Preseason testing for the 19-round 2019 MotoGP world championship begins February 6 at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. Ducati is the first of six European and Japanese manufacturers—Aprilia, Honda, KTM, Suzuki, and Yamaha being the others—competing in the series to reveal its latest machine, the Desmosedici GP19.

Friday's presentation took place in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, at the Philip Morris International Cube, a massive glass structure described by Miroslaw Zielinski, PMI president, science and innovation, as "the home of our research and development department." Ducati's MotoGP program is funded in large part by the tobacco giant.

Andrea Dovizioso
“Expectations are high,” Andrea Dovizioso said of the season ahead. “I have a great feeling with both the bike and my crew, and we can count on more experience.”Courtesy of Ducati

Watch: 2019 Ducati MotoGP Factory Racer Andrea Dovizioso Interview

Ducati Desmosedici
Philip Morris International title sponsorship is complemented by main sponsor Audi Sport, a dozen official partners, and 15 technical sponsors.Courtesy of Ducati

“Mission Winnow Ducati” is the official name of the two-rider factory team. “Winnowing in the traditional sense,” Zielinski explained, “is separating wheat from chaff, separating good from bad, desired from undesirable. It is practiced every day in this building.” PMI is transitioning from traditional tobacco products to so-called E-cigarettes. The company is calling for a "smoke-free future."

“We are very much inspired by Ducati Corse, by our many years of collaboration and partnership. Today we are opening the new era of Mission Winnow and Ducati being together.” Ferrari Formula 1 is likewise part of the Mission Winnow initiative. That partnership was announced this past October.

Ducati Desmosedici
Vendor-wise, the GP19 is similar to the previous season’s machine, with Akrapovič exhaust, Brembo brakes, D.I.D chain, Öhlins suspension, and Marchesini wheels.Courtesy of Ducati
Ducati Desmosedici
To date, Ducati has 46 Grand Prix victories, 38 second places, and 50 thirds, with 43 pole positions, 48 fastest laps, and one world title.Courtesy of Ducati
Ducati Desmosedici top view
Ducati Corse General Manager Gigi Dall’Igna leads the 2019 Mission Winnow Ducati team with 18 staffers dedicated specifically to riders Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci.Courtesy of Ducati

PMI and MotoGP commercial rights-holder Dorna launched a smoke-free-paddock initiative this past November in Valencia, Spain. “Working together with Dorna, we can accelerate positive change for the millions of MotoGP fans who smoke,” PMI Global Event Partnerships VP Riccardo Parino said at the season finale.

Ducati Motor Holding CEO Claudio Domenicali also spoke. “The MotoGP project is crucial for us to produce models that are [higher] performing, exciting, and safe to ride for all our passionate fans,” he said. “Looking back at the results achieved in 2018 on track, we can be proud because our Desmosedici GP proved to be one of the most competitive bikes.

Danilo Petrucci
“I know where I can still improve,” new factory rider Petrucci admitted. “I changed my conditioning program to make sure I'll be in my best shape ever come the first race.”Courtesy of Ducati

WATCH: 2019 Ducati MotoGP Factory Racer Danilo Petrucci Interview

“We want to make another, decisive step forward. I want to take this occasion to thank all the partners that are supporting us in this new challenge in MotoGP—including Audi Sport, which starting from this season will be main sponsor—and the whole Mission Winnow Ducati team for an unforgettable season.”

Ducati Desmosedici
Better mousetrap? “We must improve more than what we have done in recent years,” Dall’Igna said, “bringing new ideas and evolutions to cover all the possible areas.”Courtesy of Ducati

Ducati factory riders Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci were tasked with unveiling the factory machine in the latest colors before a large group of international guests, partners, and media. Aprilia, Honda, KTM, Suzuki, and Yamaha are scheduled to reveal their 2019 MotoGP machines in the coming days.