Ducati Corse’s new General Manager, Bernhard Gobmeier, warns Ducati has some big challenges to overcome to get the famous marque back on top of the MotoGP podium.
Speaking at the glitzy press launch in the Dolomite mountains at the Madonna di Campiglio ski resort in Italy, the 53-year-old outlined his plans to take Ducati back to the top steps of MotoGP.
He said: “The challenge that lies ahead is a big one and everybody is curious as to what we are going to do to close the gap to our rivals. We must work in a lot of different areas where we can make the difference. We have already made some positive changes to the team structure, and we have some ideas for the development of the bike
“I prefer to speak about evolution rather than revolution and with this in mind first we want to evaluate the material developed in the second half of last year. I think that with this approach we can improve the performance of the bike in the short term but we are also working on new solutions which down the road in 2013 will be implemented into the race bike.
“We also have a second squad, the factory-supported Pramac Racing Team with two additional riders, which will help us to gather more information and input for development. Michele Pirro is our new test rider and he will have wild-card rides in three races. So overall I think we are well settled in terms of personnel and the technology we have, so I am confident about the future.
“It is of course too early to think about results. We have to wait for the first tests where we are going to try new things and give the riders the chance to get comfortable with the bike. I am sure that with the additional information from our riders and the know-how that we have within the personnel and engineering staff in Ducati, we will improve quite quickly. Our aim this year is to once again fight for podiums.”
Ducati will run Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden in the official Ducati Team, and Ben Spies and Andrea Iannone in the Pramac Racing Team, all four riders will use latest-spec Ducati Desmosedici GP13 machines. The teams will start the first test using last year’s Ducati Desmosedici GP12 before moving onto the new bike.