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Ducati Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti explains 'big plan' after Lorenzo signing

Lorenzo wasn't part of the 'big plan' until an Australian refused to come out of retirement

DUCATI’S Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti has said that Jorge Lorenzo’s move to the Italian manufacturer is only one part of a much larger plan, but the Spaniard was not the first rider the Italian team had in mind.

Yesterday it was confirmed that three-time world champion Lorenzo would part company with Movistar Yamaha at the end of the 2016 season to join the Factory Ducati team after the Italian manufacturer failed to convince Casey Stoner to return full-time.

With the reigning champion on-board, Ciabatti now believes that Ducati could win a world title once again. However, Ciabatti made it clear in an interview with bikesportnews that it was actually Australia's Stoner who was the person they desired, but the double world champion was unwilling to come out of retirement.  

Ciabatti said: ‘This was the first step of a bigger plan that Ducati shared with the Audi Group. The technical and financial support of the Audi Group has been crucial to develop this project.

‘It all started in 2013. The first move was to convince Gigi Dall’Igna to join Ducati, the second was to build a complete new bike and finally to hire a world champion. Looking at the past six years, the riders who have won a world title in MotoGP are Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez and Casey Stoner. Considered that Stoner is already with us but doesn’t want to come back racing full time, the options were only two.’

On the Lorenzo-Ducati partnership, Ciabatti said: ‘We are really satisfied to have reached this agreement. It was not difficult to convince Jorge because since the beginning there was from both sides the desire to find an agreement.

‘In addition, Ducati proved to be very competitive already last year and especially at Sepang in the winter test. Of course the motivations that pushed Lorenzo to join us are several, starting from the thrill of a complete new challenge with a company that succeeded to come out from a very difficult situation under the guidance of Gigi Dall’Igna.’

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