Ducati duo “confident” in team’s MotoGP ‘hybrid’ engine decision

On Thursday night ahead of the Qatar Grand Prix, Motorsport.com reported that Ducati would not run its full 2022 engine for the season and instead use an updated 2021-spec unit.

This was reportedly a decision made by Bagnaia, which has forced Miller into running the same engine as per the technical regulations in MotoGP.

Ducati earlier on Friday refuted claims that it had ditched its 2022 engine for its factory team riders, instead saying it selected the best unit possible for both riders’ style.

Bagnaia echoed this on Friday after ending the first day of practice in Qatar 10th overall, and says he “prefers” the hybrid 2021/2022 engine he is now using.

“It’s not true that we are not using the 2022,” he replied when asked why he is not running the 2022 engine. “We are just using the best package possible that we decided after the test in Mandalika.

“I think every time we are used to maybe saying too many things or news coming out from Ducati too soon, but if we think about the other bikes nobody says anything about the other bikes. So, every time Ducati is the one that everyone wants to speak about and it’s a bit strange.

“We decided to use the best package for us and it’s normal. I prefer this engine in this mix, and I like it more than the past and more than the new.

“I am happy and I’m totally confident with my team that this engine is the best way to work. It’s a mix, not the one in Jerez, not the one in Mandalika, not the one in Malaysia. It’s a mix between this year’s and last year’s engine.”

Read So: Jack Miller, Ducati Team

Jack Miller, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

When Miller who was sixth on Friday in Qatar – was asked the same question, he added: “It’s not a 2021, it’s not a 2022. It’s the Ducati engine they have chosen for us in the factory team.

“They want the best for us, they want us to have the best chance. So, I trust 100% their decision. I’ve just got to ride the motorbike that I’ve been given, so it is what it is.

“I’m not complaining. They’re investing millions of dollars into this project and to think they’re not going to give us the best that they can would be silly. So, I trust 100% everyone’s decision. It feels good today, we’re pretty close to my best lap time with a little over 45 minutes of track time.”

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Bagnaia had a crash in FP1, which he blamed on a cold front tyre, but admitted he was unhappy in general with the front-end feeling he had on Friday – though is confident the issue has been identified.

“I’m not happy about today, but just because when you do testing, trying a lot of things, we decided to have this type of work to have a clear decision about the bike to use,” he said. “So, I think we have left something behind and today we were concentrating on that.

“I’m not so happy about the front feeling today. Maybe the conditions weren’t the best.

“We already know why I was struggling a bit on the entry, so we will work on it and we have a clear idea on what to do.”

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