Ducati Drops AMA Superbike

Motorcycle.com Staff
by Motorcycle.com Staff
Ducati PR man Nick McCabe sends the following -- not really surprising given recent chatter between Ducati and the AMA, but depressing nonetheless:

DUCATI ANNOUNCES CHANGES TO USA RACING STRATEGY FOR 2007

Cupertino, CA (August 22, 2006) - Ducati North America and Ducati Corse today announce that their participation in the AMA Superbike Championship with a factory team will cease at the end of the 2006 season.

The Parts Unlimited Ducati Team has successfully raced with the 999 Superbike in each of the last three seasons (winning five races as of today) and the American based Ducati subsidiary will now take a year to consider its future options.

The following questions and answers are regarding Ducati North America’s decision to cease to support a factory backed team in the AMA Superbike series in 2007:


Why did Ducati North America make the decision to not continue with a factory supported team in AMA Superbike racing?

Our factory racing program – which began with a new lap record and the pole position at the Daytona 200 - was structured with a three year plan. All of our racing contracts are up at the conclusion of 2006. Knowing this, we sat down and reevaluated our business plan for 2007 and beyond. This was a very detailed process, and one in which we considered many options. There are commercial considerations that mitigate against running a team in 2007 and we will take the 12 months to plan for an exciting future.

Can you provide more detail?

In 2004, when we dedicated the resources to bring back a top shelf racing team to the USA, our goals were to showcase our top of the line 999R with a first class effort – which we have successfully done. We achieved the goal of winning AMA Superbike races on the 999R, and during the 2005 racing season we were one of two manufacturers to win an AMA Superbike race, despite stiff competition from other factory teams.

Will Ducati North America return to AMA Superbike racing?

The goal is return to AMA Superbike racing in 2008. Ducati North America remains completely committed to the AMA and supports the AMA’s efforts to improve and grow motorcycle road racing in the United States, and believes that racing is an essential platform for showcasing our products. Although nothing is certain, we remain committed to investigating our options and returning with the intent to win races and the championship.

Were there any “external” factors that contributed to this decision?

The need for Ducati Corse to build a different specification machine for AMA racing than World Superbike remains a severe handicap for our relatively small factory. This has contributed to the difficulty in improving our competitiveness. Ducati will be seeking a re-examination of this situation prior to the setting of technical rules for the 2008 racing season.

Will Ducati owner’s hospitality continue at the AMA Superbike races?

Ducati North America will continue to support the AMA Superbike tour by providing resources and assistance for local clubs and dealers at the circuits during 2007.

Founded in 1926, Ducati builds racing-inspired motorcycles characterized by unique engine features, innovative design, advanced engineering and overall technical excellence. The Company produces motorcycles in six market segments which vary in their technical and design features and intended customers: Superbike, Supersport, Monster, Sport Touring, Multistrada and the new SportClassic. The Company’s motorcycles are sold in more than 60 countries worldwide, with a primary focus in the Western European, Japan and North American markets. Ducati has won thirteen of the last fifteen World Superbike Championship titles and more individual victories than the competition put together. For more information about the Company, please visit our web site at ducatiusa.com.

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