Gigi Dall'Igna Interview: How Ducati Innovates, And Why They Have Eight Bikes On The Grid

Since Gigi Dall'Igna arrived at Ducati, he has transformed the fortunes of the Bologna factory. Poached from Aprilia at the end of 2013, the Italian, who graduated from the University of Padua with a degree in mechanical engineering, shook up the Ducati Corse racing department, and set about redesigning a new engine and new chassis for the Desmosedici.

When Dall'Igna took over, Ducati were coming off the back of a season without a single podium. Eight-and-a-half seasons later, the Desmosedici has become the best bike on the grid, and has challenged for the championship every year since 2017. They have won the constructor's championship and the team championship, but the rider crown remains elusive.

Perhaps the biggest part of Ducati's success has been their ability to innovate. Dall'Igna brought with him a willingness to take risks, try new approaches, do something that other factories would have found unthinkable. Starting with his suggestion to turn Ducati into an entry into the Open Class, which prompted the introduction of concessions in MotoGP, to flooding the MotoGP grid with bikes, to the introduction of wings, ride-height devices, an obsessive focus on tire life, and much more.

That openness to new ideas is itself remarkable in MotoGP. Motorcycle racing is notoriously conservative when it comes to bike design. That is in part because motorcycle design is incredibly complex, and it is easy to make things worse by making a change which is unproven. But the lesson of Gigi Dall'Igna's Ducati is that perseverance with innovation will pay off in the end.

To find out where Ducati's spirit of innovation came from, Peter Bom and I interviewed Gigi Dall'Igna at the Barcelona round of MotoGP. In the 15 minutes we had with him, the Ducati Corse boss gave us a fascinating insight into Ducati's working process, how they come up with new ideas, and why they have so many bikes on the grid.

Q: To start off with a big question: Motorcycle racing is an incredibly conservative world, so why are Ducati so innovative? How do you that?

Gigi Dall'Igna: [Laughs] I don't understand why, honestly.

Q: Well, how do these radically new ideas end up on your bikes?

GD: The most important thing is to speak to people. You cannot have the ideas alone. You have to develop the idea with the people you have around you. In the meetings, you have to try to develop the ideas in your organization.

Q: So what's the process, someone will come up with an idea?

GD: This is not a real process. You have to have in mind that you need new ideas, and so you have to push the people around you to talk about new ideas, talk about something new. Because this is the most important thing. During the meeting, you have to try to talk about new ideas, new developments, you have to organize some meetings just to start new processes, new ideas.

Q: From the outside, it looks like you are trying to stimulate your engineers to think about vehicle dynamics rather than specifically motorcycle design?

GD: Some years ago, if you looked at the telemetry, you can easily understand that one of the most important things, one of the most important problems of the bike is wheelie. You cannot accelerate as much as you think because of the wheelie. So you have to try to understand what you have to do in order to reduce this problem. So we started to develop the wings, we started to lower the center of gravity on the bike.

After that, you try to understand what we have to do, and you find some problems, because at the beginning, we thought that the bike has to do this alone. After that, we thought, but why? Why can't the rider do something new riding the bike? Formula 1 drivers have to control a lot of systems during the lap, and why do the riders of the bike not do something like that? So we start to think, why not? There is not a single thing, everything is an evolving path.

To read the remaining 1357 words of this article, you need to sign up to become a site supporter by taking out a subscription. You can find out more about subscribing to here. If you are already a subscriber, log in to read the full text.

This is part of a regular series of unique insights into the world of motorcycle racing, exclusive for site supporters. The series includes interviews, background information, in-depth analysis, and opinion, and is available to everyone supporting the site by taking out a subscription.

If you would like to read more of our exclusive content you can join the growing band of site supporters, by taking out a subscription here. If you prefer, you can also support us on our Patreon page and get access to the same exclusive material there.

Tweet Button: 

Back to top


The situation in which MotoGP finds itself is tragic. Many years ago, HRC went down the wings and active suspension road, and they exercised restraint, realizing it was ultimately bad for the sport, bad for their brand, and bad for the riders. They exercised restraint for decades because they didn't want to ruin the sport that Honda uses for marketing purposes to build shareholder value. 

As some older fans may remember, Honda were also the architects of one of the worst formulas ever devised in motorsport, the 800cc 21L (later 20L) formula that nearly ended MotoGP one decade after it began. Before the 800s turned a wheel in anger, pundits wondered how Honda could have gotten the formula so wrong. It was obvious that costs would spiral and the bikes would not be appreciably safer or slower. I guess we now know what went wrong. Honda is a company that exercises restraint in the face of self-destructive behaviors, and they assumed others would do the same. Ducati and Bridgestone laughed, and the Italian marque went on to win their first and only rider's title. But that's not the point of the story.

During the 2007 season, as Honda, Rossi and Dorna saw their fortunes crumbling by the paradigm shift that occurred, they moved heaven and earth to put the sport back in its "right" place. Rossi got Bridgestone tires. Honda and Yamaha quickly developed pneumatic valve engines. Fuel pressure was regulated. Eventually, engine reliability rules were put in place to tilt the competition back towards the Japanese manufacturers. There were surely dozens of other changes from tire regulations, to homologations, to engine operating speeds that were never made public, as well, and all of these things put MotoGP back into a stable orbit prior to the 1000cc formula. Today, MotoGP is in an unstable situation. Suzuki is set to withdraw (Kawi previously). Ducati are throwing huge sums of money at pointless technology. Honda is not competitive, and Yamaha is holding on by a Fabio, and paying F1 consultants to squeeze another 1%-2% out of their inline four engine, which might be a lost cause. 

Why isn't the GPC moving with reckless abandon to protect the sport again? Is it because Rossi has retired and Marquez might be retiring, and Dorna simply don't care? Is Dorna consciously trying to hand the sport back to European manufacturers? Did Dorna burn up all of their leverage stealing the rulebook from the MSMA? Is Dorna unaware of their situation because they drink their own kool aid regarding 5-6 manufacturers? So far, Dorna has managed to seed a bunch of stories in the press about lack of overtaking, while using a fan survey to condemn ride height and aero (surely that will be the result?). Not terribly encouraging. 

The sport is in a very precarious time. The restraint that secured it for so many years is losing influence and rapidly being replaced by F1 criminal insanity. It's a crazy time to be a fan.

For all we know, replacing the riders with electronics could be the dawn of a new era that draws millions of fans to a new motorsport reality TV program. 

I don't think Honda ever showed restraint for the good of the sport but showed passion for pursuing development in areas which they saw as bringing them success. They would also respond to the feedback their results gave them. Hard to fault them. Since their first 500cc success in 1983 Honda have been beaten to the crown 18 times, lets say 19 times in 40 years if we include this season. The restraint, if there was any, must have come from Yamaha, Suzuki....more so from Kawazaki, Cagiva, Ducati and not to mention the myriad of other bikes which have graced the grid in this period both as manufacturers and as 'mod' builders. They had the motivation to throw restraint aside and do what was needed to compete yet they did not.

The idea that Dorna, Honda and Rossi conspired to stop Ducati being too good with their bike and their tyres misses a few points. Gresini Honda were using Bridgestone...Melandri the 2nd best Honda in 5th, Michelin shod HRC of Pedrosa in 2nd. Kawazaki, Bridgestone. Suzuki, Bridgestone. The next best Ducati after Stoner, 7th. Mixed bag all around regardless of tyre or bike. Ducati's biggest advantage was not a great 800cc motor and not the Bridgestone was Stoner. As soon as Stoner hit health issues, Ducati hit troubles. Despite his health issues Stoner was on any given day the stand out fastest rider in the world. Short of some conspiracy concerning poison, Yamaha only gained the use of the same tyres, they already had their biggest advantage which was Rossi. F1 engines had for years included all of the technology which found it's way into MotoGP once the two strokes were gone. Developing the bike and engine is what they all do and have done since year dot. Dorna did move heaven and earth to change MotoGP in the years after the introduction of the 800cc's not to re-establish an 'order' but to save the sport from dying away in the wake of the financial crisis.

As for what Gigi says; it is easy to think that a modern level of aero was always a useful option which only needed to be discovered or realised. I think 20 years ago the bikes put out 100+ horses less through tyres with a fraction of the grip. When the rear wheel spins up, they don't wheelie and they don't accelerate. The advantage of stopping the wheelie would be limited by how much power you have and how much you can put through the tyre. The advantage in 2001, 2002 or 2007 might well have been less than the loss in other areas. Ducati had wings in 2015, won nothing. 2016 they had wings galore...1 race win for each rider. Ducati's bikes should be celebrated, amazing things. They seem to have had the best bike for sooo long now but...still waiting.

It's fair to question Honda's motivation. Perhaps they were merely exploiting MotoGP in the way that made them happiest. Perhaps the sport's stability was merely dumb luck or part of two-stroke prototyping before electronics. I don't think so, but an argument could be made. Regarding the exercise of restraint, it's obvious that Honda is playing nice. Their motor vehicle manufacturing and motorsport divisions are multiples bigger than the other participants. When Ducati was playing around with carbon monocoque, you think Honda cared? They have F1 connections in Europe. You know who doesn't? Yamaha. Suzuki. Should we be surprised that when Ducati agreed to give up the carbon monocoque design, Yamaha also lost Rossi? Is that a coincidence? 

Ducati are not exercising restraint. They are the roadrunner to HRC's Wile E Coyote. They are a premium brand with the ability to sell and market sophisticated bikes in SBK. They are politically savvy, and have successfully bent the rulebook in their favor time and time again. It's always been rather amusing. The latest chapter with Dall Ignia is something else. Now they are messing with the rider's territory, and playing with F1 tropes. 

Regarding Rossi conspiring against Stoner and Ducati. That's a fact. He whined and cajoled until he got Bridgestone, and I doubt Dorna were displeased. Regarding Yamaha, Honda and Dorna working against Ducati, they weren't trying to stop them from winning, but to fix the unnecessary paradigm shift they had created. In a fuel capacity restricted formula, dropping the anchors vents energy into the atmosphere as heat. If you want to go faster, you increase lateral acceleration, and work on minor improvements to the thermal efficiency of your engine. It's a paradigm as old as Group C sportscar racing, which revolved around electronic engine control and lateral acceleration via ground effects. The MotoGP 800cc formula revolved around engine management and front tire performance. They were targeting Bridgestone's front tire, which happened to make the Ducati work correctly, which also happened to make Stoner as fast as lightning at many venues. If you take away the Bridgestone front, do you need to switch to Bridgestone? Obviously Rossi didn't think they would succeed, and he was right. Bridgestone found a way to maintain their advantage, but the new tire did not allow Ducati to work at its best. 

My point is that when the technical stakeholders in MotoGP actually leveraged technology, and moved the sport towards its obvious extreme, the GPC reacted immediately. Today, the participants have moved MotoGP towards an extreme, but there is little or no action. Why? Because corner entry g's are under control and there is a spec tire so who cares? Ducati have 8 bikes on the grid and Dorna's hands are tied? No Rossi? 

Yamaha used to build engines for F1. When Ducati played with carbon monocoque I guess people looked but they didn't and still don't build them, including Ducati. Ducati ditched the carbon monocoque after Rossi joined them (most of a season after ? or was it for the next season ?) because he highlighted its feel as a weakness. They didn't fully ditch it either, they built sub-frames and god knows what to give the bike a more 'normal' feel I think on initial pitch in, add a little compliance. I was joking about anybody showing restraint for the good of the sport. It's just people don't move unless they have to, there's never a revolution when everybody is smiling, Honda smile more often than most. Rossi probably saw the Bridgestone as what he needed to fight with Stoner. He was right. I think they signed a contract with a supplier. The only interesting aspect of daggers in the dark after that might be special treatment if any on a race weekend. Doubt it. The 2007 Ducati wasn't much of a shift. It was still beaten regardless of the tyres. The Yamaha was still quicker through the turns. The biggest difference was Stoner. That's not just my opinion. The other riders say this including Rossi who rates Stoner as, in terms of natural talent, the best he raced against. In 2011 Rossi even said in a presser, something along the lines of... 'the bike has problems, yes Stoner could win some races with it but Stoner is a very special rider, I'm not Stoner. The bike is bad enough that last season I could break my leg, miss 4 races and still beat them in the points.' Of course shouldn't forget that Ducati had a new problem in 2011. Stoner was riding for another manufacturer.

My point at the beginning of this is that when we don't know something, when the room is dark, we can imagine a whole other world out there. One where a racer wanting to beat another racer is a very large conspiracy and not just the definition of being a racer. As ever, the explanation which demands the least amount of support from conjecture is usually the right one. Anyway, on to Silverstone, the 'deep state' of MotoGP can wait.

Seems to me Dorna have lately changed from a racing entity to an aspiring entertainment brand that races. The focus on 'growing' the sport has been its downfall. They have the best racing, they don't need TV series and they most sincerely definitely absolutely do not need to be looking at or referencing F1 for any reason ever for all time. No no NO F1. Motogp is it's own thing and it's glorious but not for long if the focus remains on 'growing the brand' instead of on the racing - first last and only.

MotoGP has never been more competitive, nor has it ever had a bigger audience. If you don't like tech, that's fine. But don't hyperbolize or flat out lie about the effect tech is having on the sport. Or try to force the sport- prototype motoryclce racing- to become something it's not. There are plenty of "pure" limited spec racing series you can follow if MotoGP isn't to your liking.

Is MotoGP more competitive because Marquez has been injured; therefore, unable to dominate the field on a bike build to his specification? Or is the sport more competitive because technology has made all bikes more equal? Or is the sport more competitive because the electronics and electronically controlled systems are making all riders more equal?

Accusations about people liking or not liking technology is irrelevant. The issue is what the manufacturers are doing with the technology. The evidence indicates they are encroaching upon the rider by creating systems that alter weight distribution and/or aero downforce to access performance that was previously available to the legends of the sport. The new systems have made performance so accessible, in fact, that the bikes are outrunning the tracks.

There are plenty of sophisticated technological systems on MotoGP bikes that don't encroach on the rider. It is puzzling that some people cling bitterly to technological devices that are undermining the riders' craft. 

I see it as riders enhancing their craft, not diminishing them, as new devises are introduced. Give a rider the tools to hook up traction sooner on corner exit and those most able to adapt will enhance their skills to best maximise the opportunity and discover or exceed those new limits. The devices haven’t undermined their craft. They may make previous tried and tested approaches null and void (just ask Dovi), however, they’ve presented opportunities to seek out new approaches. To hone or adapt their craft. I don’t think I’ve ever seen podium finishers more ‘wrecked’ from their endeavours as they’ve lifted their trophies. I certainly haven’t previously witnessed the almost gravity defying body shift and lean angles that are being adopted by more and more riders. I can’t, with all good grace, agree that these devices diminish their craft.

Give a racer more downforce and he’ll find ways to maximise it to the nth degree and beyond. The performance ‘envelope’ shifts as does the racers craft, if he can adapt.

Perhaps the Yamaha and its riders are a prime example of this?

In your 'good old days' it would be two Honda, two Yamaha + the leftovers. Now it's Yam, Duke, Aprilia, KTM - all in the top 6.

That feels like progression to me.

I'll agree on some of your 'pointless technology' angle though - winglets and ride height don't improve road bikes. However, tyres and electronics do, so not all the tech is pointless.

As it's clear, Ducati's innovations aren't a mere "crazy engineer delusion", but the answer to problems to be solved, by engineers.

It's easy to say that wings and electronics should be banned from the sport, when it's up to riders to risk their lives with 270+HP bikes.

This is a motorsport and one where riders are very exposed in terms of safety. Having rider aids won't make them less of a rider when compared with old times champions. Times change and the competition also changes.

There are now street bikes with electronic packages to improve safety or controlling riding modes; some bikes even have wings or aero add-ons can be bought and added. All these competition born features end up benefiting the street rider, as it always happened in old times, just the level of technique is different nowadays.

Based on this I just say bring it on.

The argument of lack of overpass is valid, but while some riders say electronics, aerodynamics and ride-height devices should be banned (curiously, when their brand is not doing a good job and has an accumulation of data from years where none of these tech gadgets existed, which is not almost worthless), others say it's the level of riders and bikes that make overpassing uneasy and I believe there's a point, when we see riders separated by millisecond or hundreds of seconds.

This is the (high) level of our sport, for both men and their machines and I'm happy to be witnessing it.


To some degree I do think the electronics can make the bike safer especially when it comes to consistency over a race distance. Tyre wear, rider wear, if the electronics can help a rider manage the bike then it I think it would eliminate some crashes. However, anything which makes the bike go faster is at best somewhere near a zero sum game for safety. I remember one rider talking about the now defunct approach to T3 at Spielberg. With the wings it was much safer, more stability under braking. However, at the same time they were arriving at the turn faster and braking later with more lean angle. So the suggestion was less risk of a spill but maybe simplified also means more risk involved if you do spill. Difficult to quantify 'safer'. Less spills equals less injuries but higher speed spills means more risk of injury. At the most basic level it really is simple, the faster you are travelling when you hit whatever you hit, the greater the chance of breaking something. It is possible to obfuscate the issue with the complexity of a flying rider, with injuries that have happened at slow speeds, with Moto3 or Moto2 which are slower and also suffer tragedy, with romance. In many ways I think it's bit of a demented discussion, 330kph is too fast !...and 300kph is much safer ???? Like trying to decide if it's better to jump from the 20th floor window or the 25th. As mad as it sounds, on average, yes, the 20th.

The issue is not about overtaking. That's just a consequence of the current systems, and it's a side effect Dorna are interested in eliminating. The issue is much broader. 

Manufacturers could build systems that control the throttle for the rider. They could create transmissions that shift for the rider, and brake for the rider, and probably steer for the rider. Why don't these systems exist? Because the point of motorsport is not to see who can build the best robot motorcycle. The point is for the manufacturers to build something that allows riders to go faster than they've ever gone before by leveraging their own skill, not fixing the rider's limitations or correcting his deficiencies. 

Slowly but surely over the years, the manufacturers are putting systems on prototype racing vehicles because they are tired of acknowledging the human being as the limiting factor. They want to make connecting rods and pistons that are so light that humans can't control them. They raise engine speeds so high that the rider can't let off the throttle. They want to make engines so powerful that humans can't control them. They want vehicle setup to be dictated by the attributes of the active suspension, rather than the rider's or driver's preferences. Eventually, the manufacturers gain control over the on track events. 

As you point out, the riders are taking the risk. Shouldn't they be entitled to a large share of the spoils? If the manufacturers control the sport, the riders are taking risks for which the rewards are substantially less. If they are in control, they get to earn the big bucks. 

Production bikes have electronic systems because most amateur riders are in desperate need of babysitting because they have far more performance than they can handle. Superbike racing may also require some degree of electronics because the manufacturers are developing around the constraints of the production market. The only way for a 220hp inline 4 with even firing order to compete against a Panigale V4 is with some manner of ignition control or dynamic throttle control. MotoGP is a blank slate. Why do they need this sort of system? 

For the life of me I don't understand why the 800 era is so reviled. The future holds a new smaller displacement limit otherwise we risk losing the marginal tracks. Frankly they should replace MotoGP with a prototype 750 triple or something (there you go, 250 single moto3, 500 twin moto2, etc). We could get years of evoloution before speeds become a problem again.

Back when MotoGP was a Yamaha and Honda show, Yamaha clearly (and to this day) decided not to get into an expensive HP race with Honda. I don't believe it was Honda's restraint, but Yamaha's which kept development and costs sane. This gentlemen's agreement was torched by Ducati. Clearly it was a soft underbelly to be exploited, but it is not innovative to do what everyone else could have done but chose not to.

It's reviled mostly by Rossi fans, because Stoner.... Casey won the first and last 800 titles and quite a few races in between during the five years of the 800s. Casey Stoner is why the 800s were so terrible, lol

I wouldn't say that. It's reviled because the bikes were more full throttle than before, the grids were small, races were being decided on who managed fuel better. At least that's what is often said. I do wonder if it just had bad timing with the small grids and then missed out on other rules changes which have come since bringing the bikes closer together. What confuses me is that if they were so bad, why are many of the battles often cited as classics ? Maybe that was just good timing. I do think it's not such a great idea to have more manageable levels of torque. The good thing about the 1000s is that it is not so difficult to have more than enough. As Gigi points out, the Ducati power in recent years is more to do with better using what they had rather than simply having more. That's one change I don't like these days, now everybody is using what they have so well that having more becomes a priority, some have, some do money money, just like 800 engines.

In the early years of 800cc competition, the new formula was fairly maligned as being poorly conceived, disruptive, and pointlessly expensive, while also eschewing racecraft for fuel management strategies. But, by the end of the 800cc era, the bikes were quite spectacular to watch, and the GPC had found ways to reduce costs. 

The 800cc era had 5 participating manufacturers or 6 manufacturers, if you want to count Ilmor. The great mystery of MotoGP is why Dorna decided to move back towards 1000cc, rather than reducing the rev ceiling and introducing spec electronics to attract (or re-attract) participants. The 1000cc era has done little, but reintroduce the issue of excessive performance from the 990cc era. It also parked MotoGP and Superbike on roughly the same turf, despite MotoGP complaining bitterly about this in 2002. 

Reducing engine displacement seems inevitable at this point, unless they ban the ride height and aero devices, while finding other measures (increasing reliability requirements? lower octane/density biofuel? fuel flow limit?) to reduce the power output of the engines. If they do choose to alter the engine formula, the most important criteria should be backward compatibility with prior generations of MotoGP equipment. For instance, move back to 800cc and use a rev limit, rather than a bore limit so all of the old 800cc engines are legal. Best case would be moving towards fuel flow limiting, which would make all previous 4-stroke formula legal again. 

Re: technology, parity, economics, the "show", safety...

Lots of arguments, pro and con, from teams and manufacturers. Opinions from pundits and fans. The expected marketing-speak from the promotors (Dorna and the networks), with mostly guarded silence or pablum from the FIM and the GP Commission. Insightful analysis by the most experienced journalists (thank you David). What do the riders think? What would an anonymous survey of riders tell us about optimizing innovation, competitive parity, and their passion for racing? Ask the current field. A separate survey of riders who have left the series in the last, say three to five years.

Watching 2 factories (Honda/Yamaha) duke it out while everyone else fought for scraps wasn't an enduring formula. Ducati's boldness brought another factory into the mix and showed other factories the power of innovation and risk taking. Now we have 6 factories capable of winning races with the most competitive group of riders in the sport's history. With aero and shape shifters. The whiners are delusional. All that's missing is a healthy Marc and the sport will be at its true peak, reviled tech and all.

Maybe Gigi’s computers could model the last few seasons to include a new variable: a healthy Marquez. 

I bet our discussions would be a lot different today. 

Skip if you are allergic to opaque crystal ball readings regarding where from here… you have been warned, read on at your own peril!

What if the reason FQ is staying at Yamaha is that they promised him a V4?

Are you still here? Nothing to see here, carry on.

I've wondered the same thing a few times. It's possible, but Yamaha could be hesitant to sever the marketing ties between the M1 and the R1. Rossi supposedly wanted Yamaha to move to a V4, but Yamaha refused. The 1000cc formula is getting a bit long in the tooth. Is this really the best time to build an all-new engine? Yamaha V4 is possible, but not probable, imo.

Nah, not having it. Could be wrong though. The last time a V4 Yamaha was talked about was the dark days of 2018. Many people were writing about MotoGP being a V4 game. Easy to see why, 2017 and 2018 were all about Dovi and Marc riding V4s. Yamaha had started 2017 very well but fell away very badly. One win only in 2018, results up and down and a public apology from a Japanese company. Shock and horror. How to dig themselves out of the hole, yes V4 was mentioned. The very next season things started to improve 'despite' the inline, Mav had good one lap speed, good late race speed (bad first lap), Fabio arrived giving Marc a battle on occasion and added front rows and poles of his own. 2020 a new rear tyre arrived. 2020 inline win, 3 wins for Fabio, 3 wins for Franco, one each for Mav, Rins and Mir...9 wins out of 14. 2021 inline champion but only 6 inline wins out of 18. 2022 looking similar. I do find it a bit weird when Fabio talks about giving it his all as if everybody else isn't doing exactly the same. He's winning on the Yamaha not despite it. Why throw it up in the air ?

Yes, Yamaha makes/has made lots of V-4s (the marine engines included) and the F-1 engines were a V configuration as well. I like the idea posted elsewhere, not sure in this thread or not, of capacity limits ... 250 singles for Moto 3, 500 twins for Moto 2, and 750 (triples? Fours?) for Moto GP. That'd shake everything up in the larger classes, and why not? At the same time we could lose the wings and "shapeshifters" ... :) ... yes, personal preference happening here.

It would be a very different animal. It's not that Yamaha can't make a V or haven't ever made a V. It's that the M1, as is, as has been, as has brought it a lot of success, is an inline with inline characteristics. If Fabio is looking at winning a lot of silver in his prime, why would he stay with Yamaha as it embarks on such a change ? Jump to a more developed V4 bike. Jump back to Yamaha later. Currently he has the value to be able to do that. That's what I think but as said, very good chance of being wrong as usual.

Tangential? Yes. Related? Also yes.

I just became genuinely excited about the new Ducati MotoE bike and next yr's racing. And I have been all out trashing everything to do w MotoE. How? Why?

This likely got skipped by many readers, but I just listened to the PPPodcast linked below intently, rewinding repeatedly along the way to catch the most compelling parts. JB has WAY more great info to share than his "California dude" accent implies. David Emmett may be difficult to understand at times via his particular processing/articulation style, but it is WORTH IT. Be patient and sharp of ears. This deep DEEP dive into what Electric Red Sun is rising on our horizon? So well worth it. Literally pivoted me 180 degrees like *poof*

What is very interesting about the Ducati MotoE bike, is the freedom designers have in shaping the biggest and heaviest lump. Sure, by shaping it somewhat similar to the lump it is replacing, they are in familiar territory. But they will come up with ideas to alter the shape in order to enhance the characteristics of the bike. Really cool. And it will make the bike easier to ride, which will be beneficial as battery technology evolves.