Andrea Dovizioso is set to become Ducati’s longest-serving grand prix rider with the extension of his factory deal for 2019.
Talks to agree to terms for the new contract were held at the Texas GP, with Ducati having earlier told AMCN retaining Dovi was the factory squad’s priority.
“We have made Dovi a good offer. As always, there are still some points of discussion, but I am confident it will be fixed by the Jerez race,” said Ducati sporting director Paolo Ciabatti.
As for high-profile teammate Jorge Lorenzo, who had a less than impressive showing on the Bologna-built Desmosedici in Austin, Ciabatti said that both parties were willing to wait until the series heads back to European soil in two weeks’ time.
“After Jerez, we will look to understand the situation with Jorge Lorenzo, and he agrees with this time frame,” he said.
Rumours had been rife that Lorenzo was being heavily pursued by the factory Suzuki squad to replace the underperforming Andrea Iannone. The sweet-handling Suzuki would suit Lorenzo’s smooth riding style, but team boss Davide Brivio might want to keep his powder dry after a strong weekend by the controversial Italian culminated in the firm’s second podium of the season.