Ducati Could Be Interested In Pedrosa

Earlier today, when we reported on Jorge Lorenzo's decision to stay with Yamaha, we speculated on whether Ducati would now turn its attention to Dani Pedrosa, as a backup plan for an ailing Casey Stoner. The idea was hardly rocket science, as the play Ducati made for Lorenzo was an obvious statement of intent, and the only other top rider available to the factory Ducati squad is Dani Pedrosa.

So obvious was the idea that Mela Chercoles, one of Spain's most senior MotoGP journalists writing for AS.com, asked Ducati team boss Livio Suppo just that: Did Lorenzo's refusal mean that Ducati could make an approach to Dani Pedrosa. Suppo's answer was brief, but pretty revealing: "Impossible is nothing. But everything is difficult." Clearly, Ducati are interested in signing Pedrosa, the question is, would they chase the Spaniard as hard as they had Lorenzo, given that Pedrosa is more like Casey Stoner than Lorenzo: His talent is unquestionable, but his marketability is much more difficult.

Until Pedrosa finally signs a new deal - whether that be a formalization of the "basic accord" that HRC boss Tetsuo Suzuki announced at Brno, or he makes a shocking switch to Ducati - the Spanish media will surely be full of speculation. After all, with Lorenzo signed to Yamaha for another year, they once again have thousands of empty column inches to fill

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I really think that Stoner's lack of interest to do PRs for the sponsors is not the main problem: they were ok with it as long as he was winning or looked competitive to the outside world (meaning still carrying the winner banner for the Brand).
They clearly know something we don't about the exact situation with Casey and this tragic looking quest for signing someone, anyone, looks quite pitiful indeed...

... the look on Tetsuo Suzuki's face if Pedrosa signed with Ducati?! This would be the ultimate embarrassment for the head of HRC.

HRC should be in a mad rush to get that team shirt on Puig's back.

And speaking of embarrassment, what a mess Ducati will make of their team if they make another fat offer to a rider that turns them down? I don't know if Stoner would be steaming mad or laughing, maybe both.

We, the great unwashed, never see what's really going on, especially in these days of political correctness and media PR types, so we can only speculate, but........
I'm just wondering how Nicky is taking all this nonsense? It seems to me that if Ducati don't have Stoner to look after, they should be treating Nicky as their number one rider and showing him they're throwing everything behind him now, instead of essentially going after Lorenzo to the deferment of any other effort within the existing structure. Now the indications are Pedrosa may still be in the frame. It's almost as if they're writing off this whole year before the season's over, now that Casey has, for whatever reason, decided to take three races off.
Stoner may well be accused of making that decision before informing his employer or not discussing it with them, but I have no doubt that the decision must be extremely painful for him, and made not only with his own safety in mind but that of the rest of the blokes at the sharp end with whom he has to be rubbing fairings at ridiculous speeds.
We seem to have this romantic view of Ducati, little factory against the might of Japan sort of thing, but at the end of the day, some of their (business) decisions and practises don't really show them in the best light. Nicky is their best asset right now, and they'd be very remiss in not showing him that, and giving him as much as he gives them back.

Lot's of questions come to mind.

How hard will Casey be riding IF he returns next year, knowing they offered Lorenzo his salary times 2...3...4?

Would Ducati have a "NO PUIG ALLOWED" clause in Dani's contract?

There have been rumblings of the "return to the 990's". Would this change the Value of a steer from the rear rider like Nicky? Could he re-gain the 20lbs he had to lose since we entered the age of the "micro-nauts"? (It ain't like he was flabby. That was all muscle mass that had to go.)

"Don't worry, I brought up the white wine with the fish"

Terry Southern, on being chastised by a society hostess for being sick after drinking

Where did you get that 20 pound statistic?

I've been wondering about that, myself, but didn't think it was that much.  He's not 30 years old yet, he can get it back... ;-)

I'm just speculating by some spooky lookin photo's I've seen. It's probably closer to 10 or 15.

He is obviously underweight tho.
"Don't worry, I brought up the white wine with the fish"

Terry Southern, on being chastised by a society hostess for being sick after drinking

Where's the loyalty in this sport? It seems like the days of associating a single rider to a single brand are about dead as soon as Rossi departs MotoGP. A down season (especially after giving you the championship you never got before) and barely 2 years into a deal seems like a really short leash. Sure there's a need for Stoner to step it up on the PR side (especially if he's not winning races), but to turn to the rider market as leverage (and probably vice-versa for riders) just makes me feel like this is nothing but a free agent's game at this point.

If we think of the GP races as an expensive R&D exercise, doesn't stability of all things you can control make the most sense? In other words, were you in a lab and working on a particular project, wouldn't you want to limit the variables in order to control the development? Constantly switching riders (especially when you know very few can control the Ducati) seems inefficient at best and downright disloyal at its worst. This reminds me of Ducati's treatment of both Bayliss and Capirossi, both of whom weren't exactly treated nicely by the factory at points in their career.

Definitely agree on Hayden (barryg). Especially from here in the U.S. Ducati have taken full advantage of Hayden's being on the bike (despite poor results) with a special edition 1098, all sorts of promo material and a lot of U.S. appearances. Hayden may not have the results yet, but he's certainly being a team player.

When talking about loyalty a couple of questions come to mind . Were riders really more loyal in the past? Or was it rather, that one factory's dominance attracted the best riders and that is where they stayed. I think of Doohan for example that seemed to stick with Honda mostly because it was the winningest bike and team. Schwantz might be an exception but most other seem to stay with the bike they knew they could win on, not daring to take risks. Or the rider didn't have the talent to be in demand by more than one team.

The other question is whether riders and teams were actually more loyal in the past. I look at Barros and Biaggi, Rossi, Hopkins, etc.

Perhaps it's wishful thinking, but for some reason, I just think Nicky might provide Ducati with something to make them appreciate him a little more this weekend. His slow, but steady progress with the bike and a race in his "backyard", might just get him back on the podium again this year.

I'm definitely rooting for him all the way; last year he gave it 110% and really laid it all out on the line; it hurt watching Rossi catch up to him seemingly effortlessly, heh. Hopefully Indy will be flooded with fans rooting for Hayden/Edwards (unlike Laguna Seca, where half the stands were wearing yellow... I can understand the travelling italians and other assorted europeans being rossi fans, but if you're american, come on, root for an american rider! You used to have 3 to cheer for! Otherwise you're just a golddigger who only supports the best, like Real Madrid fans a couple years ago).

Hayden, Pedrosa and Puig sharing a garage again? Probably not. Hayden's option has to be renewed this weekend or he's a free agent. I'm sure he'll tell Ducati he ain't signing if they plan on signing Dani boy. Yamaha could still fit Hayden on Toseland's ride, no problem.