Ducati Withdrawing Factory WSBK Team
Series' most successful manufacturer pulls out
The Italian manufacturer has been the most successful manufacturer in the WSBK series’ 22-year history. Ducati has entered a factory team in every season since the WSBK series began in 1988, winning 16 manufacturer’s titles and 13 rider’s championships.
Ducati will redirect its resources towards product development. According to Ducati, the decision will lead to a faster transfer of new technology to production models. Ducati will continue to provide machines and support to private WSBK 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,” says Gabriele Del Torchio, president and chief executive officer of Ducati. “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.”
Rising costs from participating in WSBK was a factor behind Ducati’s decision. According to Ducati, current WSBK development trends have been geared more towards creating racing prototypes instead of production machines.
Ducati’s withdrawal comes during what may be the factory team’s worst season. Ducati currently sits third in the manufacturer standings behind Aprilia and Suzuki. Meanwhile, factory riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio have not matched the from that saw them finish second and third in the 2009 season. Haga currently sits in seventh place while Fabrizio is a couple of positions behind in ninth. Both trail satellite Ducati rider Carlos Checa who is in fourth place.
“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,” says Del Torchio. “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.”
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