Gresini Racing unveils its first Ducatis

(left to right) Enea Bastianini, team principal Nadia Padovani, and Fabio Di Giannantonio

Gresini Racing has unveiled the first Ducatis which it will field in MotoGP at its 2022 season launch.

Gresini has reverted to Independent Team status this season after seven years as Aprilia’s factory outfit, and will field Italian youngsters Enea Bastianini and Fabio Di Giannantonio in the premier class.

Now, it is the first team to hold its 2022 launch, revealing a pair of motorcycles in a livery which combines its own colours with Ducati red.

Bastianini has shifted across from Esponsorama Racing, which is no longer in the premier class, while Di Giannantonio will embark on his rookie MotoGP season after finishing seventh in Moto2 last year with Gresini.

Both will saddle up on the GP21-model Desmosedici, the bike which Francesco Bagnaia rode to a runner-up finish in last year’s title race, but will have full support from Ducati.

“Now Gresini is part of the Ducati family so for sure we will help them during the season and during the years they stay with us, from the technical and also the human aspect,” said Ducati Corse general manager Gigi Dall’Igna.

“For sure, Gresini will have full Ducati support. Gresini is really important for us.

“Enea has to continue to grow in MotoGP. He did very well in his rookie season. He was able to reach a couple of podiums.

“I expect for sure he continues on this path and grows with his talent. I think he could be a real protagonist during the season.

“For ‘Digia’, it’s his first season in MotoGP so I think he has to do something like Enea in his first season… No pressure!”

One of Gresini Racing’s Ducatis

Bastianini will continue to use #23 while Di Giannantonio has opted for #49 given the #21 which he had been using is already taken in MotoGP by Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli.

The former bagged two podium finishes last year, both at Misano, despite riding a two-year-old Ducati at the time.

Four teams will run Ducatis in 2022, namely the Ducati Team itself, Pramac Racing, VR46 Racing Team, and Gresini.

Factory team riders Jack Miller and Bagnaia, Pramac duo Jorge Martin and Johann Zarco, and VR46’s Luca Marini will get GP22s, with VR46’s rookie rider Marco Bezzecchi on a GP21.

Gresini Racing is now led by team principal Nadia Padovani, widow of the late Fausto Gresini, who died ahead of the 2021 season after becoming infected with COVID-19.

His passing created uncertainty about the team’s future before Padovani reaffirmed in April that it would press on in 2022.

It has dropped its Moto3 programme but will still compete in Moto2, with Filip Salac and Andrea Zaccone as riders.

Meanwhile, Aprilia has brought its factory effort inhouse, and will continue to field Aleix Espargaro alongside Maverick Viñales, the latter of whom made a sensational mid-season switch from Yamaha in 2021.

Di Giannantonio, and Bezzecchi, are eligible as rookies to ride in the Shakedown Test which takes place at Malaysia’s Sepang from January 31.

The first Official Test of 2022 follows at the same circuit from February 5.

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