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.”