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Old 02-02-2016, 01:41 AM   #1
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Why is Ducati's Dall'Igna letting Stoner ride on Tuesday?

Photo by R. Marrodan

Ducati MotoGP boss Gigi Dall'Igna might be criticized by some for letting test rider Casey Stoner ride among the regular MotoGP riders on Tuesday at Sepang, but the clever Italian has a motive behind his move

There is a discussion going on about the convenience or sense of Ducati’s top engineer decision of introducing the Stoner factor in their preseason schedule. The two-time MotoGP World Champion was supposed to ride only before the official MotoGP Sepang test. But after Stoner’s first day in Sepang, plans were changed: he was saved to ride during second day of the three-day test.

Why? What for? The answer of the top management is simple: “Why not? He is a collaborator exactly as Michelle Pirro, and the same way he has ridden today alongside the regular MotoGP, so will Stoner”.

Clear and simple, but it escapes no one that behind the official version there is something more. Which is this: Dall’Igna is apparently convinced that his two regular riders, Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso, aren’t capable of getting the maximum out of his bike. Introducing Stoner into the scenario sends a clear message.

And so far Dall’Igna has showed he is walking the walk. Casey Stoner’s best lap on Saturday would have put him sixth in today’s classification, in front of certain guy named Marc Marquez. The Australian would have finished far in front of Dovizioso and very close to Iannone. Don’t forget that Stoner retired from MotoGP three years ago, and hadn’t ridden a Ducati for six years. Tomorrow looks like is going to be very interesting, doesn’t it?

Stoner’s amazing performance has another meaning that is probably more important for the Italian engineer than the “speed incentive” applied to his riders. And it is no basically a demonstration or the proof that the Ducati is a competitive bike as the Honda or the Yamaha.

Remember that this year all major riders finish their contracts and Dall’Igna dreams with having one of the top three riders on his Desmosedici, especially Lorenzo. But he only has a chance if Lorenzo or any of the other riders believe in the competitiveness of the Ducati. If Stoner is capable to be as fast as he is supposed to be after such a long time off, the message is simple: “Imagine what you could do on it.”

All this might sound kind of weird, but In MotoGP nothing is simple. In the pinnacle of racing, much happens behind the stage and things most of the times aren’t exactly as they look. In any case, tomorrow we will have a solution to this story full of light, dark and grays. It will be a very, very exiting day for sure.

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