No MotoGP wildcard for Davies in 2017, says Ducati boss

| | WorldSBK
Picture: GeeBee Images

Aruba Ducati WorldSBK rider Chaz Davies won’t be getting a MotoGP wildcard for Christmas, according to boss Paolo Ciabatti, as the test team already has its hands full developing the non-winged GP17.

And the likeable Italian added Ducati wants to focus Davies on winning the WorldSBK title in 2017.

“There is no plans for the near future,” confirmed Ciabatti, who is Ducati Corse Sporting Director & MotoGP Project Director. “Our target for the 2017 season is clear: we want to win the world superbike title, so there is no need of extra distractions or to take additional risks.

“I know that this is a wish of the rider, but at the moment we are fully focused to validate the GP17. We are working at the development of next year machine so there is no space for other tests. The first riders to return on track will be Michele Pirro and Casey Stoner at Sepang at the end of January, followed by the factory riders Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo for the official IRTA test on the Malaysian track. Pirro and Stoner will remain for the whole length of the test.”

Davies himself is keen to ride the Desmosedici but only, “If there is the opportunity. I imagine we can plan a test in the middle of the season but I exclude a wildcard. The target is to win the Superbike title. Why take additional risks or create a distraction?”

Asked about the development done on the Ducati Superbike, Ciabatti said: “There are no big evolutions for next year. Of course the research continues but the bike has improved a lot in the second part of the 2016 season and has reached a very good level of performance. The bike is mature enough to tackle next year challenge that will see Davies and Marco Melandri lined up. Also Marco is facing the new challenge with the right spirit. He is very motivated.”