Avintia To Continue With Ducati For 2018 MotoGP Season

The jockeying for manufacturers among satellite teams has begun. First out of the gate is the Reale Avintia Racing team, who have renewed their contract for another year with Ducati. Ducati will supply two Desmosedici GP17s to the team for the 2018 season.

The question of who will follow is still open. The Tech 3 team is firmly tied in with Yamaha, and the Marc VDS team has a strong commitment from Honda, though the results they have booked with the RC213V have not been as expected. The LCR Honda team were rumored to be interested in Suzukis last year, but the role Cal Crutchlow has played with Honda makes it more attractive to stay with Honda.

The Pull&Bear Aspar team could also make a switch from Ducati. Paddock gossip suggests contact between Aspar and Suzuki, but there are also suggestions Aspar could seek to renew ties with Aprilia, who they have a long history with in the 250 and 125 classes.

The press release announcing the Avintia contract renewal appears below:

Reale Avintia Racing and Ducati renew their contract for 2018

Reale Avintia Racing are pleased to announce the renewal of their contract with Ducati Corse to race the bikes from Borgo Panigale in the 2018 MotoGP World Championship. The contract has been signed this weekend at the Circuit of the Americas and the team will have two sets of Ducati Desmosedici GP 2017 bikes next season.

The team started to work with the Italian manufacturer in the last races of 2014 and since then, the team has been getting stronger every season and has established a close relationship with the factory. This early renewal of the contract is another step forward with Ducati and a clear signal of mutual confidence.

Raúl Romero | (CEO Esponsorama)

“I’m extremely happy to announce that we will be racing with Ducati next season. We are like a family and we are fully integrated in their MotoGP project. We had some more options for next season, but the confidence showed by Paolo Ciabatti and Gigi Dall’Igna over these years made the decision easy to sign so early in the season. We feel an incredible support from the factory and the guaranty to have this year’s factory bikes for next season is really important for the team. Now it will be easy to find more sponsorship and to keep growing.”

Paolo Ciabatti | (Ducati Corse Sporting Director)

“We are really happy and satisfied to be able to continue our relationship with Reale Avintia Racing in 2018. It is a team that started to work with us at the end of 2014 and since then they have never stopped growing together with Ducati. We believe that the team will have a great opportunity to do a fantastic job again next season, as they are doing now and as they did in the last years working with us.”


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The price of the Ducati relative to the performance of the bike makes it attractive. It is not to be taken lightly leaving Honda during the Dark Age, even though Marc VDS is paying a pretty penny to scoot around so far back. The bike will come around.

The Suzuki package is looking increasingly good. It helps that the bike is so rideable. There is something to be said for being a full Satellite Team as opposed to a 3rd tier customer. And Gresini has just done something very unusual no? Interesting!

Gone are our KR/WCM/Etc outfits unfortunately. No Illmores on the horizon either. But thankfully gone are also are the CRTs. Here we are now w Aspar, Marc VDS and LCR holding grid spots. Gresini had much to offer Aprilia. Aspar has a relationship w Aprilia and that is pretty compelling. The bike is coming along, Aspar Aprilia has a fit to it.

But the Suzuki - and giving up on a cherished (even in our 3-4yr dark age) Honda? Something has to "fit." LCR has always been Honda, and with success. But LCR has something to offer Suzuki. One is the qualitatively different and effective sponsorship partnering strategy. Suzuki needs it. Marc VDS has a rider pipeline through lower classes, something Suzuki very much needs.

At some point the scales will tip away from being a Honda customer and towards the Satellite Team. I won't miss the fifth/sixth bikes a bit and look fwd to these Suzuki and Aprilia Satellites. Especially for the synergistic gains via all the data and development et al plus the aforementioned. Aspar must be licking their chops to get into their next venture. The other two? Not so easily eager. But I am!

More importantly and immediate, tomorrow we have an all out gloves off knock down drag out battle amongst our two great gladiators. And the old overdog is poised to "Hayden 2006" these two out of a championship in turnabout if there is injury, falls or mechanicals.

It is a treat to see! (Similarly with this Satellite Team developing story).