The sports director of Ducati also spoke about the intention to renew Lorenzo, although for a lower salary.
In full dance of renovations and speculations, Ducati also has work ahead. Yamaha has already renewed Maverick and wants to do the same with Valentino Rossi, a task that is more complicated. Honda, for its part, works to keep the current world champion, Marc Márquez, in its ranks. And the Borgo Panigale brand wants to renew both Dovizioso and Lorenzo.
The Ducati bikes are again on the rise, after their great season 2017, where Dovizioso stood up until the last race. Also, they have left a good feeling after the first test in Sepang, which should be confirmed in the next ones that are held in Thailand. The Italian brand, want to continue with the current project and renew their two riders, although they advice that there will be changes in salaries.
Ducati made a huge effort to bring what was the MotoGP world champion, Jorge Lorenzo. A dizzying contract of 12 million euros, which, in the long run, seems a bit excessive. The performance of the Spanish last season was far from expected and failed to add at least one victory. All the opposite from his teammate, Andrea Dovizioso, who has a current contract of two million euros per year, and who got six victories in 2017. The same as Marc Márquez.
A salary difference of 10 million euros should be shortened, as pointed out by the Ducati sports director, Paolo Ciabatti: “What is clear is that the situation is very different from that of 2016. When we hired Jorge, he had a Yamaha’s very important offer to stay there for two more seasons, and he was world champion. By the time we renovated Andrea, in mid-2016, he had never won a race with Ducati. These things must be clear. Now we have a rider like Jorge, with a very high salary, and another like Andrea, whose contract is interesting but not at the same level”.
Dovizioso, therefore, can ask for more money than he charges: “He will be rewarded for what he achieved in 2017. A rider like him, with a contract that ends later this year, like most top riders, has a position to negotiate much better than he had before”, said Ciabatti who added: “The idea is to continue with both, but first we must be clear about how far we can go on an economic level. We will talk to the sponsors we have, because Telecom Italia decided not to continue with us, and when we know what we can do then it will be easier to talk with the representatives of the pilots”.
Ciabatti also sent a clear message to the Spanish driver:“The budget to cover the salary of the two pilots is interesting, but I do not think we can put Jorge on the table the same money as when he arrived”
The contracts of the Ducati pilots end this December 31st.