New to motogp.com?Register here
The Emilia-Romagna GP didn’t end the way Ducati would have liked. Crashes for Jack Miller and then Ducati Lenovo Team teammate Francesco Bagnaia at Turn 15 ultimately saw the 2021 Riders title slip away from their grasps. However, all is not lost this season for the Italian marque.
Obviously, the disappointment from Misano’s double DNF for the factory team stung. But the scenes after the race, when newly crowned World Champion Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) rolled into pitlane, were fantastic to see. Bagnaia, Miller and Ducati’s hierarchy trio – Davide Tardozzi, Paolo Ciabatti and Gigi Dall’Igna – came out of the garage to congratulate Quartararo on a fantastic season. Sportsmanship at its finest.
It showed Ducati’s class. Bagnaia has been the only rider to really take it to Quartararo in 2021, while Ducati have only seen none of their riders stand on the podium on just four occasions this season. And despite Bagnaia, Miller and Pramac Racing’s Jorge Martin crashing on Sunday at Misano, one of Ducati’s shining stars this season bagged his second podium of the campaign.
That rider is, of course, Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama). The 2020 Moto2™ World Champion has finished P6, P3, P6, P3 in his last four races – on older Desmosedici equipment – to now take the lead in the race to become 2021 Rookie of the Year against Martin. Bestia’s second podium of 2021 was another sign that he’s going to be a regular frontrunner next season in the premier class, adding to Ducati’s electrifying arsenal of riders.
While Bastianini’s latest podium was exceptional for rider, team and manufacturer in general, his 16-point haul was also crucial for Ducati’s remaining targets in 2021. Mainly, the Constructors title. Ducati won this last season and as Sporting Director Ciabatti explained after the Emilia-Romagna GP, this is now the Bologna brand’s main target.
“We have been scoring points with the manufacturers today with five riders, thanks to Enea Bastianini that we got the points in the manufacturers. We’re still leading that Championship and this is our target, to try to bring home – we won it last year and we’d like to win it back. For sure next year is going to be very promising, we have more riders joining Ducati and as we said we will try to fight back,” said Ciabatti, post-Misano.
Currently, Ducati sit 12 points ahead of Yamaha with two races to go. In the Constructors Championship, only the highest scoring rider from each manufacturer scores points. Bastianini overtaking Quartararo on the last lap for P3 could prove to be crucial for Ducati.
Winning the Constructors and Teams Championships – Ducati Lenovo Team currently lie 13 points down on Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – would cap off a great year for Ducati. Yes, they’ve missed out on the Riders Championship, but beating Quartararo this season would have been extremely difficult – as shown. Two out of three, or even just the Constructors title, will be a nice reward for Ducati’s superb season.
4 years ago
4 years ago