are confident that the electronics package provided by Magneti Marelli and DORNA has very good quality and will allow the correct management of all the main functions of the bikes”.
Along with Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow, Pramac rider Andrea Iannone will also run an open-spec GP14 this season.