Ducati Corse today confirmed that for the 2013 MotoGP season, Ben Spies and Andrea Iannone will ride for the Ducati junior team to be run by Pramac. Both Spies and Iannone will have factory Desmosedicis at their disposal, and the team will be kept very close to the factory team. The Pramac structure will be put in place to run the team, being promoted from satellite team to a junior factory team, with ties much closer than in the current situation.
The idea, as explained to MotoMatters.com at Mugello by Ducati boss Alessandro Cicognani, is to use the Ducati junior team to help develop the Desmosedici, and provide more input into the development process. By signing two riders who have already proven themselves to be fast, Ducati hope to accelerate the development of the bike, aiided in no small part by their new owners, Audi. The fact that both Spies and Iannone have been signed with Ducati rather than Pramac signals the intention behind the team.
Below is the press release from Ducati announcing the signing of Spies and Iannone:
Ducati announces agreement with Ben Spies and Andrea Iannone for 2013 MotoGP World Championship
Ducati announces that it has signed an agreement with American Ben Spies and Italian Andrea Iannone to compete in the 2013 MotoGP World Championship.
Having already confirmed Nicky Hayden and announced Andrea Dovizioso for the Ducati Team, the Italian manufacturer now reaffirms its confidence in and commitment to the MotoGP World Championship, finalizing its lineup for next season with two riders who are fast and competitive, already protagonists in the MotoGP and Moto2 World Championships.
At the same time, the partnership has been renewed between Ducati and Pramac Racing, which will continue to be entrusted with management of the satellite team. The two riders, who have a direct link with the company, will be supplied with official equipment.
This agreement will enable additional important support in the development of the Desmosedici MotoGP project, offering a further opportunity in the process of improving the performance of the Italian bike.