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Ducati Withdraws from World Superbike

Friday, August 27, 2010
The Ducati factory has withdrawn from World Superbike for the 2011 season. The long-standing Xerox factory squad will not continue next season, but Ducati will continue to support private teams. In a statement announcing the decision, the Bologna firm cites new SBK regulations have led to increased costs which do “not correlate with the current worldwide economic situation.” Ducati complaints about competitions costs and threats to quit the series saw the SBK organizers up displacement for Twins to 1200cc for the 2008 season.
Nitro Nori is hoping for drier conditions tomorrow for the chance to improve on his sixth-place spot in the timesheets.
The Xerox Ducati squad will not return for 2011, the Ducati factory pulling stakes from World Superbike.

The news puts current Xerox riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio on the lookout for a 2011 ride. It also casts doubt on Colin Edwards’ rumored return to SBK aboard a Ducati. The factory effort from Ducati was the most successful marque in SBK history, with 16 Manufacturers’ titles and 13 Riders’ titles since the series’ inception in 1988.

Below is the official announcement of the move, courtesy of Ducati.


Borgo Panigale (Bologna - Italy), 27 August 2010 - Ducati, having participated with a factory team in every edition of the World Superbike Championship since it began in 1988, winning 16 Manufacturers’ world titles and 13 Riders’ world titles along the way, has decided to limit its participation to the supply of machines and support to private teams.

“This decision is part of a specific strategy made by Ducati, the aim being to further increase technological content in production models that will arrive on the market in the coming years. In order to achieve this objective, the company’s technical resources, until now engaged with the management of the factory Superbike team, will instead be dedicated to the development of the new generation of hypersport bikes, in both their homologated and Superbike race versions,” declared Gabriele Del Torchio, President and CEO of Ducati. “I would like to thank Nori and Michel, and all of the riders that have contributed to the great history of Ducati in Superbike, but above all the Ducati employees; it is their hard work and professionalism that
has allowed us to achieve such important results. A big thank you also to all of the partners that have supported us, first and foremost Xerox of course. I would also like to acknowledge the Flammini brothers who have managed the championship for so long, and the FIM, the organization with which we have continuous, constructive relations.”
Michel Fabrizio turned the quickest lap around the Phillip Island circuit on his Ducati Xerox machine.
Instead of the factory-supported Xerox team, the Ducati presence in SBK will have to be carried by private teams like the Althea squad.
Carlos Checa scored the fastest lap on Day 1 and ended Day 2 in second.

By making this important decision Ducati aims to increase the speed and efficiency with which it transfers advanced technological solutions, currently tested in the prototype championship, to the production series.

The task of testing innovative technical solutions in Superbike racing will therefore be entrusted to external teams in the coming years, teams that will have the chance to receive technical support from Ducati personnel. This choice will allow the teams to benefit from even more competitive machines and parts.

Despite the decision to interrupt its official participation in the World Superbike Championship, Ducati will continue to work, in collaboration with the championship organizers, other manufacturers and the FIM, to define a technical regulation aimed at containing costs.

Strong in the sporting spirit that has always allowed this manufacturer to compete, line-up against its rivals, and win, it is fundamental for Ducati to identify, together with the other interested parties, solutions that can guarantee the future of the championship in the medium-long term.

Recently the Superbike World Championship, according to the current regulations, has been interpreted as moving more towards competition between prototypes rather than for bikes derived from production machines. This has led to an increase in costs, both for the manufacturers and the teams participating in the championship. This picture does not correlate with the current worldwide economic situation, which has made the securing of sponsorship even more difficult. Ducati trusts that the work carried out by all parties will lead to improvement also in this area.
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topgearamerica -next Ducati production superbike a V4?  December 20, 2010 11:40 AM
I wonder if Ducati will make the move to a V4 in the next superbike. I hear talk of a short-stroke v-twin but I think that they are seeing that the inline 4s are very hard to compete with. The 999 they felt wasn't enough, the 1098 wasn't enough, the 1198 wasn't enough. I do look at the number of wins and titles they have over this period and they obviously aren't starving for wins but they are also putting a lot of money in. Larry Pegram is leaving Ducati and his reason is the i-4 just keep finding more and more power and going faster and he isn't finding anymore power in the Ducati, it is maxed out. They only thing they can do is more displacment and FIM isn't gonna allow that anymore. Rather than spend all the money on a new v-twin design that could very well get over run in 2 years again i think the V4 is the way for them to go. I know Ducati is all about the v-twin but Aprilia was 2-strokes only not to long ago and i think that RSV4 is making a statement that can't be ignored. The Ducati GP bike is a V4, they use a similar version in the Desmo. I think maybe a production based Desmo should be in the works and then all Ducati racing will be on a similar platform.
Shaker -Stenman  August 30, 2010 06:18 PM
“When the economy improves you will see them back in SBK with a dumbed down production version of the Moto GP bike that will be very competitive”. That’s not very likely because Ducati races and sells production bikes with twin cylinder engines and uses a multi-cylinder v4 in the GP bikes.

“One of the problems with world superbike is that the bikes are so far from production based bikes that they are approaching the performance level and cost of Moto GP, so why develop two different bikes.” The performance gap is relatively small but the cost difference is huge. One race weekend in Moto GP can fund half a season of a good privateer team in WSBK. They need two bikes because you can’t race production based bikes in Moto GP and you can’t race prototype bikes in WSBK.
Stenman -Makes Sense  August 30, 2010 01:41 PM
This is a similar strategy that Yamaha used in better financial times. They developed the Moto GP bike and then the tech trickles down to roadbikes and superbikes. Ducati will put all their resources towrds a better GP bike with development and feedback from Rossi the greatest road racer ever period.... When the economy improves you will see them back in SBK with a dumbed down production version of the Moto GP bike that will be very competitive. One of the problems with world superbike is that the bikes are so far from production based bikes that they are approaching the peformance level and cost of Moto GP, so why develop two different bikes.
Jason -I guess Rossi got quite an offer...  August 28, 2010 09:43 PM
I wonder if this is how they plan to pay Rossi's salary in MotoGP? I sure hope he gets them another world title or this decision will look pretty silly (As is it didn' already).
Bender -Mistake  August 28, 2010 08:14 PM
Big mistake for Ducati, they need WSBK to sell their production sport bikes and to develop them as well. Obviously Ducati has only so many resources but the smarter move would have been to do what Kawasaki has done: leave Moto Gp and develop an all new Super Bike. Look at how many manufactures have chosen to leave Moto Gp alone and build a new super bike Kawasaki, BMW, Aprilia, KTM.

By dropping out now it will only make things harder for when they return with a new bike because their competitors will have moved forward, the tires will have changed, and they will have no “race” data for the new machine. Only so much can be determined and accomplished with testing.

Good luck Ducati because you’re going to need it.
wparker -worldsbk lacking..  August 27, 2010 04:48 PM
richard you are in the minority, there has been some great racing in WSBK this season...

the scoop on Ducati is in the current Motorcycleist magazine..its said to be code named 'SuperQuadrata' and features an even more oversquare Twin engine..the bike was also said to have some kinda new 'frameless' chassis, carbon fibre i think..
Honduh -Good  August 27, 2010 03:52 PM
Get all factories out of WSBK. Privateers with factory support only. MotoGP is the place for works teams.
Richard -could be good i suppose  August 27, 2010 02:41 PM
1000cc bikes back in motogp, ducati is just getting ready for that. and because they probably blew all the money on signing rossi. either way ducati is still in motogp. wsbk has been lacking this year imo anyway.
PC -Bogus  August 27, 2010 11:23 AM
This is bogus and reflects poorly on the brand (which is sad, because I like Ducati). WSBK has bent over backwards to create rules that, if not outright favor Ducati, at least make them highly competitive. They lost last year because Nori choked (as he likes to do); otherwise they had the title in hand. Now they pull out because of a bad season. Yamaha has only won one title, Aprilia is hoping for its first, BMW is trying. Ducati is stuck in the good old days when this was effectively Ducati Superbike racing. That's just sad...
kk -Duc  August 27, 2010 10:53 AM
both GR and wparker, i believe, have the right idea. Its probably cheaper for them to pullout now for a year and give them the time and extra money to develope their next bike which hopefully is awesome. GL Ducati. It does kinda suck for Edwards if this thwarts his plans on returning to wsbk....
GR -Ducati out of WSB  August 27, 2010 10:09 AM
Now would the signing of Rossi for MotoGP have anything to do with this decision??? With Rossi working with the Ducati engineers for MotoGP, I'm sure he may give feedback towards their other projects which may not be seen until 2012! Sounds like Ducati is just moving their remaining finances and technical resources to make a strong frontal assault on the other brands in the future! Look at what Rossi did for Yamaha... 1st the M1 then the production bikes!? Big Red is on the move... a storm is coming!
wparker -Ducati Withdraws from World Superbike  August 27, 2010 09:42 AM
yeah, but its only likely to be a year..word is they have a new short-stroke twin for 2012..