In the Qatar MotoGP, Fabio Di Giannantonio grabbed attention with a puzzling ‘Mapping 8’ message on his dashboard.
The term, linked to Ducati’s 2017 team orders, sparked speculation about Di Giannantonio obeying instructions or hindering rivals. But the reality was less dramatic.
Catching everyone off guard, Gresini, not Ducati, sent the ‘Mapping 8’ signal. Di Giannantonio explained it as a planned message, urging him to attack by signaling five laps left.
“We planned the race strictly,” Di Giannantonio smiled, “and when you see this [Mapping 8] message, you need to go.” It was part of their strategy for a well-timed surge.
Di Giannantonio’s crew chief, Frankie Carchedi, clarified the message was routine, just informing about laps left. “It wasn’t anything special. I think people have got the wrong idea,” said Carchedi.
Ducati’s Paolo Ciabatti admitted being surprised, saying, “I didn’t know. And I don’t know actually how it came out.” He emphasized Ducati never wants a faster rider to give up a chance to win.
Despite losing points, Bagnaia maintains a solid 21-point lead over Martin. Ducati’s dominance is secure in the riders’ world championship, with Bezzecchi in third.
In a race of surprises, the ‘Mapping 8’ twist adds humor, revealing the quirks of team communication in the intense world of motorcycle racing.