Ducati quits AMA for 2007 - TwoWheelForum: Motorcycle and Sportbike forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-25-2006, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
 
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Ducati quits AMA for 2007

Official Release On Ducati Quitting Superbike
August 22, 2006


Quote:
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.

"Our primary objective of raising the profile of our brand and of the 999 Superbike has been achieved", said Michael Lock, CEO of Ducati North America. "We have increased our sales over 60% since 2003 and the USA has become a powerful export market for our parent Italian factory. There are a lot of exciting developments coming to our business in the next couple of years and we have decided to take a step back in 2007 in order to plan most effectively for our long term future. Hopefully in the meantime the AMA technical rules, which currently force twin-cylinder bikes to have more standard parts than in World Superbikes, thus making it really difficult for Ducati to compete with the best four-cylinder machines, will be revised for the future. We remain a very strong and committed supporter of the AMA and, when our bikes will be allowed to participate with a fair chance of challenging for the final championship win, we expect to be racing competitively again very soon in the AMA Superbike series. I would personally like to thank the team, the riders and our sponsors, particularly Parts Unlimited, for their role in the resurgence of Ducati's success in the USA."

Paolo Ciabatti, Ducati Corse Superbike Director added "We have enjoyed a very good relationship with Terry Gregoricka and his team and are very proud of the results achieved together with them. It is always a difficult decision to end a successful partnership, but we respect the reasons behind Ducati North America's change of strategy. A special thanks to Terry, Tom, Gabry, Gary, Ben and Neil and all the boys at Parts Unlimited Ducati Team for their hard and professional work. We are sure that they will do their best to finish the racing season on a high note".

Ducati North America will remain committed to racing in the United States through the continuation of a national and regional Contingency program as well as various other racing support programs.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-25-2006, 02:10 AM
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I saw that and I'm really disappointed. I thought Ducati would have something to offer in the 07 season but not now.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-25-2006, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
 
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I think its all leverage. theyll be out of 07 and hope to be sorely missed, while lobbying for rule changes to WSBK spec. That is unless they bring out a 1200 and discontinue the 999 as is rumored. therefore if series wants a ducati racing, they will have to accept a 1200. but thats my theory. I understand the tradition of Ducati Twins... and i love twins, and do want Ducati racing in the states. but if the rules want 1000cc superbikes, then make the best 1000cc superbike you can make... even if its not a twin. Hell, make a V4 like the desmosedici with a "big bang" firing order and keep that twin rumble.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-25-2006, 07:31 AM
 
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Too bad.



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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-25-2006, 11:45 AM
 
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There is a reason factories "race on Sunday"...And it appears they have been pretty successful at "selling on Monday"...



"Our primary objective of raising the profile of our brand and of the 999 Superbike has been achieved", said Michael Lock, CEO of Ducati North America. "We have increased our sales over 60% since 2003 and the USA has become a powerful export market for our parent Italian factory. "

Michael Lock, CEO of Ducati North America.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-25-2006, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by bumblebee View Post
There is a reason factories "race on Sunday"...And it appears they have been pretty successful at "selling on Monday"...



"Our primary objective of raising the profile of our brand and of the 999 Superbike has been achieved", said Michael Lock, CEO of Ducati North America. "We have increased our sales over 60% since 2003 and the USA has become a powerful export market for our parent Italian factory. "

Michael Lock, CEO of Ducati North America.
so they are content to sell a few 999's and leave? The quote leaves a mixed message about the decision to leave.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-25-2006, 02:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bumblebee View Post
There is a reason factories "race on Sunday"...And it appears they have been pretty successful at "selling on Monday"...
Then the other guy said he would like the rules to be changed, so it does look like they will wait out the "rule making guys" for a year.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-25-2006, 03:44 PM
 
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Then the other guy said he would like the rules to be changed, so it does look like they will wait out the "rule making guys" for a year.

don't blame them...why field a bike with a competitive disadvantage? HD did the same in NHRA Pro Stock bike...they waited for the rules change and now the suzi's are chasing them...
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-25-2006, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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don't blame them...why field a bike with a competitive disadvantage? HD did the same in NHRA Pro Stock bike...they waited for the rules change and now the suzi's are chasing them...
exactly. i know that racing bodies want the grid to mirror the market, but leverageing your brand participation to tip things in your favor is not cool. Twins already enjoy more mods than fours, if anything fours are restricted and twins are allowed more. Its good to see alot of marks in a series, AMA changed things to allow the Daytona 675 a place to race, but Triumph wasnt "holding out" till then.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-27-2006, 09:13 AM
 
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The key factor is that the rules need to be synch'd up between World Superbike and AMA Superbike in order to make it financially feasible for Ducati to race in AMA in 2008. It's simply too expensive for Ducati Corse to have to develop a completely separate bike for the AMA series vs. what they run in World Superbike. They won't race a V4 in anything other than MotoGP for the same reason, development costs would be too high, and they want to race the bike that is on the street. Ducati is a racing-oriented company, and pulling out of a race series is not something taken lightly. They'll be back very soon, you can count on it, the U.S. is Ducati's biggest sales market. None of the manufacturers disagree that it would be easier to have the rules be the same, and that it won't really change the racing at all, the AMA is just slow to react. But Yamaha can afford to develop a completely separate bike for each series if they have to, Ducati can't. There are only 150 employees at Ducati Corse, running the MotoGP development, World Superbike, World Supersport and AMA Superbike efforts. Honda has over 1000 employees in the racing department. Small fish, big pond.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-27-2006, 10:45 AM
 
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If Ducati just put more effort into making the desmocidici motor more reliable for street use, they could eliminate the twin motors from their superbike line. Then not only would you have a Ducati, but you'd have a Ducati with a ****load more horsepower out of the box than your standard Japanese inline 4.

Sorry for the rant, but after having to spend ~$2000 in maintenence on our 748 within a month and a half, we sold that POS. They're fun to ride, but the v-twins just don't do it for me anymore.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-28-2006, 01:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zortness View Post
If Ducati just put more effort into making the desmocidici motor more reliable for street use, they could eliminate the twin motors from their superbike line. Then not only would you have a Ducati, but you'd have a Ducati with a ****load more horsepower out of the box than your standard Japanese inline 4.

Sorry for the rant, but after having to spend ~$2000 in maintenence on our 748 within a month and a half, we sold that POS. They're fun to ride, but the v-twins just don't do it for me anymore.
That won't happen any time soon, Ducati is a V-Twin company, the V-4 is for racing use only. You won't see another V-4 on the street other than the Desmosedici.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-28-2006, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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So what is the issue with AMA rules? is it that ducati has to use a stock crank, and in WSBK the crank can be lightened? I know that in both series they get all sorts of intake modifications that the I4's dont.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-28-2006, 08:53 PM
 
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The crank is a huge issue (keeps the twin from being able to come off the corner as well as it could), as well as World SBK rules permit primary gear ratios to be changed but AMA doesn't. Also, Ducati is lobbying for displacement increases to be permitted for twins to keep them competitive at a similar level of cost to what the I-4 manufacturers have to spend as well. In World Superbike, a better electronics packages is really what's helping the twin to be competitive, but that technology is very expensive to develop. They're hoping to have the World SBK and AMA rules both set to allow more displacement for twins in 2008.

I know the crank issue is a big one, the light crank in my 749R makes the bike come off the corner and spin up a ton faster than a standard 749 does. Too bad they never built a 999 version of what the 749R is, basically an out-of-the-crate World Supersport spec bike. They didn't give the 999R the same treatment, it's much more "streetable" than a true purebred racebike like the 749R. The main reason is in World SBK they didn't have to build the 999R that way because the rules permit them to change it on the factory bikes. World Supersport rules are much more restrictive, so they had to put all the good stuff on the production model in order to race it, so we get it too!
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-28-2006, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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then like the 749R (which sounds sweet), wouldnt a 999R with a light OEM crank be the 'easy' fix? There is no doubt that their TC and associated electronics are superior but sustanining them i guess is hard for a small mfg, like ducati. Whats strange to me is that the Ten Kate (the most factory of the "non" factory hondas) doesnt use TC. And if anyone can afford it its HRC, so this may be part of the need to increase displacement. when the likes of HRC catch up in the electronics dept, ducati will be left without anymore tricks up their sleeve.
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-29-2006, 11:05 PM
 
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Yeah, it would be possible to homologate a "super go-fast" 999R, but they'd only be doing it for the AMA since they don't have to do it for World Superbike. So again they'd be releasing and selling a homologated bike specifically for AMA, which is just too expensive to do. I've heard estimates of around $4-7,000 per bike of a LOSS that the factory takes on every 749R sold. The light crank costs $2,000, and the Titanium rods are $1800 each, not to mention the Titanium valves, the totally different shock linkage, the Verlicci frame and two-way adjustable steering head, etc. It's a very expensive proposition for the factory to produce a bike like that. And yeah, I think that if the rest of the factories come up with an electronics package as good as Ducati's in World SBK, and they are allowed to run the same displacement I-4 motors as the Ducati twins, it will be very difficult for Ducati to stay competitive. It's good for the series for Ducati to be there and be competitive, so the displacement increase is probably the easiest fix that could be made.
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-29-2006, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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While Bayliss isnt making the ducati look fragile, Lanzi may be showing what the ducati could really be, a mid packer. But then again Lanzi is no Bayliss.

all this 749 talk is getting me riled up-
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-30-2006, 06:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JK_DILLA View Post
While Bayliss isnt making the ducati look fragile, Lanzi may be showing what the ducati could really be, a mid packer. But then again Lanzi is no Bayliss.

all this 749 talk is getting me riled up-
I wanta 749.



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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-30-2006, 10:29 AM
 
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Isnt Moto Gp talking about goin to 800 cc? Or is this a rumor. If that happens ducs will be in a real mess from the sounds that they can make quick changes like the other big name brands out there.
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-30-2006, 10:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 06gsxr6 View Post
Isnt Moto Gp talking about goin to 800 cc? Or is this a rumor. If that happens ducs will be in a real mess from the sounds that they can make quick changes like the other big name brands out there.
The next 5 years, I think, are already going to be 800cc for MotoGP. Ducati started work on their 800cc motors over a year ago, they've actually produced 20+ motors and tested continually throughout this season. It's going to be hard for Ducati to continually provide their 800cc motors to 4 or more riders next season though, which might partly explain the AMA pullout decision. If they need the extra resources to focus on MotoGP, where they have been winning, it might be the best investment for them.

... but I still want to see L4 motors on thier street bikes!
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