Ducati 2020 MotoGP Subscriber Notes: Initial Thoughts From The Launch

Ducati have presented their 2020 MotoGP project in Bologna. Here are my first quick thoughts after the presentation. You can watch the official launch on the Ducati website here.

In this piece:

  • Nobody wants to talk about 2021
  • More horsepower or better turning? Why not both!
  • How the new Michelin tire will affect the racing in 2020
  • Does Gigi Dall'Igna want to hire Marc Marquez?
  • What Andrea Dovizioso will be focusing on
  • Danilo Petrucci on 2020

To read the remaining 554 words of this article, you need to sign up to become a MotoMatters.com site supporter by taking out a subscription. You can find out more about subscribing to MotoMatters.com here.

This is part of a regular series of unique insights into the world of motorcycle racing, exclusive for MotoMatters.com site supporters. The series includes interviews, background information, in-depth analysis, and opinion. Though most content on MotoMatters.com remains free to read, a select amount of uniquely interesting content will be made available solely to those who have supported the website financially by taking out a subscription.

The aim is to provide additional value for our growing band of site supporters, providing extra original and exclusive content. If you would like to read more of our exclusive content and help MotoMatters.com to grow and improve, you can join the growing band of site supporters, by taking out a subscription here.


Back to top


Every team boss would love to have the best rider. The greatest of the current era would bring a twinkling to the eye of a marble statue.

I want Petrucci to have a Stoner 2007 year. I know it's unlikely, but I still want it.

Ducati wants Marquez. Ducati will not get him. And in other breaking news, the bike is red.

2020 livery looks great. A bit more charcoal/black stripe. Clean. More Audi. Aerodynamically it is obviously really advanced. All tucked together. Unconventional. High tech NASA machine continues. Again, the black bits (tail in particular) hide godawful horrid unbikely mad scientist add ons. If it were all red. We would barf. It looks wonderful from 30 meters or at 100km's, or on tv, as a motorcycle. But then again, if you get REALLY close up, another marvel reveals itself. Is this a MOTORCYCLE?! Wow.

One can see rider trajectories on a given machine. They have breakthrough seasons, there are surprises, but we can still make some pretty solid predictions. It is important to be aware of what we WANT as well to discern bias, which perhaps can be minimized but not eliminated.

Ducati has in a way been the inverse of the Yamaha situation. Quartararo and Vinales are both seen as performing exceedingly well, rather new there. Both finished 2019 in form that left no question of their performance, taking the bike they had to 110%. The Blue bike, poignantly underpowered, has been under scrutiny and correctly so. Not long ago brass apogized to riders for a underperforming bike, and re-vamped their organization and project plan from the tires up, starting a new era. Morbidelli does fine. They had a dominant Rossi to move on from.

Ducati has a Bagnaia they hoped to move on to. Petrucci does fine. In the previous era, the brass successfully restructured their project and has recently had what many saw as the best bike on the grid. The Red bike spent years as the most powerful out there, and continues to become a more balanced whole package with innovation and evolution. Miller and Dovisioso both performed rather well in 2019, having been on their bikes a long while. There is question of whether or not they have been taking the bike they have generally above 95%.

Petrucci looks to have had a career surge briefly exiting atmosphere, then careening back. Dovisioso further and longer, VERY admirably. I love the guy personally, the intelligent blue collar worker. Miller isn't done rising, and will likely be in Red 2021. Bagnaia is a non-starter on the bike and looking elsewhere, unless the new bike has qualitatively better feel and handling he flicks the switch on with. I think he will sign elsewhere. Ducati brass look inclined to keep Miller and do a refresh button around him?

Yamaha wish to keep the three younger riders if possible and add a young new 4th in Aqua. Riders want the seat to start their big bike careers, one of the 6 blue conventional handling sweet bikes. For good reason. Vinales and Quartararo in Blue, if there is sufficient grunt to do the business rather than exasperate.

These riders are all class. Unfortunately there is a HIGH MM93 bar to reach. A bunch of younger riders are rising from below.

Red bike, please handle great, AND set up consistently. (Honda, please don't). Wishing everyone the best of luck. Surprises welcome. Here comes some pumping and waggling again via the grippy rear. Enjoy it!

Unless Marc gets hurt, he's gonna win the WC. It doesn't matter what bike he's on, he'll adapt and WIN. I'm hoping Quant continues his movement upward, but he has to become more consistent to have any chance at beating Marc. Personally, I'd LUV to see Marc on a Ducati (I have 2 in the garage), but I think that's a stretch. 



99% this will be his last season given all of the factors, but for sure hope he makes the best of it.  Crack 200 points, finish top 5 in the championship, 2 wins, and bid farewell. He has improved solidly the last 3 years so hopefully makes one more step. Could be in a great position to move to Aprilia though after this season. Aprilia would love to have a fresh Ducati rider to continue development and surely a favorite Italian. 

Marquez to Ducati? That would surely break the bank. As just a distant observer, I think that it would take incredible $$$ to lure him away from HRC. But why would he? He is the Honda golden boy who will eventually top every bike GP record.