With the 2018 MotoGP season right around the corner, factories are getting ready to unveil their racers and start winning races. First on that list is Ducati. On January 15th, the big red factory in Borgo, Panigale revealed its GP18, which will contest the world title this year. But did the latest Ducati machine live up to the hype?
Ducati Launches the GP18 and Riders!
Andrea Dovizioso stole the show last season, battling Marc Marquez to the very last race of the season only to crash. It was an eye-opener for motorcycle racing and the Ducati factory. The manufacturer cleared its coffers last year to sign five-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo to be Dovi’s teammate. But with no wins in the 2017 season, Jorge is looking like a bad investment. Claudio Domenicali has already told the press that Jorge will not receive a €12 million contract when his current contract expires at the end of the 2018 season. To retain both riders, Ducati will probably have to pay Dovi more and Lorenzo less, and many wonder if this will be enough to keep either rider from leaving.
Despite this rider drama, somehow the GP18 still managed to outshine Lorenzo and Dovizioso. The livery has changed from red and white to red and gray, while sporting some of the most exotic features ever seen in a GP bike. Ducati’s signature hammerhead arrow dynamics package has returned in this latest, sleek iteration. With front spoilers integrated into the bodywork, as per MotoGP rules, the bike actually appears thinner than last year’s bike. It also has a dual staggered exhaust that releases on the rider’s right side next to the swing arm and under the tail section.
Though radical new designs are starting to become Ducati’s MotoGP hallmark, this latest bike is only the beginning. After testing at Sepang—scheduled for January 28-30—more changes could strike the GP18 before its race premiere at Qatar. What do you think might change on the new bike between now and then? Do you think Dovi will battle it out for the title in 2018, or will Jorge show up? It’s all shaping up to be an exciting racing season, and the attorneys who ride at Metier Law Firm will be there with you, right at the edge of our seats.