Announcement: Ducati factory team out of AMA Superbike for 2007

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Talk' started by Hozhead, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. Hozhead

    Hozhead <img src="/images/ranks/site_founder.gif" alt="BRN

    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.

    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 www.ducatiusa.com.
     
  2. Hozhead

    Hozhead <img src="/images/ranks/site_founder.gif" alt="BRN

    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.



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

    A) 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.



    Q) Can you provide more detail?

    A) 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.



    Q) Will Ducati North America return to AMA Superbike racing?

    A) 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.



    Q) Were there any "external" factors that contributed to this decision?

    A) 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.



    Q) Will Ducati owner's hospitality continue at the AMA Superbike races?

    A) 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.
     

  3. that was the first thing that I thought of
     
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