Motorcycles Corona and its consequences: does Ducati sacrifice the factory team in the Superbike World Championship?

16:15  29 march  2020
16:15  29 march  2020 Source:   motorsport-total.com

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Ducati drohen große Verluste: Bedroht Corona das WSBK-Werksteam? © Ducati Ducati face major losses: does Corona threaten the WSBK factory team?

No races, stationary belts in the factories and the great uncertainty as to whether people will buy as many motorcycles as before after the corona crisis: Ducati is currently having to think about how to best respond to the consequences of the corona pandemic.

Although Ducati is significantly smaller than its Japanese competitors, the Italians work teams in the MotoGP and Superbike World Championships . Is the WSBK factory team facing an uncertain future?

"I hope not," notes Ducati sports director Paolo Ciabatti in conversation with 'GPspirit' . Ciabatti knows that the Superbike World Championship is very important for Ducati, but gives the MotoGP priority in case of doubt: "The MotoGP is the top of motorcycle racing. It is what Formula 1 is for automobile racing."

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 WSBK rules: Is there finally a balance in the Superbike World Championship? © Motorsport Images Since the 2019 season, there have only been four-cylinder bikes in the WSBK try to align the different concepts. They have had more and less success. © Kawasaki Gregorio Lavilla Dorna manager Gregorio Lavilla had to experience first-hand what it is like to compete with an inferior motorcycle. During the period of V2 dominance at the end of the 1990s, Lavilla fought for a connection with a 750 Kawasaki.

"It is really difficult to make predictions. It is the worst emergency situation since World War II," Ciabatti clarifies. "We have to see how governments can help businesses, families and the economy in general. Then we have to think about how we will do in the future. It is too early to say anything."

Paolo Ciabatti © Ducati Paolo Ciabatti

"Nobody can make predictions because the extent is not yet clear. We do not know how hard the economy will be hit. I am optimistic, even if we experience the worst situation in Europe in Italy. But I'm also realistic and don't want to make any hasty decisions, "said Ciabatti.

"We have to look at what we can afford when it is over. And then we have to make the best possible decision," comments the Ducati sports director, who, like the drivers, fans and team members, is asking himself from which point in time races can be driven again.

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 FIM technical director about the WSBK price limit: there are some loopholes © Motorsport Images extreme: Ducati fully exploits the limit and equips the V4R with expensive technologies from Ducati is the only manufacturer in the Superbike World Championship that almost fully utilizes the upper price limit of 40,000 euros. At 39,990 euros, the Panigale V4R is by far the most expensive production superbike. © LAT Scott Smart This enables Ducati to incorporate some expensive technologies in the production model.

"It will take some time before we can travel and move as freely as we did before," Ciabatti is convinced and expects cuts in the budgets of the racing teams: "We have to rethink a few things. I know not whether companies can invest so much money in the development of motorcycles, driver salaries and so on. "

Carlos Checa © Althea Carlos Checa

Although the Superbike World Championship has a long tradition for Ducati, the Italian manufacturer was not always represented with a pure factory team. After Valentino Rossi's commitment, the budget for the continuation of the WSBK works team was lacking. The Althea team received factory support, became the Ducati spearhead and won the title with Carlos Checa in the 2011 season.

After Ducati only fought in midfield for the connection at the beginning of the Panigale era, the most successful manufacturer of the WSBK became more involved again. After the failed cooperation with the Alstare team, Ducati returned to series production at the factory.

Carlos Checa © Ducati Carlos Checa

motorcycles in the future with 1,200 cm³? - Rumors of rule changes in the Superbike World Championship .
Gregorio Lavilla, Sports Director of the Superbike World Championship, has confirmed that an increase in the displacement in the Superbike World Championship is currently under discussion. © 2snap. Superbike World Championship motorcycles, at least if they are equipped with a four-cylinder engine, must not currently exceed the displacement limit of 1,000 cm³.

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