August 3, 2021

MotoGP, it’s a great Ducati: Paolo Beltramo’s mid-season report cards

The technical work has so far produced excellent progress between Factory and Pramac. And everything is destined to improve if we consider the investment in young people and counting on a little less bad luck. In short, it is a Ducati that deserves high marks. And this is only the first quarter. MotoGP returns on 8 August with the Styrian GP: all live on Sky Sport MotoGP (channel 208)

Ducati I consider it as a team of 4 drivers + 2 external drivers which we will talk about later. Team Factory e Team Pramac they are on the same level, at least in terms of results. If we exclude Jorge Martin who is a rookie and got hurt, I would say that Zarco, Miller and Bagnaia are a three-pronged attack. Which perhaps for the moment is missing the absolute champion, but which are of the highest level anyway and you can play podiums and victory at every race. The bike is very good, probably sometimes better than the Yamaha, competitive in general and ridden well by all three. The only one to have won 2 races, however, was Jack Miller which in the ranking is the furthest from Quartararo. The Australian, apart from bad luck and forced stops (the last race in Assen), has shown that he has grown, but still not enough to win the title. Ducati did well to renew his contract for 2022 as well, thus giving him confidence, peace of mind and the time to grow definitively since there have been many progresses, but not yet to make him a first top striker. So far, at least. If after the break things change – what is possible – we will see. For now, however, the fifth place at -56 from the leader says it all.

The best Ducati rider in the standings is Johan Zarco 34 points behind compatriot Quartararo, a French dominance that is unprecedented in the history of the highest category of motorcycles. The Pramac team rider has had a very good championship so far with only one “0” and 4 second places. The gap is quite remarkable, but considering how much is missing at the end (at least seven / eight races, if not 10) and that these are circuits that are quite favorable to Ducati (especially the one-two in Austria) it could also become the surprise of this World Championship. As long as you start to win and get behind “El Diablo” often. He will then have to contend with his equally motivated and fast brand mates and this could favor Quartararo, now Yamaha’s only forward. Here too, we’ll see. Having more than one winning driver is a good situation, but when they start taking points off each other as normal, it could become a problem. But maybe the races themselves will make that selection and elect the Ducati on which to bet.

That could be that of Pecco Bagnaia, third in the standings, 3 podiums, a very good start to the championship, then the zero at Mugello and races in between. Difficult qualifying, equally tough starts kept him away from the podium, but Pecco has the qualities to become Ducati’s top rider. He has to stay focused, calm and believe in himself because when he gets going it’s hard to stop him, as demonstrated by his ride in Moto2 when he won the title. Pecco is also by far the Italian placed better in the standings considering the difficulties of Rossi, Petrucci and Morbidelli and the fact of being the rookies of Bastianini and Marini. In short: go Pecco! Make us dream!

As for Ducati, that after Dovizioso it could have been a bit complicated, it was predictable, but the technical work has produced excellent progress, while the investment in young people necessarily needs some time. And less bad luck, given how Martin was doing before the injury. In short, one Ducati from 9 with a group of pilots to 8. But this is only the first quarter