Ducati Corse presented the first of the 2019 MotoGP bike launches in Neuchatel Switzerland, and sparked controversy before the season of racing even began.
Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso presented a fabulous looking machine, with a primarily red livery completed with sponsors. Most provocative of which, is Mission Winnow. Almost unanimously acknowledged as a vehicle for Phillip Morris (Tobacco magnate most famous for ownership of Marlboro) to continue to sponsor Ducati (as they also do with the Ferrari F1 team), it definitely stretches the boundaries of legality considering tobacco sponsorship is banned in most countries.
One of the stronger, more distinctive features of the bike is the rather chunky rear seat cushion. Most likely it will be dialed back during testing for the riders to tailor to their specific needs and riding styles. Nevertheless the bike presented well and, if looks are to be believed will be a very strong package in 2019.
The remaining (known and confirmed) MotoGP launches to occur are as follows :
- Repsol Honda Team – 23rd January
- Petronas Yamaha SRT – 28th January
- Suzuki Ecstar – 31st January
- Yamaha Factory Racing – 4th February
- Red Bull KTM Factory Racing / Tech3 – 12th February