Many couldn’t believe their eyes when a ‘Mapping 8’ dashboard message flashed up for Fabio di Giannantonio in the closing stages of the Qatar MotoGP.
The phrase “Mapping 8” has a controversial history in motorcycle racing, as it previously meant an instruction for a Ducati rider to follow team orders. This instruction was given to Jorge Lorenzo in 2017 when his teammate Andrea Dovizioso was competing for the title against Marc Marquez. However, during the recent race in Qatar, it seems that Gresini, without Ducati’s knowledge, used the “Mapping 8” message to inform Fabio di Giannantonio to attack because there were only 5 laps left. Ducati denies enforcing any team orders and claims that they would have chosen a different message if they had intended to do so. Di Giannantonio joked that the message was meant to confuse him, but it served as the signal for him to make a move and eventually win the race. Ducati’s sporting director confirmed that they did not know about the message and reiterated their stance against forcing a faster rider to give up a chance to win. While Bagnaia lost some points due to being overtaken by di Giannantonio, he still holds a significant lead in the championship standings. Ducati is guaranteed to secure the top three positions in the championship. The scenes after the race showed everyone celebrating di Giannantonio’s first victory.