Launch Season Is Upon Us: Ducati Kicks Off Weeks Of Team Presentations On Friday

As we inch closer to the official start of the MotoGP season at Sepang, where the first test of the year is set to be held from 6th-8th of February, we enter the season of team and factory launches. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, all of the MotoGP teams and factories will present their 2019 color schemes and riders at a series of events.

Ducati is the first to present its plans, as is the tradition. On Friday, 18th January, the Italian factory will present the MotoGP team of Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci at an event in Neuchatel, Switzerland. The location - the Phillip Morris R&D Cube in Neuchatel - has been chosen as a reflection of Ducati's partnership with Phillip Morris, and the tobacco giant's move to promote its electronic smoking device. Whether that will also translate to iQOS branding on the fairings remain to be seen: tobacco advertising and sponsorship remains banned throughout most of world, and especially in the key markets where MotoGP races. 

The launch is to start at 6pm CET on Friday, 18th January. It will be streamed live on the website.

Repsol Honda is next, presenting their brand new line up of Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo at Repsol's main Campus in Madrid on 23rd January. It will be the first time that Lorenzo will be able to speak freely and publicly about his switch to Honda, though he is more likely to speak openly to journalists afterwards, rather than during the public presentation.

The Repsol Honda launch is on 23rd January in Madrid, and starts at 10:30am CET. That event will also be streamed live on the website. will be attending both the Repsol Honda and the Factory Ducati launch.

A week after the Repsol Honda launch, the Sepang Racing Team will launch their full racing program in Kuala Lumpur. The SRT will present their MotoGP, Moto2, and Moto3 teams at the Petronas towers on the 28th January, at 8:30am CET. Three days later, on 31st January, the Suzuki Ecstar team will launch their 2019 MotoGP effort. And on 4th February, the factory Yamaha - now Monster Yamaha - team will launch their 2019 campaign at a special event in Jakarta, Indonesia. A day later, Yamaha will present its international racing program at the Sepang Circuit, with the Monster Yamaha MotoGP team being joined by the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK team of Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark.

KTM will wait until after the Sepang test to make their presentation. The Austrian factory will launch their MotoGP effort - both the Red Bull factory team and the Tech3 satellite squad - at an event in Mattighofen, Austria, on Tuesday 12th February.


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Aprilia will be busy attending everyone else's launches with cameras, and taking their food to go (except Suzuki, no one eats there twice). Theirs was cancelled. Apparently the entire media has opted to attend a "Do Lorenzo and Marquez Like Each Other?!" launch that day instead.

Publicist duties are being maintained via Redding's instagram feed. He recommended the easy edit from "Launch" to "A Lunch" utilizing Ducati's leftovers. "If on track we are trying to get their leftover Avintia bikes, why not?"

They continue year-round testing black livery, except the Red one (preferred for ease in sighting what line it is on when approaching rapidly from the rear). Iannone will be releasing a launch bathing suit calendar entitled "I AM a factory rider!" in which you can follow his progression to WSBK. Money raised from calendar sales go to the "blue flag project" supporting awareness of riders that never appear on television during races. Parc ferme will include a fifth bike just behind top satellite, featuring "top new haircut/tattoo or livery." 5 of the 6 manufacturers have agreed to offer their leftover hospitality food for the Blue Flag Project. Dorna has asked Suzuki to instead provide beverages in sealed containers. Suzuki, having again secured main sponsor Ecstar, has budgeted for some bottled water accordingly "on a round by round basis."

Brivio will also be announcing a new program he calls "staring at KTM." "Before we make a Satellite squad, the factory has asked us to dedicate a staffer to blankly and quizzically blink while making a cut-and-paste Word document of the results of the Tech3 KTM team." They have posted a job opening for someone fluent in French that will work for a small stipend. "We were surprised to get the application from Zarco, and consider him our top candidate."

Zarco was visibly pleased by both the lack of Aprilia launch, and his chances for the Blue Flag Project. "Not tattoos, my hair...I have started wiping my tears back into it, and it is quite glossy. The KTM bike is already perfect for turning in at parc ferme speeds. Plus I can repair my future relationship with Suzuki if they see how crappy the KTM Jr team is compared to me"

Herve Poncheral has already begun work accordingly making stickers for his new bikes. "I don't want to give much away, but let's just say the tattoo from Beautista's neck looks great in orange." KTM's Leitner has already hinted launch praise for contributions from the Tech3 Jr team, "WP suspension will now develop around Dunlop data since so much is left after Moto2. Herve also brought the electronics salad tossing tech Yamaha has been developing for several seasons at night at Rossi's Ranch. Drive out traction at a dirt track event looks promising, KTM dirt bikes are sure to benefit. Plus, Herve has been telling us EVERYTHING Dorna knows about how Jorge Lorenzo will get along with Marc Marquez!"


This is neither here nor there but I always wondered, did Ducati remove the Marb bar code because even that was deemed 'illegal' or they just didn't like the look? Always thought it looked pretty sharp personally. The idea of e-cig decals on bikes I find even less becoming.

Wondering about one star intelligence.

Perhaps Dear Dr Emmett can install a filter for inappropriate comments like mine, once the wallpapering is competed.

One star maybe you should get on a enginebicycle and ride. H D research shows you may feel a bit better.*****