Rossi's Departure Leaves Budget Hole At Ducati?
by staff
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Valentino Rossi's exodus to Yamaha left Ducati with more than an open seat - filled by Andrea Dovizioso - last fall. It also left a reported budget gap of nearly 7 million euros yet to be filled.

Insurance company Generali, utility company Enel and clothing company Diesel all left Ducati after Rossi departed. So did AMG Mercedes, but that was due to the purchase of Ducati by rival German automaker Audi, not Rossi's exit.

Ducati "junior" team Pramac also lost lubricant sponsor eni since the Ducati factory team has Shell as a lubricant sponsor. Pramac's deal with eni - formerly Agip - was a sacrificial lamb for a tighter technical relationship with the factory team.

There's no question Ducati's rider wage bill is much lower with Rossi's departure, probably more than covering the 7 million euro shortfall. But Pramac riders Ben Spies and Andrea "Crazy Joe" Iannone are under contract with the factory, too, and are receiving factory-spec GP13 bikes this season.

Pramac is chipping away at the budget gap by landing separate sponsors for the machines of Spies and Iannone in 2013. Ignite, an asset management firm from New York, is the most visible sponsor on the fairing of Spies' GP13. Italian energy company Energy T.I. occupies the biggest fairing spot on Iannone's bike.


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