It was rumour for a while but this week Ducati Corse confirmed that Pramac were being promoted from a satellite to a junior team to help with development and will be structured to run in a very similar way to the factory red bikes, having factory Desmosedicis to use. The riders announced for the team are Ben Spies, who moves from the Yamaha factory team, and Moto2’s Andrea Iannone.
Since Audi became owners of Ducati much was made of the development plans they had in the pipeline, and tried to woo Valentino Rossi to stay at the Italian bike manufacturer with promises of change. This development promise is further promoted by not only giving Iannone and Spies factory bikes and support,but also making their contracts directly with Ducati and not Pramac.
It will be Spies’ third team in four years since becoming a full time MotoGP rider after stints at satellite Yamaha team Tech3, then moving up to the factory Yamaha outfit, while Italian Andrea ‘Crazy Joe’ Iannone currently sits in fourth in the Moto2 championship for the Speed Master team and has previously tested a Ducati Desmosedici twice before.
Here’s the Ducati press release in full:
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.
Image via @ianwheeler ‘s twitter feed. Copyright to him for his photo, dorna, ducati, pramac and all related parties.