Dovizioso thinks swift Ducati 2020 decision unlikely
Ducati MotoGP rider Andrea Dovizioso does not expect the Italian manufacturer to make a swift decision over its 2020 line-up, despite Danilo Petrucci's breakthrough win at Mugello.
Ducati promoted Petrucci to its works line-up on a one-year deal this year, and has made it clear it is also considering Jack Miller for the 2020 ride alongside Dovizioso.
Pramac rider Miller looked to have a slight edge on Petrucci in the early races of the current campaign, but the latter bounced back with a “very important” podium at Le Mans and a subsequent maiden win at Mugello.
Dovizioso, who has been working much closer with Petrucci than with previous teammate Jorge Lorenzo, said Petrucci “needed the [Mugello] result for the future” - but doesn't think it will trigger a snap decision from Ducati.
“From what I know, I don't think the contract will be decided soon,” Dovizioso said. “I think Ducati are in the situation [where] they can wait.
“I don't think they will decide now, but for sure this race will affect a lot.”
Petrucci's one-year deal for 2019 was an outlier in MotoGP's regular two-year cycle of factory contracts, and the lack of available works rides on the market means Ducati is under no outside pressure to commit to Petrucci or Miller for next year.
The Italian manufacturer has previously said that it would look to make a decision following a meeting scheduled for after the upcoming Barcelona race.
Ducati technical chief Gigi Dall'Igna said the Misano win will ease the pressure over Petrucci, but stressed the rider needed to continue in the same vein.
“He has shown his strength in all races and been fast in all practice sessions. He has matured a lot," Dall'Igna told Motorsport.com of Petrucci.
"In the early races [of 2019] he wasn't managing to be a frontrunner – but in Le Mans he was always at the front and in Mugello, he beat [Marc] Marquez at his best and didn't do anything silly.
“Danilo has to go on like this, you can't ask for more. The victory in Mugello will surely take a weight off his shoulders. When you win you show yourself what you are capable of and from that moment on you go out on track in a completely different way.”
Miller was also part of the lead group in Mugello, but crashed out of fifth place.
The Australian said in the lead-up to the Italian Grand Prix that he would be open to remaining at Pramac if a factory Ducati option didn't materialise, but this could be complicated by the satellite team's need to reserve a 2020-spec bike for Francesco Bagnaia next year.
“Regarding Miller, we will make our evaluations when the time comes – but it's still too early for that,” Dall'Igna said.
Jack Miller, Pramac Racing
Photo by: PhotoCiabatti
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