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MotoGP Jerez | Ducati hits back at Aprilia critique over unfair 8 bikes

Pecco Bagnaia, Maverick Vinales, Ducati Corse, Aprilia Racing, 2023 MotoGP, Portimao, action, group - [credit/ 2Snap]

Ducati Corse general manager Gigi Dall’Igna has taken aim back at Aprilia for its suggestion that Dorna should put a cap on the number of bikes a single manufacturer can supply in MotoGP.

The Italian manufacturer occupies more than one-third of the 22 grid slots with eight entries - split between its current GP23 bike and last year’s GP22 - across four teams; Ducati Corse, Pramac Racing, VR46 Racing and Gresini Racing.

It is a policy Ducati adopted from the 2022 MotoGP season - its first title-winning campaign in 15 years - and has retained into 2023, a strategy so effective with the competitive models that it has broadly dominated the top ten ever since.


With its presence magnified further by the exit of Suzuki, some rivals have taken umbrage at Ducati’s strength in both numbers and performance, with Aprilia Racing boss Massimo Rivola saying in March that there should be a cap on bikes per manufacturer to prevent MotoGP becoming a ‘one-make cup’.

However, Dall’Igna has hit back in an interview with Speedweek, claiming the regulations to be ‘absolutely fair’, pointing out that Ducati not only has to stretch its resources to meet obligations but that it compensates too.

"I think it's absolutely fair in MotoGP," Ducati Corse general manager Dall'Igna told Speedweek

"What we do is allowed by the regulations. Each [team] receives a compensation of £3m from the championship organiser if it supplies a customer team. 

“No subsidies are paid for the other customer teams. These regulations have existed since the beginning, they are the same for all [teams].

“If a private customer team wants to use Ducati bikes, they do it because our bikes are better than certain others. That's my view.

“We have free competition. I don't see what's unfair about that. On the contrary, it's totally fair."

Are there too many Ducati bikes on the MotoGP grid?

It’s not hard to see why there is some frustration - or is that ‘sour grapes’ - from Ducati’s rivals. 

At a time when the GP22/23 package is clearly the most rounded on the grid, it is neither surprising that more privateer teams want to use it and it’s up to Ducati to decide whether it can support them at their own cost.


Indeed, supplying so many bikes doesn’t come cheap for Ducati but whether this has help the manufacturer make a performance step forward or the other way around, as Dall’Igna points out, it has absolutely followed the rules.

Which means we’re getting into a grey area of ‘spirit rules’ and from this standpoint, it is hard to deny Ducati’s strength in numbers is rather overbearing.

To an extent it is up to other manufacturers to step up and consider the benefits of having more bikes on the grid, which Dall’Igna points out by telling Aprilia it needs to ‘make an effort to convince more teams’.

Aprilia isn’t the only manufacturer frustrated by this, though. KTM has also lobbied Dorna for some kind of regulation here but it is the firm most likely to copy Ducati’s strategy going forward.


It has already rebranded its satellite effort to GasGas, while it has Pierer Group names waiting in the wings for a third team named Husqvarna, or even a fourth under the CFMoto, one of its key manufacturing allies.

With Dorna seeking to get at least one more team onto the grid in the wake of Suzuki’s exit, it is more likely to encourage more entries from the current crop, rather than take away from Ducati.

That said, this situation could resolve itself in the coming months if Yamaha - which is seeking a satellite replacement for RNF Racing - can lure one of Ducati’s customers, the most likely of which would be VR46 Racing.

CLICK HERE to view the 2023 MotoGP World Championship standings ahead of this weekend's Spanish MotoGP at Jerez

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