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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-22-2006, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
 
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AMA no more - Official Ducati press release

Thanks to Superbikeplanet.com




Bombshell: Ducati Pulls Out Of AMA Superbike

by dean adams
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Ducati Corse managing director Paolo Ciabatti announced on Saturday night at Virginia International Raceway that Ducati would not be fielding a Superbike team in the US in 2007. This did not come as a complete surprise, as most paddock insiders were aware that the US team has had its head on the chopping block for several months.

"... we find it hard to be fighting for the win." -- Ducati's Paolo Ciabatti
Ciabatti candidly explained why Ducati would be absent from the US paddock next year. From Ducati's perspective it boils down to the Italian bike being less than competitive because of the AMA technical rules; this season's poor results and the huge expense of racing.

"There are several different reasons, ... the real reasons are of different nature," Ciabatti explained to an audience that had to agree to a three-day embargo on the information before they could make his comments public. "First of all, we see that here, with the current technical rules, even though we've been allowed from Laguna Seca to use the full electronics, including traction control, we have improved our performances, but still, we find it hard to be fighting for the win.

The lackluster results from the 2006 Parts Unlimited Ducati team of Ben Bostrom and Neil Hodgson has not helped matters; they, like everyone else, are almost in a different race than the Yoshimura bikes. "Ducati as a company has always entered factory teams in championships where we can challenge for the championship win," Ciabatti said. "Sometimes we manage, sometimes we don't. But it is a bit frustrating to see that we are just far behind the leading Suzukis. Naturally, they have a very good team, very good bike, very good riders. Still, we see this gap as maybe too big. At least for us to accept. Naturally, we could improve things here, but we still think that there is something wrong with technical rules which is just making it even harder than it could be to try and win."

"Basically, the decision has been to stop for one year and to consider the option for the future."

Ciabatti said that belt-tightening at Ducati also marked the US team for death. "As you know, Ducati is very successful with the sales in America, which is very good, and hopefully next year they will do even better. But in general, our company is going through a difficult time. We just have a new ownership since the beginning of this year. They're invested heavily with a Euro 80,000,000 capital increase. Naturally, they want also the company to return to profitability quite soon. So we have got some cost cutting down in the company, and racing is part of that."

"First of all, commercial success of Ducati will help a lot to be able to afford coming back to Superbike. It's a very expensive championship, AMA Superbike, because of rider wages, material, going back and forth from the States. Testing a lot. We test maybe four times more in AMA Superbike than what we do in World Superbike. And you test from West Coast to East Coast. It's a very expensive championship, and naturally, up to today we have been able to fund it through some sponsorship, but mainly paying from the headquarters the remaining costs. In the current situation, we have to be very careful with the way we spend our money for the next one or two years."

While Ciabatti's announcement made the situation sound quite dire, he said Ducati's racing future in the US isn't as dark. "Even if we don't race next year, we never said, and which is not our position, that we are quitting from America," Ciabatti continued. "America is the most important market for Ducati--not yet for the numbers, because Italy's still selling more, but definitely is going to be soon the most important market for Ducati. And we want to be able to be back again. So, we'd like to be in the position to explain our ideas, and discuss with the other members about some fair rules which will not be neither an advantage or a disadvantage for the twins."

The US Superbike rules, as dictated by the AMA, are set through the 2008 season.

The irony of Ducati's announcement rang louder to some than others. It's notable that Neil Hodgson scored his second podium finish of the season on the very day Ducati made the announcement that they are pulling out of the series.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-22-2006, 10:07 AM
 
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wow if ducati out it'll be mostly suzuki's in superbikes. it only has a handful of other manufacturers to compete. Think eventually it just be a suzuki superbike? or will others step up a notch.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-22-2006, 10:13 AM
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It will be a Suzuki Cup just like how it was a Ducati Cup a few years back in SBK.


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-22-2006, 02:28 PM
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I think you mean "fogarty cup"

HAIL TO THE KING!!

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-22-2006, 02:29 PM
 
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Didn't get their way for rule changes and can't completely dominate like SBK so they are taking their toys and going home. Wish they'd stay, do some engineering and make a race of it instead of just wanting it handed to them. Just my .02 so flame if ya must
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-22-2006, 03:50 PM
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-22-2006, 04:21 PM
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they want to race thier 1200cc twin and AMA says no, its legal in WSB
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-22-2006, 05:17 PM
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so, the AMA will let BUELL race a 1200 in a 600 FX class, but wont let Ducati race a 1200 in a Superbike class? Just my guess...


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-22-2006, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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no 1200cc twins are not legal in wsb. Not yet anyway. Ducati is pushing for the rule change, but the fact Bayliss is winning that championship hands down for the moment is not helping them. Their argument is that the twin in its current configuration is to expensive to run at a competitive price. Their are spending way more then any of the Japanese semi-privateers. The problem I have with their demand is that nothing garantees they will not spend the same amount on the 1200, and in that case it will be a Ducati cup yet again. Their problem is, the 1000cc twin is not going to allow them to win that many more championships, the fours are close and will get closer. They don't want to race anything but the twin, and the japanese guys are already saying they will pull whatever support they do have in the series if the Flaminis are allowing a displacement bump for the Duc. Pretty diff situation, it will be interesting to see what the ...Italian governing body will allow them to do. Maybe a middle ground can be reached in allowing them only a 100cc increase. This apparently has been on the table also.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-22-2006, 06:29 PM
 
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I don't understand. It seemed pretty logical years ago when 750 fours competed against 1000 twins. So why not just go 1000 fours against 1250 twins?

When did the rules change that alowed 1000 4's vs. 1000 twins anyway?
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-22-2006, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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because no matter how logical it did sound years ago, the Ducatis were completly dominating that championship with no 750s fighting for wins nor championships. The japanese guys pulled out and the championship was a Ducati cup....which was not very interesting no matter how you look at it. In theory the 750cc multis will have the same hp numbers but what killed them was the torque advantage the 1000cc twins had over the smaller displacement engine. The other reason a change was implemented (besides obvious performance interests) was to reflect a change in the market place, where 750cc bikes where not a force anymore. Japanese manufacturers sell 600cc bikes and 1000cc bikes, it makes no sense for them to build 750cc bikes if they are not going to sell. The problem for ducati is their faith in the twin cylinder layout. They could race a V4 or any other kind of engine configuration but they are dominating a niche in the market place that has been basically abandoned by all other manufacturers: the V2 sportbike. Because of the inherent disadvantage of the twin hp wise they have to push for rules that would give them some sort of a displacement increase. The problem is they are one small company trying to fight 4 big ones. We'll see who is going to have the last word.

By the way the rule change took place in 2003.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-22-2006, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitronori View Post
no 1200cc twins are not legal in wsb. Not yet anyway.
you are correct, its all speculation, my mistake

its weird that they would pull this BS, if the 1litre twin can win in WSB, why not AMA, answer: rider? money?
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-23-2006, 06:15 AM Thread Starter
 
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Different set of rules, WSB allow for more modifications for the twin then the AMA does. The tracks are also very different and some say the fast Euro style tracks favor the twin. Ducati is actually the manufacturer that is pushing the most for a rule unification, WSB rules for all the major national championships but especially BSB and AMA.
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