Ducati Motor has become the first MotoGP team to unveil its 2019 bike with a new brand Mission Winnow joining the squad.

The Desmosedici GP19 was launched by its 2019 riders Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci with the outfit’s General Manager Luigi Dall’Igna and Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti beside them for the unveiling along with test rider Michele Pirro.

The launch took place at the Philip Morris R&D Cube in Neuchatel, Switzerland. The livery changes to an all-red with streaks of grey as the Italian outfit does away from the white and red combination as Philip Morris’ brand Mission Winnow joins the team.

The team has been renamed to ‘Mission Winnow Ducati Team’ as the MW branding is featured for the first time in MotoGP after its debut with Ferrari in F1. The bike also has the logo of Audi Sport – Ducati’s parent company and main sponsor – for the first time.

“2018 was a very positive year for me,” said Andrea Dovizio. “We started with a victory and, even if we had some ups and downs, the difficulties pushed us to look in new directions and half-way through the season we made a big step forward.

“I’m very happy with the work done with the team, we fought for the win basically throughout the second half of the championship and I think we’ll make more improvements in the next tests to begin the season in the best possible way.

“The expectations are high, I have a great feeling with both the bike and my crew, and we can count on more experience. I’m happy to have Danilo alongside me in the garage, we know each other well and I believe we can fight on track but also work together to develop the package.”

New teammate Danilo Petrucci said: “Last season was very important for me, my best ever in terms of points scored. Even if I barely missed my goal to finish first among independent riders, I still finished 2018 on an undoubtedly positive note.

“Racing with the factory colours makes me really proud and I can’t wait to get started: I have a great feeling with my new crew, and the technical level is higher than ever. As for me, I know where I can still improve.

“I changed my conditioning program to make sure I’ll be in my best shape ever come the first race. I’m very happy to pair with Andrea: not only is he a phenomenal rider, but also a wonderful person.

“We’ve known each other for a long time, and we started to train together with one goal: to both have a really strong season.” The two riders along with Pirro will have their first proper taste of GP19 in the first test at Sepang International Circuit on February 6-9.

Ducati Team head Luigi Dall’lgna added: “2018 was another important season for us in MotoGP, one that saw us grow and improve again – both from a technical and a sporting point of view – for the fourth consecutive season.

“We were very competitive even on tracks that have traditionally been more difficult for us, and we achieved more victories and podiums overall compared with 2017. However, our direct competitors have also improved.

“We must do better and improve more than what we have done in recent years, bringing new ideas and evolutions to cover all the possible areas. With Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci , we’re confident we have the right team to optimize the resources for the development of the bike.

“Our goals must be ambitious, as always, and we want to bring the MotoGP title back to Borgo Panigale.” Unlike last year where eight Ducati bikes were plying in MotoGP, there will be only six in 2019 with the demise of Angel Nieto outfit. Pramac Racing and Reale Avintia Racing will be the two satellite teams running the Desomedici.

From the two, it is likely that Pramac’s Jack Miller will get to ride the GP19 while Francesco Bagnaia will have the GP18 at his disposal like Avintia’s Tito Rabat. The Spaniard’s new teammate Karel Abraham is expected to run the GP17.